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Simple Decorating:
The Parable of the Spoons

by | Feb 16, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration

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Simple Decorating: <br>The Parable of the Spoons

Yesterday one of my daughters was home from school and we were walking around the house together picking things up and dusting. We began moving this and that accessory around. We were not putting any pressure on ourselves to make the perfect vignette, nor we were worried about making any major decorating mistakes.

We also weren’t thinking about how we could “style” the room with extra accessories and the perfect lighting to make a great blog post for this week. Although that can be fun too, blogging was not on my mind. There was no agenda and no pressure — we were completely living in the moment.

We were simply enjoying the process of beautifying our surroundings.

As I was dusting the dining room furniture, I had to move a bunch of mismatched silver spoons that I had set out on our buffet. I had pulled them out of the drawer about a month ago, thinking I might all crafty and make something blog-worthy with them. Yeah. What WAS I thinking?

Simple Decorating: <br>The Parable of the Spoons

As I stood there holding those spoons in one hand and my dust rag in the other, I had to get real with myself. As hard as it was for me to admit, I am too busy to get crafty with spoons. Even if I had some spare time for a project, I have walls that I should paint. Spoon crafts are not my priority right now.

Even marvelously good things like creative spoon projects might not be right for this season of life.

The spoons had been sitting there in a pile on the buffet for at least a month, mocking me. It was time to end the mocking once and for all, and take control of my life. I had to “just say no” to spoon crafts.

While I had to put creative spoon crafts on hold for now, I found a more simple solution to still enjoy the beauty of those spoons.

I simply set them in my freshly cleaned apothecary jar.

Simple, easy, DONE. It is so freeing to make decorating (and LIFE) SIMPLE!

How have you simplified your home and life lately?

What could you “just say no” to that would help you to re-prioritize this season of your life?

I found another simple way to showcase my spoons! Check out my silver spoon Christmas trees?

shared at Chatting at the Sky, Tuesdays Unwrapped


  1. Kim

    I’m trying to organize with 3 ring binders!

    Also, wanted to comment about the spoons. My Mom always had a “spooner” that was left out on the counter. It was a glass container that she said her Grandmother use to put spoons it!

  2. Kathy

    Well, it looks like you accomplished a spoon project to me, Melissa! : ) I think they look perfect just that way.

  3. Franki Parde

    You know, I put ALL my daily utinsels, etc. ( knives, forks, spoons) in an urn on my counter…three times a day I just “reach over.” Somehow “an urn” sounds better to me than “the junk drawer….” :-)

    • Thea

      I have been thinking about just using some kind of large pot, urn, etc…to house my daily utensils…I could use my drawer for other things! Great idea!
      .-= Thea´s last blog ..T-Shirts that Pop! =-.

      • Melissa

        I set a white pitcher on my counter for my wooden spoons and attractive utensils…it really frees up the drawer space and I love being able to grab something without DIGGING in a drawer :-)

  4. Amber T.

    I think I should just say no to my silver utensils too- that looks fantastic!

  5. Cathy

    Fantastic thought.
    “We were simply enjoying the process of beautifying our surroundings.”
    Your simple solution is lovely. I once saw spoons used as curtain hooks. Very cool.

  6. Jeanne

    Melissa, I like your style, I love your blog. Simple is best!
    You have a special mention on my blog for being an inspiring friend. Check it out under my post ‘All Inspiring’.
    Thank You!
    Jeanne :)

    • Melissa

      Thanks Jeanne! I appreciate it so much!

  7. Jennifer

    I have old spoons that have been waiting for me to be craft…and waiting…and waiting…. This would be soooo much easier and DONE! Thanks!

  8. Sheri

    NICE! I really like that. How I simplify. Good question. I need to do some serious junk drawer cleaning today, thank for the reminder.
    .-= Sheri´s last blog ..School: KISS =-.

  9. Becky K.

    I am just trying to simplify, get rid of clutter and for the most part work with the things that are already in my home to redecorate the living room. Yesterday I emptied the entertainment center and we moved it just a bit. It’s really heavy so we put it back… Wasted time? I’m not sure yet…but the creative juices are flowing….

    As it goes to blogging time and projects, I have never been one to create a project to blog about. Probably explains my teeny tiny blog…but that is ok with me.

    Life is just crazy enough right now.

    Becky K.
    .-= Becky K.´s last blog ..Winter Morning Views =-.

  10. Richella

    Oh, ho Melissa–a great parable here!

