Beautiful From The Inside Out

The Season of Simplify

The Season of Simplify

I wondered if there are only 4 seasons to the year when I happened upon this front porch and saw the sign "Simplify". Maybe there's a fourth season. The season of "Simplify" that comes as spring begins to wave her farewell and summer hasn't yet entered the stage. 

After all, with summer around the corner bringing dreams of the beach, summer vacation and long languid evenings of outdoor freedom, why would we want to complicate things? Summer is when we'll want to spend the most time with family, take some new adventures and simply enjoy the moments of sunny days and childhood ways. 

So, what do we do amidst the season of "Simplify"?

Simplify with Neutrals, Whites and the 2 or 3!

Home decor using neutrals, whites and a few color pops as your heart desires brings on an automatic serene and simple. If you can only make small changes, then do something as simple as looking at the throw pillows on your sofa or bed. What could you change or add to reduce a busy feeling? Sometimes we mistake needing more stuff around instead of using a variety of textures. Look at the picture. Notice the different textures in the simple scene, yet it is calming and peaceful. There's the fur rug on the floor, wood, floral print on the bedding, plant texture and the sleek curves and lines of the antique clock...yet it all produces a serene place to relax. Use the 2 or 3 simplify! When you add accents to a table, such as in this picture, shelf or any space-think in terms of 2 or 3 in a grouping. If one object is larger or taller in size than another, you can often use 2 items in a group...as in this picture. Use 3 objects in a grouping where they descend in height, are all the same shape, are three different shapes, or tell a story that you want to share in your decor. Rarely, if ever, would it be necessary to place more than 3 items in a small grouping. In decorating and flower arranging, one often arranges with odd numbers...not even numbers. Simplify. Put the extra items in a tote for now and store it away.

Add Greenery

Add a live plant or artificial plant/greenery to every room. Even if you have to remove something, it will be worth it. Plants bring a light and airy "aliveness" to a room. They change the ambiance, and real plants help to clean the air that your breathe. They fill up space in a clean, chic and simple way while a mirror to the outdoor's signature color: Green.

Give Yourself Privacy

Here's what I love about this outdoor living area and it's a great DIY idea. Notice just above the tables and the bench with brown pillows...the white limb/stick privacy "fence". This could be added to any area for privacy by simply finding the sticks with a diameter you prefer, cutting them all the same height or even leaving them natural length, and spray painting them or just leaving them naturally nature's color. Here they are leaning against a wall, but you could get creative by placing them in pots, just lining them up and sticking them in the yard, or other creative ways. This is also a real mix of furniture and accessories that creates a simple feel. Sometimes when things get to matched up, brand new and meant for a specific purpose the look comes off too structured and not simple at all. Just something to keep in mind, even if you need a little more structure than the picture. The white theme is carried throughout the scene in both the tables, privacy fence and the plant pots...which creates a sense of less clutter, unity, and harmony...even though the space is filled with all things green, growing and ready for summer!

Add Pattern Instead of Color

Usually when we think of pattern, we think of busy. But that's not the case when you add pattern to a solid color...and especially a neutral color or white. Take in the patterns added to this white palette...a round wreath in green for a color pop that mimics the spring and summer season, the mandala pattern in a soft tan on the square pillow and the chevron pattern in tan on the shelving storage boxes. Imagine walking in from the outdoors after a stressful day...it simply states: B.R.E.A,T.H.E.

Create Your Own "Resort or Spa" Ambiance

Long summer days also call for a place to retreat, to be still and calm. What better place than your bedroom. The neutrals in this bedroom give it a "spa" or "resort" feel as well as the plumpness of the furniture and accents...notice the chair cushions, throw pillows and headboard of the bed. It all sends the message of "luxury". What takes it over the top is the mirror leaning against the wall and sitting on the floor. It opens up the room for airy extra space visually. Create your own signature "resort and spa" feel in your bedroom.

I was working with my daughter on her master bedroom. After we cleaned everything out of the room, and the palette was empty except for the comforter she had, we went to work. Think about everything that you have...even in other rooms. What pillows can you add/take away to give the bed cleaner-simpler lines. How can you create a feeling of "luxury" with what you have...whether by plumpness of the items, color, texture, shape or size. We realized as we were doing her bedroom, that simply turning some of her pillow shams to the back side gave us the color that we needed without having to go and buy new shams.

Here, you are still working with the 2 or 3 simplify. On your bedding, and in the room, use only 2 or 3 colors/hues. With an exception of one accent like a plant or flower arrangement, art piece or photograph that gives a color pop or tells your story. Add a plant to your bedroom...whether live or real. And every bedroom needs a large mirror somewhere in the room as a centerpiece for a wall and to give the feeling of a larger space.

Jars & Burlap

Summer is on it's way, and a time to be free of fussiness! It's a time for flower stems in Mason Jars, antique jars and vases or your grandmother's old drinking glasses. Pick up some burlap to use as table runners for summer picnics, the dinner table, or as place mats.

 Design a Room Around a Bold Statement

I am in love with our new wall art "Our Old Front Porch", designed by Lemons Plus Life, that features mill work on a vintage home's front porch in southern, sunny Florida! This is a great example of designing a room around a bold statement...in this case a large, canvas print, with a simple subject and neutral colors. The bold statement comes not from colors nor a variety of visuals, but by the simple repetition of curves and lines. That's a simple statement of everyday vintage life, that shows up bold in a room & is an accent for any decor style.

Go Healthy!

Eucalyptus provides respiratory relief and may help you breathe easier. Purchase it dried and add a bundle to a simple vase...or add a sprig or two to several vases. It's chic, simple appearance adds a soft green to your decor that's just right for late spring and summer!

Time To Bloom!

It's here! Late spring and a summer season just around a country lane sprinkled with daisies! It's not too soon to begin planning some fun adventures! What are some things you've never done before as a family? Is it time to gather some fun summer recipes or recipes for fruity drinks? Is it time to put the wildflower seeds in the ground where you live? Find something new in your area to do, a new path to take and new sights to see. Having the best summer ever begins with a few simple plans now. Remember, you are creating your story and your family's story. All too soon those long summer nights will end, and you'll wish for one more day.

Make every moment count. Shake off winter. It's your time to bloom. Simplify. Think about the memories you'll most want to look back on when summer ends, and makes those the most important things on your list now as you ready for sunny days.

Every day is a gift. Open it. Claim the wonder and live it.

Sunny Blessings,

Nan