By living without excess and surrounding yourself with just enough of the right things, you will feel an amazing sense of satisfaction.
– Simple Home, by Mark & Sally Bailey
I think creating the style of home that suits you is a similar journey to curating a wardrobe – working out your most flattering cuts, colour palette, and consistency without following the trends that will quickly date… like a collection of clothes, a thoughtful home is not something you can create all at once, but a journey over time where you happen upon that perfect jacket/pair of jeans/throw blanket.
For me, there are a few elements that make for a simple retreat that is so nice to come home to, where you can hide away from the outside world to cook around a warm stove, listen to soft music, light candles and curl up in your comfiest clothes.
+ A neutral palette. Beige, white, charcoal, light browns, greys and blues are all easy on the eye, and make for a calm, restful sense within the home. When it comes to simple design altogether, if in doubt, always turn to nature for the answer.
+ Soft lighting. Big open windows offering plenty of natural light, paired with floor lamps and other softer lighting elements continue the theme of a relaxed home.
+ Natural materials. Quality, long lasting pieces made of wood, stone, leather, cotton linens and wool will stand the test of time and create a cosy, inviting feel. Think large cable knit blankets or a lambs wool thrown casually over a leather sofa in contrast with parquet floors and a stone kitchen. This also applies to accessories within the home – think wooden brooms over plastic, calico bags to use as laundry baskets… items that are so pleasing on the eye that they could be left out on display.
+ Only items you adore. Go through your home and thoughtfully donate anything that, in the words of Marie Kondo, doesn’t ‘spark joy’. Somehow living with less works to create more room, not just literally but figuratively in your life overall.
+ Emptiness often speaks louder than ‘things’ in creating ease within the mind; a bare shelf, bare surfaces and walls offer great places for the mind to rest.
+ Useful collections. Rather than useless knick knacks, display collections of items that you actually use; Panama hats, old school cutlery that has lasted the test of time, worn chopping boards from daily use – all make for gorgeous displays as long as the rest of home is pared-back as much as possible.
Many of these learnings I picked up reading the Bailey’s Simple Home book…. you know those books where it really speaks to you, to the point where you wish you had written it? I have a few of those. Simple Matters by Erin Boyle is another one I wish I had written…