    I definitely have some spoons in my life. Time to set them aside and enjoy this season in my life. :)
    .-= Richella´s last blog ..Whose day? =-.

  11. Pinky

    I am organizing my dishes….I seem to have a dish obsession, and tablescaping obsession so my sweet husband expanded my pantry AND just yesterday put in extra shelving in a guest room closet for me!!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!

  12. Annelise Wilcox

    Perhaps a rather mundane simplification is that I moved all of our toothbrushes and toothpaste to one drawer in one bathroom. Rather than having three bathrooms messy with toothpaste, one is easier to clean. It is working great!
    .-= Annelise Wilcox´s last blog ..Punch Bowl Part 2 of Missing Part 1 =-.

    • Melissa

      Brilliant. I love ideas like that. Sometimes we create more mess and work in life than we need to! Great tip for simplifying!

    • Thea

      .-= Thea´s last blog ..T-Shirts that Pop! =-.

  13. Gina

    Thanks for the reminder to look at our “stuff” with new eyes every now and then. Sometimes it’s just a matter of loving what you have and re-arranging it a little to make something “new”.

  14. Tracy

    Over the weekend, I had an epiphany and “just said no” to rose bushes. I am over them. There are 10 in the backyard and 7 in the front. Some of them are leaving soon because life’s too short to stress over so many. The ones in front get to stay because they’re easier to maintain. The ones in back though… their days are numbered.
    Love your spoons and the new-found freedom they represent to you. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    .-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..Follow Me! =-.

    • Melissa

      You go girl, just saying NO to stuff (even the rose bushes!) that creates stress or adds one more ‘thing to do’ is the way to go! Buh bye rose bushes!

  15. Gina

    I like your solution! Right now I think I’m ever simplifying-there’s just too many other things to do than come up with cool projects, I agree with you that it’s just not the season I’m in. I’m okay with that, and I’m choosing simple over complex right now!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..On Adventure =-.

  16. Beth

    Simplying is always a good thing in my book of life. If my husband read this he would laugh! Well my simplyfing is a whole lot different
    than his! :)
    Great solution you came up with, while beautifying your home!
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Simple Woman’s Day Book Febuary, 2010 =-.

  17. susieQ

    I am all for creative, but there is something about old silverware that makes me stop to appreciate its beauty and potential usefulness. I have special, tiny spoons that I like to use to eat yogurt out of containers. Large, generous soup spoons for soups and hearty stews. Perhaps it is a hoarding issue of mine, but I can’t “mutilate” old items; it seems disrespectful to me.
    Does anyone feel the same way?

    • Melissa

      I think sometimes we do tend to miss the beauty of old items. Antique wood, silver, glass and linens can be absolutely beautiful just as they are! Little works of art!

  18. Rebecca

    Now if I could just remember to stop when I want to start a project and remember that this season, with two little ones at home, may not be the best time to complete every craft I see… thanks for the reminder!

  19. Debbie S

    I have said a lot of no’s recently to simplify my life. It is hard saying no. It is hard stepping out of your life and looking in, but sometimes we have to do it in order to get better perspective. I like the simply life. Americans are busy enough.
    .-= Debbie S´s last blog ..My Two Men =-.

  20. Vee

    This excellent question and my lack of an answer indicate that I need to think about it! Your spoons look great in the apothecary jar, but then most things look great in apothecary jars, which is why I love them so. (No, Melissa, I am not trying to avoid the subject…I will ponder it.)
    .-= Vee´s last blog ..Red Food =-.

    • Melissa

      Ha, Vee — I’m glad I gave you something to ponder today.

  21. Katie

    Sweet post! I just looooove the thought of you and your daughter tidying up the house together and shifting things around and tweaking things…Oh, I love that! :o)
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Gone As Fast As It Came =-.

  22. Lori

    Love the spoons! I have a husband who makes gorgeous furniture but mostly tables so we don’t have much storage. I needed a place to store all of our games and craft supplies. I pulled an old dresser out of the basement and put it in our dining room. This has really de-cluttered alot of spaces!
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Free Chips Ahoy Cookies! =-.

  23. Renee

    I’m happy to hear that you said no to a creative project and you have inspired me to say no to some of mine. Like you, I have rooms to paint, closets to clean and my daughters room to tackle ;)
    {among other things}
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..GOWNS INSPIRED BY THE PAST =-.

