Thursday, July 12, 2012

Keep it simple

The best collection is a curated collection. These are hard words to live by, especially if you're a shopper like me, and you want to own EVERYTHING. Anytime I see a really fabulous something, usually antique, I have serious trouble leaving it behind. The internal battle usually rages like this:
*Kate is out at the flea market and sees a gorgeous antique sign*
Kate - "I don't need another sign, I have very little wall space"
Kate - "But it's sooooo pretty and the price isn't too bad!"
Kate - "No, there is simply no spot for it in the house"
Kate - "Pleeeeeaaasssseee???? It's one of a kind and I'll never see another like it again!!!!"
Kate - "Alright fine, but THIS IS THE LAST ONE"
Kate - "Yay!!!!!!"
And so it goes, over and over again. Let's just say I'm very lucky to have such a patient husband who turns a blind eye to the constant influx of vintage an antique goods that come through our door.

That being said, I do try really hard to keep things as simple as possible when I'm decorating. Clutter is the absolute enemy of good design. It buries beautiful things, distracts the eye, and even when neatly organized, can look messy. I admire other people who have more restraint than I, and have really embraced a simple, curated design theory. Here are some beautiful, simple spaces....and the sign that I just bought for myself yesterday, and No, I don't have a spot for it. But isn't it lovely????!
My new sign. I don't usually buy antiques online. It's amazing how many fraudulent things turn up that way, but I just could not resist this sign. I saw it on Sunday and had thought about it all day for three straight days. I finally decided to pull the trigger yesterday afternoon. It was $52 plus shipping, and at a whopping 47 inches across, I get a lot of bang for my buck. I really like the colors, the early lettering, and the little design embellishments in the corner. I'm guessing it dates to the FDR days, when there were so many public works projects going on.

Ok so see, this room would just drive me crazy. I counted at least 23 different fabric patterns,
plus the overly ornate <tacky> coffee table, the mismatched chairs, the frou frou decorative items. ugh. TOO MUCH. 

So much better. I love the color. Though bold, it's tempered by the very limited additional elements and the softness of the bleached antique wood floor. This seems very beachy to me, very serene. You'd walk in this doorway and just feel the stress lift off your shoulders. 

I really enjoy this kitchen. Its a fascinating combination of old and new. Everything is kept sparse to really let the architectural elements shine. 

The symmetry and lack of wall art make this dining room breezy and open. The rest of the eclectic accessories and furniture reside harmoniously. 

When we get out forever house someday, it's my dream that we'll have a huge open room like this where my husband Brian can put his grand piano. Right now the piano is in the front room of our bungalow. He deserves a much grander performance space.

This is a great room that really exemplifies the simple design aesthetic. The colors inside reflect those on the balcony of the building across the way and of the natural wood toned floor. The matched sets of seating, though very different, suit each other well..

Gorgeous and so unique. The sparkle of the lamp, pillows, and breathtaking mannequin are more than enough to fill this room with personality and interest. The scrolls of the bed and mirror are divine together. 

The only exception to the black, white, neutral color scheme here is the vase of flowers. Otherwise the living room is very well edited. The texture and beauty of each piece can be enjoyed without distraction.

Swedish interiors are so frequently beautiful in their simplicity, and this space is no exception. The old unfinished surface of the walls adds so much personality that not much else is needed to make this space intriguing. The pair of marble friezes hung high up on the walls blend so naturally with the space that at first they just look like mirrors, reflecting the opposite wall. 

A simple cottage bedroom cuts all the unnecessary frills to make for a peaceful nocturnal retreat.

Like dining in an enchanted grotto, this sun filled porch has the most beautiful elements, brought together so tastefully. This is one of my favorite spaces in several months. The worn stone floors (with a drain!) are perfect for watering the beautiful trimmed trees. The picnic style trestle table and aluminum chairs continue the indoor/outdoor blending. I can just imagine sipping coffee in here on a misty spring morning. 

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