Tuesday was the first day I had to sit down by myself in quite a while. I have had non-stop (albeit lovely) visitors from around the globe since July through September. You name it, I cooked it, visited it, drove it, saw it...and then come time for school and whammo...I have two sick kids for a week and 5 projects to start and finish. Understandably, I felt the urge to simplify and even though I have had a jam-packed fabulous summer, I have managed to get quite a bit done around the house.
My head needed clearing; therefore, I cleared the house. I SIMPLIFIED.
Being simple is not easy for me, but I love everything about it. When I see something simple, it’s like a fresh breeze, but getting there isn’t always easy. It’s almost more work to get a simple look. Decisions “for less” are more heavily weighted, which makes the decision process a little bit more taxing, right? I am detailed oriented, and very analytical. I assess everything too much before I make a decision. It's exhausting being in my brain sometimes. I've finally accepted that I am just wired this way and soon as I feel as though I am becoming paralyzed in the decision making process I sound the alarm to get going, or I call in a friend to help. Designers need fresh eyes too.
Having visitors from around the globe (ahem, my French In-Laws) really helped ring that alarm and I took a look around with my new fresh eyes. I said "A BIENTOT" to over half the accessories on shelves and hanging on walls that I bought because it was either on sale or "saving for a project". I assessed whether I was just attached to something or whether it really offered something to the room (or any other room for that matter). I still have work to do, but I have made a great start. I even cleaned out my garage! I am really enjoying the more spacious feel and the peace it offers. I don’t miss what is gone, in fact I don’t even remember! I forced myself to determine what I really loved vs. what worked “for now”. I made a list of “wants” and will wait to make sure I really love it regardless of sales or trends. For instance, if I keep coming back to that fabric, then I know I really like it and won’t get bored of it.
Simple interior design doesn’t necessarily mean overly sparse or boring. Here are some tips to accomplish your favorite kind of simple:
Give some star power.
It’s amazing how a piece can become so much more interesting when given a little elbow room. Don’t put too many things together. Groupings give impact, but try to limit the number of them in a room (3- 5 vases of all similar color and texture) and space the group away from other vignettes. Give the eye a place to rest.
It’s OK, Go Bold.
Bold patterns can satisfy visual cravings without having to purchase a lot to fill a room, just limit the number of large patterns, if any additional patterns are added, just change the scale (size) of the print to smaller.
Wanted: Bare Walls.
Just because a section of wall is bare, resist the urge to fill it. (A scroll-type sculpture on a wall because “it needed something there” for instance)
Alone with Impact
When choosing one piece to highlight in an area, choose something with impact (reflective, vivid color, high contrast, and or texture)
Simple need not only be applied to the house. To me it also means being selective in all areas of my life a sieve for clutter, if you will. Clutter in my house, clutter in my schedule, clutter in my head, simple dinners with more variety (shout out to the crock pot!). Choosing things that make life easier like a haircut that lends itself to what you hair naturally wants to do (with the exception of color-I won’t let that one go , but I get credit for the 5 inches I lopped off), right?). I bought better quality longer lasting make up, made a list of staple pieces that will extend my wardrobe and taking time to work out so I can fit into things I like already in my wardrobe. I get annoyed by some little things like Tupperware containers! No more in this kitchen, I now use just a few of these great containers. The woven laundry baskets I once thought were charming, just end up a trip hazard or storing clean laundry for too long. They left. Now I just use my kid’s hampers to move their laundry and collapsible ones for everything else which neatly stow away out of sight. Call me Picky Penny, but I won't even purchase gadgets that claim to slice it easier and faster. For me, I have found it wastes time, water, space and money (yes, I analyzed it).
It's challenging. I get crazy excited about so many things...I'm visual as you would expect from a person in design; I'm moved by the things I see and temptation is everywhere. Cleaning out closets, garages and attics, is a GREAT remedy for shopping. I highly recommend it. Pinterest also helps; it’s kind of like window shopping. Pinterest gives inspirational eye candy, but the wallet stays a little plump(er).
De Lavenne Design is also getting simplified. In the near future, my website and logo will change to suit this more simplified version of me. I can't wait to have a new airy look and feel. Until then, go on, purge, donate and be simple! Here are some inspiring simple designs to get you going.