  24. Hopeful Homemaker

    With 8 young children, I’m constantly coming up with clever or inspiring new ways to store things, clean things up, etc. The funny thing is that so often when I find a “solution” my children look at me like “what was the problem?” While I wish they could see the stuff on the floor and feel responsible for it, I’ve realized that I need to let it be a little more invisible for me sometimes, and just accept what this stage in my life has to offer. For me this means things like a wood trough full of building blocks in the middle of my family room. I might as well embrace it, make it intentional. After all, we have books to read, bugs to watch, hugs to give and castles to build.

    Sorry to ramble, this one’s been on my mind! Thanks for your great post.
    .-= Hopeful Homemaker´s last blog ..Vintage Blue Jars =-.

  25. Angela

    I love it! I have simplified by never getting around to bringing in my box of decorations that I removed for Christmas ones. The Christmas ones are gone, but I never put the regular ones back. I’m loving my bare look right now!
    .-= Angela @ Homegrown Mom´s last blog ..Staying on Task with Google Calendar =-.

  26. Lesley

    I really enjoyed this post because I’ve been trying to be creative with some old printing cuts that had belonged to my grandfather. I’ve piled them into a big glass vase and am trying to work them into a mantel design — for a blog post.

    I’m giving up and going back to just creating a decent looking mantel. If the printing cuts work – great. If not, I’ll put something else up there. I’m not worrying about the post…
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Design Translation: Pick a bed for our new room =-.

  27. Nellie

    Hi Melissa, I love it. What a great idea, so simple yet so effective. Well done.
    Nellie xx

  28. Kelley

    I have just pounded flat a couple of silver teaspoons to be used as curtain tie backs.
    I appreciate your question and I, too, will be pondering.
    .-= Kelley´s last blog ..Introducing my Etsy shop! =-.

  29. gina

    well, instead of stressing trying to find space for the perfect creative space in my home , I’m focusing instead of finding pleasurable (to me) storage ideas for all of the bits of it- like a place to hold my growning collection of clothespins, ribbon, etc… This is making me happy and getting our home organized- and when I do find the place to house the crafty are I dream of, I WILL be ready!
    .-= gina´s last blog ..expression notes. =-.

  30. gina

    I am also embracing creating a home- all aspects, not just decorating, but having baked goods in the home and sending little plates of goodies to the neighbors, etc.
    .-= gina´s last blog ..chocolate ROLO cookies =-.

  31. Patty

    I love your blog! I am new to the blogging world (just a looker right now) Thanks for the reminder…. It seems this “season” of my life is extended, as I hold baby #4 on lap sleeping and my oldest just turned into a teen this week!. The house is calling me to be cleaned and painted and just “fixed up” but homeschooling the 4 blessing God has given me keep me so busy. Your post today really is close to my heart! I wanted to let you know God used your little words to speak to me Blessings!

  32. ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie

    Such a happy and beautiful accident! The screen saver on my computer currently reads, “Above all else, be true to yourself. If you cannot put your heart in it, then take yourself out of it.” That daily reminder helps me keep the important stuff and let the rest of it go.

    .-= ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie´s last blog ..WhisperWood Cottage Home Tour…Be Prepared! =-.

  33. Thea

    Melissa- loooovvvvee the simplicity! I need to “just say no,” to worrying about how my preteen puts away his clothes. Hey, at least he is putting them away, right?!
    .-= Thea´s last blog ..T-Shirts that Pop! =-.

  34. Mary Joy

    Melissa, I am in the midst of doing the same thing at our house! I am getting ready for new furniture to arrive and so that we have space for it I am weeding through things and simplifying our rooms! I am very proud of myself because in the past I would take hours to make new storage containers…but this time I am “cheating”!! I am buying simple, attractive containers so that I am cleaning and beautifying our home but not using precious time I need to spend with my kiddos on hours of craft projects. I love crafting!! And still do it but and prioritizing my decorating and my life and am having so much fun doing it!
    Thanks for sharing your personal stories so that I don’t feel like I am turning my back on crafting! Eeek! Just need some fast pretty solutions this time.
    .-= Mary Joy´s last blog ..My nesting journey ~ such a freeing place to be! =-.

  35. Mary Jean

    so simple and so rewarding! I’ve been practicing saying yes to my kids instead of no, or later, or in a minute. Doing that has helped me say no to some other things. Thanks for your inspiration!
    .-= Mary Jean´s last blog ..Glazing Tutorial =-.

