It's a beautiful fall day in Charlotte, and the light was pretty this morning, so i took a few snaps around the house. With the holidays almost upon us, i wanted to share some of the little ways i've found to make my home, and life, prettier - and i don't just mean in terms of its visual appeal -- i've found over time, for both myself and my design clients, that making a lovely, workable, (somewhat) organized home that really fits the family that lives there often results in happier people. It does seem counterintuitive that what we view as superficial visuals can have a true and deep impact on the prettiness and happiness of our inner selves. I believe that -- i've seen it happen so many times. anyway, on to the suggestions, the things you can do today, really quickly, to bring more pretty into your life....
First, take away the things that annoy you, that don't fit, that sit awkwardly in a room. Then play around a little with symmetry and edges. Set up spaces for maximum usability, like the living room at top left: we don't have a tv in this room, which is off the kitchen, but we do have lots of books and games, and a desktop computer (on a little skinny table) that i sometimes work at and that we use for marathon skype and facetime sessions with our two oldest boys, away at college (almost like having them here-- at least that's what i tell myself). We have a big coffee table, often laden with lego and newspapers, but we always keep a bowl of photographs; really a random selection from our decades as a family. It's a way to remember moments, to think about people who live far away, to spark conversation, to reinforce the family. Second, while you're removing clutter, group things together, as in the bottom left image -frames are better in a disparate collection on a tabletop than stiffly arrayed in bookshelves; it doesn't matter if they're tarnished (who's turn is it to get out the silver polish??), just pull them together. And third, create comfy away spaces, even in a small house, like in the bottom right image -- every person, even in a close family, needs somewhere to go to have some quiet time, or a nap on a comfy sofa.
It goes without saying that we sell a lot of the furniture and accessories at home with heart -- sofas and benches from cisco (one of ours is twelve years old), vintage home accessories, sugarboo pillows, frames and more frames, art prints and lighting. But honestly, you can do something in your home today, with exactly the things you own, to make it prettier. Just give it a try, and let us know how you do. We're here to help if you need us.