I don’t live by many decorating rules. Usually, I just know what I like and go with it.
Sometimes, however, rules are helpful; they offer guidelines, checklists, tangible to-dos. As much as I don’t love rigid rules, I do enjoy helpful clear direction.
In all my years of studying lovely interior spaces (nearly all 37 years of my life) and in decorating my own homes (especially this one), I have come across a mildly flexible, yet fairly accurate belief that there are a handful of decorative essentials that should be in each room.
Take natural wood, for example. A room – and particularly a room that is mainly neutral like in my home – looks drastically more pleasing to the eye and ‘finished’ when there is a touch of natural wood.
Let’s pause for a second and talk about that word ‘finished’. I’m not sure I ever want my house to feel finished. I quite like letting it be my canvas for creativity and allowing myself the freedom to move things, restyle, edit is part of the fun. Finished feels so final and I’m partial to a home that is adaptable. If you feel frustrated that your home isn’t ‘finished’, I’m completely with you and I say let’s quit trying for finished. Let’s instead go for ‘in process’.
Okay, back to natural wood.
Ryan and I have been on a decluttering spree. One area that got the royal pack-it-all-up treatment was our kitchen.
I’m always fiddling with styling the shelves and I’ve traditionally been a more is more type of girl.
But more recently, my style has drifted slightly to the less is more camp and I’m so very happy with how clean and open it has made our house feel, particularly the kitchen. Less clutter on the shelves feels so fresh – just our white dishes, a few white vessels and our glassware.
With this type of minimal decorating, though, there is a risk that things will feel sterile, cold, staged. Those are not words or feelings I’m going for when it comes to decorating our home.
After living with the decluttered/minimal/very white kitchen for the past few weeks, it felt like something was missing. I thought back through my list of essential decorating elements and discovered the problem: our kitchen was missing natural wood tones.
My first step was switching out the old silver lamp that sat on the counter (you can see it here) for a chunky wood-look one. I found this great lamp at my local Target for around $40. It was just the thing to bring in that warm tone we were missing.
Next, I added this simple wood round to the center of the table and topped it with a fern in my favorite zinc flower pot.
You can find wood rounds at craft stores (see source list below), but this one came to us in a pretty fun way.
For our little spring break trip, we rented a house that sat right next to a ravine of tall trees. During a big windstorm this winter, a couple of the trees fell and others we leaning dangerously.
One morning, the arborists set up their tree-cutting tools and we spent a good hour or so standing by watching the whole thing go down (pun intended).
Have you ever watched professionals fall trees? It’s pretty fascinating/fear inducing. My dad pulled out his camera and snapped photos while my mom struck up a conversation with the men, mentioning at one point wouldn’t it be so cool to cover a wall with tree rounds?! To which the men replied, “we’d be happy to cut a few for you”.
And just like that, from way up high, the tree-cutter sawed off a real wood round for both of us. #bestsouvenirever
I never know what to do with the center of an empty table and this wood round/metal vessel/fresh fern combo works great. You can still see over it while seated, it’s easy to move when the kids need more space to draw, and it adds one more touch of natural wood to the kitchen.
So for just $40 plus the cost of a new fern, the kitchen feels less sterile and more warm. Lesson learned: add a touch of natural wood to every room.
1 Oversized Wood Table Lamp | 2 Grand Maison Table Lamp | 3 Sphere Table Lamp | 4 Reclaimed Wood Slab Lamp | 5 Thick Wood Round | 6 Boston Fern (try your local nursery) | 7 Ridged Zinc Pot | 8 Striped Cache Pot | 9 Emilie Round Planter | 10 Metal Waves Pot
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The Kitchen Remodel (posted back in the olden days before pinterest made us bloggers up our photo game)
Ipad Mounted In The Kitchen (we love it)