Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

We are coming up on our two year anniversary of moving into our home! Even though in many ways it feels like we’ve lived here for a long time, in other ways I feel like this home and property and I are still getting acquainted.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

I was thrilled last summer (our first summer here) to find a giant old lacecap hydrangea bush growing in our backyard. It felt like a gift! We had a large blue hydrangea in one of our past gardens, too. I had missed it so much.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

The bush is blooming and so beautiful right now, but we aren’t able to see it from the yard or house because the whole bush is hiding behind a large hedge. It obviously would have been ideal planted within view of the windows or patio, but instead I can just take a walk to visit the hydrangea as if it is blooming in a secret garden, tucked away so its joy can be discovered.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

I think every house I have lived in has taught me a little something about life and design. Do you find that to be true where you live, too? This house is already shaping my perspective in many ways, as it inspires me to embrace its simplicity and find joy in what that brings to my life.

Part of what will make a home beautiful each season is just slowing down so you can better appreciate what is already there. What your home offers or already has available may not be on everyone’s list of “must haves” but it’s something you happen to love or can grow to feel or find happiness in. Slowing down involves simplifying, so you can actually see the beauty around you.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

The beauty found in simplicity may not even be obvious at first glance, especially to anyone else. Simple joys are found in our surroundings are not because they necessarily shout “look at me, I’m amazing!” but because they quietly delight you. Delight is what you feel when something wonderful takes you by surprise.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

Simplicity is subtle, so the joy found in it can sneak up on you. It’s like an unexpected gift you receive only when you are paying attention to how you feel in your surroundings. To me simplicity doesn’t have to be defined by a certain color palette or decorating style. I think of it more as what you might miss out on if you are distracted by stuff that is shouting for attention. It might be clutter or accessories or colors or really anything that distracts rather than delights you.

What distracts you in your home may be different from what distracts me in mine. Photos can’t even really capture what simplicity feels like in a home, it’s such a personal thing.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

Simple joys in a home are found through experiences like the warm sunshine streaming through a room on a cool morning, or the delight of a breeze gently blowing curtains through an open window. Simple joys can even be discovered through the serenity you feel when your counters are clean, or the deep breath you can take after you’ve decluttered a long-neglected closet.

Even the sound of laughter in the house on a lazy summer day is a reminder that it’s not the material things we have or add or buy that transform our home. It’s simple joys that can change us from the inside out.

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

Perhaps (like me) you want to feel a sense of delight in something as simple as placing a freshly cut bouquet from your yard in a lovely vase. Like I do, you might have to pare down, slow down, eliminate the unnecessary, or put forth a little extra effort to get to that place of simplicity. But, I think it’s worth it.

Our simplified surroundings invite those bright blue hydrangeas to really show off and take a place of honor in the room all summer long.

Simple joys, friends, Simple joys. 

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

 

PS. If you missed my latest news, I’m writing a fun new book on decorating. But, I need your help! This book will feature questions and answers on decorating. The cool thing is the questions will be from YOU, my online buddies! YAY! Can  you think of some decorating or style questions you’d like me to answer in a book? Questions can be submitted via the form in this post.  Thanks, friends! <3

Dining room sources:

Scroll the arrows below to shop:

Summer Decorating: Finding Joy in Simplicity

Sources and details:

Gray ceramic table lamps and linen lampshades

Vase – HomeGoods

Watercolor floral pillow

Sisal rug

Rattan chairs: sold out from World Market (similar: 1 // 2)

Ombre beaded chandelier (or similar chandelier)

Woven window shades

Curtains

Parsons chairs (round-up of options, mine are RH)

Peacock art print

Crane art print

Blue honeycomb pillows

Round white rattan mirror

Copper planter

Polish pottery

Striped banquette bench

Wall color: Simply White Benjamin Moore

Shiplap Wall Details

Kitchen Reveal & Sources

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

Do you ever feel like you are in a creative lull with your home? It happens to most of us at some point. Actually, I’m just coming out of one of those lulls. I think it’s common to experience one after a remodel or completion of a series of big home projects.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

It actually makes sense to me why some of us feel like we get in a lull, or even a creative “rut” or a period of restlessness at some point after a big project season is complete.

For months you were problem solving and envisioning new ideas. Then you were implementing your vision and watching it come to life! That’s an exhilarating (but sometimes exhausting) experience.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

Once those projects are done … you’re no longer doing any those activities.

The change of pace and activities can be a welcome relief at first. But if your whole house isn’t “done” yet, and you aren’t planning to start another big project on its heels, you might start to get a little restless for what’s next.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)
A period of rest after a big project can rejuvenate the mind, which is helpful to make way for a new vision or creative project to begin. That season can also offer the opportunity to sense gratitude for what you have as well as time to find contentment with what you’ve already accomplished.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

I find that not trying to rush through a lull to get onto another big project can also give me time to focus on other priorities, bringing more balance to other important parts of my life.

By taking a period of time to rest and enjoy what I have already worked on or finished, I actually find myself starting to get inspired again, often by those newly completed spaces! That’s what happened recently for me.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

We don’t have any plans to start another remodel any time soon and haven’t built up the budget for any of the other bigger projects on my “wish list.”

But since I still want to make more progress on our home this year, fresh inspiration needed to strike!

The “lull” after the kitchen project gave me time to think and ponder my next steps in our house. I decided that I wanted to focus on small style updates the rest of this year. By using what I’ve already completed as a spring board, I can start refining other spaces accordingly and as the budget allows.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)
Inspired by the mood of my newly remodeled kitchen, I was recently able to make a few simple changes to our adjoining dining room using mostly things I already had!

It’s so helpful to have a completed project, our kitchen, as a style setter for decision making in the rest of the house!

A curtain swap with another room, moving around furniture, hanging some plates, and adding a pair of new lamps to the dining room helped refine our style a little more (at least for the time being.)

Now I’m inspired to keep going in other rooms of the house! Baby steps, but at least we’re headed somewhere.

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)
Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

In part two of this post, I’ll share five ways I jump start creativity to further refine my style. Plus I’ll share more about the simple changes we made in the dining room and the impact on other rooms in our home!

Dining room sources:

Scroll the arrows below to shop:

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)

Sources and details:

Blue honeycomb pillows

Rattan chairs: sold out from World Market (similar: 1 // 2)

Wingback dining chairs: sold out from World Market (similar)

Ombre beaded chandelier (or similar chandelier)

Woven window shades

Curtains

Rattan etagere/bookshelf – thrifted! Similar: 1// 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Gray and white striped pillows

Watercolor floral pillow

Peacock art print

Crane art print

Blue and white dishes

Round white rattan mirror

Gray ceramic table lamps and linen lampshades

Woven planter – Ikea

Copper planter

Polish pottery

Striped banquette bench

Sisal rug

It Is Well With My Soul artwork (above fireplace)

Wall color: Simply White Benjamin Moore

Shiplap Wall Details

 

Style Refinements (+ dining room updates)
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