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Simple & Charming Ideas

by | Sep 14, 2009 | Decorating Inspiration, Details

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You all probably know this about me by now — I prefer a style that looks like it comes naturally. A look that says, “this room or vignette just happened to turn out charming” rather than “it took me six days and four re-designs to style this arrangement.” It is sometimes a fine line between the two, but I really do love simple charming details that appear effortless.

Here are a few inspiring ideas I ran across today! Enjoy!

Simple & Charming Ideas

A coat hook turned pot rack is unpretentiously charming & functional
Cottage Living

Simple & Charming Ideas

Open shelving that lets the beauty of life shine through
Cottage Living


Simple & Charming Ideas

A flower in a simple mason jar hanging from a wire … love this!

Teresa from Whatever


Simple & Charming Ideas

An empty wall with a big chalkboard and simple frame — need I say more?
Cottage Living

Simple & Charming Ideas

Mix and match chairs to bring a relaxed ambience to a room

Simple & Charming Ideas

Loosely tied linen on metal lamp frame to create a pretty but unfussy fixture
Cottage Living

Simple & Charming Ideas

A room filled with natural elements to bring in lots of texture and warmth
Cottage Living

Simple & Charming Ideas

Creativity outside the obvious — vintage suitcases and luggage rack make a uniquely charming sofa table

Another fabulous idea from the amazing Teresa from Whatever


Pot racks can make your kitchen look trendy and use space more efficiently.


  1. Mary Anne

    Lovely idea about the chalk board and now they have so many different colors to chose from. Just painted a mural for my sis’s new sustainability center. A pig, sheep and a chicken holding up a teal colored chalkboard.

  2. Alison Gibbs

    Oh wow, I want them all. They look fabulous. Amazing there is nothing there that I would hate to live with!!
    .-= Alison Gibbs´s last blog ..WATERSIDE WEDNESDAY =-.

  3. janice

    You are an artist, Melissa. Truly an artist. To find these photos from the millions out there and stitch them simply and lovingly together with your thoughts, wise insights and ideas is a talent I’ve never stopped appreciating. You make it look so effortless, but it’s a real gift. Thank you. I always leave here inspired. I’ve been under the weather for weeks, and my favourite homemaking blogs have been a tonic and a breath of fresh air.

    I now want to …hang a flower in a jam jar, paint some chairs and crack on with redecorating the living room, dining room and kitchen. (I’m in the middle of all of those right now and my worldly goods look like the living room vomited them all over the house . Everything’s in boxes or under plastic. Blogs like yours are a refuge right now, a place to refuel my inspiration and determination.)
    .-= janice | Sharing the Journey´s last blog ..The House of the Thousand Horrormoans =-.

  4. Sheri

    That mason jar is so sweet. Love your inspiration photos.
    .-= Sheri´s last blog ..Homeschool Happenings Week 2 =-.

  5. Kathy

    Love the open shelving, pot rack and open shelving in these pics, Melissa! They are charming! More often I’m the one playing around with vignettes until I feel it’s right rather than hitting on it the first time around. : )

  6. Kathy

    I couldn’t figure out how to delete my last comment to edit it ~ I didn’t mean to say open shelving twice! I meant to put blackboard in there!

  7. karen

    I like the look of the chalkboard, but I have to wonder how functional it would be since it’s behind a counter and stove. You’d either need to be six feet tall or standing on a step stool to use it effectively. Also, can you imagine the chalk dust all over food prep areas? I would think there are better places for it.

  8. cynthia

    LOVE LOVE LOVE that “pot rack”

    what a fun idea!
    .-= cynthia´s last blog ..finally… =-.

  9. Sandra

    What great and lovely ideas! Wonder if Dave would allow me to bring in the old school blackboard and hang it on a wall?
    Probably not but I can hang it in the farm office!
    .-= Sandra´s last blog ..Good Morning, Lord! =-.

    • Marisol

      Allow? Get a backbone girl. Bring it on in. It’s your house too.

  10. tammy

    Love them all and have most already saved. Don’t you just miss cottage living? I wish it would come back with all their “to die for” pictures.
    .-= tammy´s last blog ..Eight years ago but still so vivid =-.

  11. Morning T

    Fabulous post with incredible ideas. I’ll be trying out the hanging mason jar and the linen lamp shade for sure. That huge chalkboard is just amazing!!
    .-= Morning T´s last blog ..Secret hideaway =-.

  12. Emily

    I’m with you on this, Melissa. So often it’s really really obvious a room is staged just for a photo and it look pretentious and stuffy, not lived-in and natural. Not something that would just naturally be that way and stay that way. I like the coziness of simple details that don’t take long to implement and they look great even if tiny fingers get a hold of them. These ideas are real and inspiring in a natural “I can do that!” way.