  36. Esther Crawford

    I have to say you can make anything – spoons included – into a decorating tool! I love the way your brain works!
    .-= Esther Crawford´s last blog ..Surviving depression and college =-.

  37. Amanda-TheEckLife

    ok that was just sure genuis! LOVE it. So simple but it makes a statement ya know. Now I need to find me some silver spoons-I guess my plethera of plastic ones wont work?!?
    .-= Amanda-TheEckLife´s last blog ..Color Calamity =-.

  38. kathysue

    Hi Melissa, I love the fact that you realized that you were taking the time to Enjoy the Process and out of that came time with your daughter and you still produced something creative and lovely. I do just that, Enjoy the Process of what ever I am doing and I also have learned to walk away and say,”OK is good enough” now that is hard for us creative/perfectionist types. But that philosophy sure can simplify life. Thankyou for always posting something inspiring and enlightening ,Kathysue
    .-= kathysue´s last blog ..FLOWERS =-.

  39. Melanie

    I really love the spoons. They just look so sweet. Don’t they make you happy?
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Happy Birthday… =-.

  40. teresa

    Okay…I am totally pulling all of my adored little spoons OUT of their boring spot in the drawer and placing them in one of my glass containers! I mean like I am going and doing it NOW!
    Thanks for the inspiration Melissa!

  41. Screaming Meme

    Hey sweetie! I love this post…I am a spoon girl ! :) I wanted to see if you saw my built in hutch redo? Let me know what you thought! :) Meme

  42. teresa

    I love it! the spoons look wonderful there. I’ve been going room by room trying to “refresh” and de-clutter. It may take a while. Thanks for sharing your day … it!
    Happy Day
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..Valentines Day….and more- =-.

  43. shannon

    I need to make my life more simple in the decorating world by not rearranging my furniture so much! Actually, I’m going to give this up for the Lent season…LOL! I love days when you make something out of nothing without even trying! Great post…love the spoon idea!
    .-= shannon´s last blog ..Family Time =-.

  44. Alison Moore Smith

    Silver spoons are only good for one thing. Trading for land in Oklahoma. OK, I’ve watched Far & Away a few too many times, but that’s always what I think of.

    We are building a custom home. To do so, we moved into a rental home (a block away from the site) that is a third the size of our last home. Believe me, this is simplifying.

    Most of our stuff is in storage. And I miss almost nothing. We do have holiday stuff there, which we get as the season arrives. And I miss not having a medium grade set of dishes for medium grade meals. (We unpacked only the best china and some cheap, everyday stuff.) But, really, I find I much prefer less stuff in my life.

    One of the classes I teach at conventions is organizing and IMO it is this accumulation of things that makes organization hard and makes life complicated. I prefer a clean desk to one with piles of photos and vases and other stuff.

    When it comes right down to it, I want to spend my time with my husband and (6) kids, with friends, singing, dancing, writing, playing, traveling. Not taking care of stuff.
    .-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..Best Toys: 60 Educational Family Games =-.

  45. Terri

    I love those apothecary jars. I should run over to Pier One and buy a couple!

  46. Alli B

    I love, love, love fresh flowers, but in an effort to simplify my life and cut down on frivolous expenses, I’m considering switching to faux. I know that they don’t have the same wonderful aroma, but there are so many real-looking arrangements out there and I think they could brighten my rooms without costing quite as much. Is that so tacky???

  47. pendy

    I am SO stealing this idea! Well, I don’t have an apothecary jar, but I bet I have something I can use to showcase my collection of odd pieces of silver flatware. :)
    .-= pendy´s last blog ..Bed Head to Curls =-.

  48. Marija

    I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment! Use what you love and keep things simple! Marija
    .-= Marija´s last blog ..Accessorizing The Dining Table =-.

  49. mary

    I too have a set of the most beautiful sterling silver Gramma spoons that mock me from a drawer. My life doesn’t contain enough “high tea” moments so they never get to come out. A jar display would let their beauty out and the gramma love in.

  50. Sharyn

    Your spoons look fabulous like that. Love that you did it with your daughter too. As we are moving in about 6 weeks time I have been sorting and packing – and loving the more simple streamlined feel that my house is getting. I think I might leave it all boxed up and learn to live simple again. Thanks for the reminder.

  51. anne

    Beautiful! I am so enjoying your blog! I have an apothecary jar that is currently full of seashells, and hiding in a guest bedroom. You’ve inspired me to have some fun with it!


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