    Thanks for sharing some simple and beautiful ideas.
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Link Love =-.

  13. Cheryl

    Loving that last pic. Looks so very inviting and casual.
    I am slowly heading in that direction. Looking to lighten up and keep things simple.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..GIVEAWAY!! =-.

  14. Sarah

    I totally agree! I love elegance, but I love it mixed with cozy details like you showed. I love when things just happen to come together – it makes the room really creative and happy, I think.
    .-= Sarah @ In A Dream´s last blog ..Inspiration Board: Elegant Chic =-.

  15. Denise

    Oh I love the mason jar too, all great pictures. I’ve subscribed to Cottage Living, and still waiting for my first issue – can’t wait!
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..84 years young =-.

  16. lylah ledner

    JUMPING UP and DOWN here…and just about outa breath. Girl…you come up with some amazing ideas to show your faithful followers :-)…

    I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out how to hang pots from a 50 gazillion high ceiling – one that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg….but the coat rack idea…is a great idea – one that I could possibly incorporate over the big kitchen window. Gonna play with the idea….and if nothing else go hunting around for a vintagey coat rack – which would have lots of other uses.

    btw…LOVE Voyagers web, your fam pic,…’s awesome!

    .-= lylah ledner´s last blog ..Life and Gardens =-.

  17. Gina

    Beautiful ideas! And I love that chalkboard-I never would have thought of one in the kichen-but I love it! Thanks for some great inspiration today!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Lately….. =-.

  18. Shannon

    I simply love your site! I happened upon it via the blog site “Nesting Place” a few days ago! So gald I found you! I love to decorate my home and I’m always looking for some creative new ideas. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..The Birthday Girl =-.

  19. The Crazy Suburban Mom

    I love these things and its funny but the two that Im most attracted to are the pot rack and open storage – Im most afraid of!

    What a mess both could become so quickly. I don’t know what that says about me. Maybe I don’t trust myself enough or maybe I just need to work on clutter, or perhaps I need to trust myself more…

    .-= The Crazy Suburban Mom´s last blog ..Retro Tuesday Fridge Edition =-.

  20. Annie

    A coat rack to hold saucepans – fantastic! Old cases as tables – ingenious!

  21. Tracy

    This is my favorite look. Simple, real. Controlled clutter. Pretty things all mixed together because they’re you favorites. I’ve even been thinking about doing that mixed up chairs around the dining table thing a lot lately (so I stole that pic!). Thanks Melissa!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Speaking of tranquility. . . =-.

  22. teresa

    Thanks Melissa for the mention in your post today, your so sweet.
    Have a wonderful day
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..Blessing Day- =-.

  23. Justus Martel Anderson

    I must be the only guy that would type a comment,,,,,,,
    YOU GO SISTER……..(teresa)

  24. Marie

    Love the blackboard, coat rack holding the pots, and the vintage suitcase used for a sofa table. Very lovely post.

  25. Karen B

    I REALLY miss Cottage Living. That kitchen is one of my all time favorite spreads they did. The owner worked for them and was so creative and fabulous. If only the simply beautiful things came easy all the time.

    .-= Karen B´s last blog ..Laughing at Myself =-.

  26. Elizabeth A

    I just really want to know why Cottage Living stopped publishing?? I seriously LOVED that mag!

  27. Melissa

    I like the picture with the open shelves in the kitchen and the huge chalkboard. Great ideas!!

  28. claire

    These are very inspiring!

  29. Erin

    I love love love that first picture with the coat rack as the pot holder. As soon as I saw that I thought that would be perfect for my kitchen!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..In progress =-.

  30. JoanK

    “In all things, love simplicity”. Frances de Sales
    .-= JoanK´s last blog ..What to do with your Sentimental Clothing =-.

  31. Marisol

    Another poster, Karen, wrote what I was thinking about the chalk dust all over the stove. Some of the little things are really cool and could work for any of us, but in reality some of the rooms might be hard for kids and/or pets to live in. I read an article the other day written by a Detroit resident whose chi-chi house was featured in a spread in Detroit Living. One of the things he mentioned was how perfect the rooms looked and how totally spotless….devoid of any thing but beauty and order. His wife had figured out how that happened. Photoshop. All the cords from various lamps and electronics were removed from the floor; stray pet hair was swooshed away via airbrushing; any little disorder, no matter how tiny, (after all this was a beautiful and clean house…which they had hired help to get ready for the photo shoot), was magically whisked away. Pictures in magazines always look better than reality via the right lighting, best angles, etc. That is why none of my renovated rooms ever match up to the dream version I guess. But, we keep on trying don’t we. Your site is beautiful to look at. Thanks.


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