Saturday, January 12, 2008

Simple Living

A perfect hallway...crisp white shelves! And a pocket door! And that heart-breaking pink chair! And that art!
Since the Christmas season (with all its glorious excess) has ended, I’ve become fixated on simplicity and clean lines.
The hallway and stairwell of my dreams...
I think all my new year’s resolutions (or lofty desires, as they should be called) relate to the idea of living a lighter, less cluttered (and more liberated) life. Maybe it's just the claustrophobia of winter and the cold-weather blues, but I'm dying for long hours of soft natural light, fresh air, and wide open spaces. I want my interiors to provide this...
My dream office
In essence, I'd like to find some inner peace this year. And where better to start than by finding some outer peace? A cluttered mind is the devil's playground (or something like that...). I'd like less STUFF to tie me down. I want better, not more. I'd like to encourage a still mind, which might become a more content mind with a little meditation, some prayer, and perhaps...a tidy and well-organized home? I can only hope!

Living Room from Domino. A pretty rustic rug and no coffee table!


I will admit...I love shopping. I love to browse and touch, to admire things. I love considering where they might fit in my life. But I am not a complusive spender. I see things I like, but rarely things I love. Calgary doesn't have the best selection of luxury goods and home decor. In my estimation, it's rather mediocre for such a wealthy town. So when I go out searching I always seem to end up empty-handed, and have to settle for second-best, third-rate. In this town, if I waited for things I love, I'd be walking around naked and living in an empty house.

But having said that, I still want to try harder, to not bring home things unless I really love them. I want my heart to say a big emphatic YES inside from now on. I can see with this philosophy I will be lucky if i can spend a hundred bucks this year. Rolling storage bins and an utterly adorable candy pink lamp! Bravo!A serene room. Maybe a little too simple. But what's outside that window?

My heart is leaning towards restful simplicity, spare interiors. Oh, how they liberate your mind...
Bedroom from Domino. I love the floating shelf.
In the last few days I've felt tempted to go through and paint the whole house white, and remove 80% of the things from every room. I feel like a ruthless photo editor when I stare into every room and see clutter. I need space. My body craves it.
This year I intend to sort and organize and appreciate more the things I have. I will improve storage. Storage is my new mantra. I will bring less home, and throw out (or donate) all the things we don't use and don't need. I will strive to create cleaner spaces with less embellishment. There. I feel better already.
Our house has a "Needs List" as long as my arm. It needs a ton of cosmetic work (trim, new doors, light fixtures throughout), and there are several rooms I haven't even "decorated" (
the laundry room, the family room, the back hall, the office, and the main bathroom) yet.

But I’ve decided to stop fretting over these spaces and take my time and wait until each room whispers in my ear that it is time…time to develop a cozy functionality, and to make it simply beautiful!

All photos Living Etc except where noted from Domino!


  1. I agree in nearly everything you write - Better, not more. I also want light, space and better storing. But at the same time I know that I can not live without colours. And too much light and whitness can be cold and boring. How will I found the balance - comfort, atmosphere, light and space?
    Lovely pictures!!!

  2. I agree with what "poppins" just said in her comment. I have to have some color--it really affects my moods. I feel serene in a light blue or light green space. I feel warm and embraced in a yellow or golden splace. Red just plain and simple makes me happy! So I couldn't go with the all white. But I have been struggling with what to do about clutter!! Wanting a more simple life. Someone suggested reading "Living Simply: Choosing less in a world of More" by Joanne Heim. I want to get that as soon as I have some extra money! I love some of the pictures you have posted. When my daughter was selling her house she had to streamline things. It inspired me for quite some time--my problem is that I have a cottage and it has lots of shelves, spindles and bookcases. It seems to say clutter me---how can I leave the shelves bare--they just look dumb! So a problem with my house. I do get tired of the clutter and am trying to work on it!! Ps--I happened to read two verses that reminded me of you a bit--Job said this in 30:22--"You lift me upon the wind; you make me ride on it and you toss me about in the roar of the storm". So Job felt like you sometime do. Blessings be upon you!

  3. Nice post. You make me want to paint it all white too!

    Check out the colour infinity by Beautytone (Home Hardware). We used it for all of our trim, doors and ceilings. It is soft without even a hint of yellow or grey. I'm not a white person but could actually see myself living (and loving) with it draping every wall in the house.

    It would seem that once again our minds are dancing parallel planes. I so often wish we were closer. much love. a

  4. I love this post. I could write on and on in reponse, because we are of such like minds!

    You should have seen my after Christmas. I adore Christmas, but all of the toys (I have three children) that we receive when we already have a playroom full...I wanted to go out on Christmas afternoon to Walmart and buy storage containers! My husband and I had a long talk about the best method of organizing the toys. It seems like everything we have done - building shelves, having baskets, etc, etc - has not worked. So, after Christmas I went out and bought hundreds of dollars worth of clear storage containers with easy flip latches so the children can open them with ease. All different sizes. Now, almost three weeks after Christmas, this is working beautifully! Since the toys are categorized and in their own boxes, they are staying organized! Hooray!

    A few years ago I went on a tear and decluttered the whole house (well, much of the clutter ended up in my attic). I had a huge garage sale and made thousands of dollars - and I have never missed a single thing that I have sold.

    Anyway, loved the post, loved the clean fresh pictures with the light walls, light floors. I have very light, bleached floors - a holdover from the 80s - and I love them. They show no dirt, and they make the house SO light and bright!

    Also, one more thing, I think your approach of only purchasing things you love is a great one.

  5. Beautiful pictures! And a wonderful goal for a decluttered life. We have some Dutch friends and all of their houses are very simply and beautifully decorated - no clutter, clean lines, balanced. So now, that's what we strive for...a "Dutch house". We've not had much success, but we do try! I enjoyed this post very much!

  6. One week I feel like painting everything white, the next week I crave some colour. It's been like this for over ten years, so what I do is that I paint the walls and almost every furniture white and then I change my pictures, cushions, curtains, rugs and lamps. When I'm in need for more colour and thinking of painting a wall turquoise, I hang a turqouise curtian on the wall instead. Just because I don't have the money or the energy to repaint over and over. I love the way you write, are you a journalist or a writer? The pictures you showed us are all beautiful and very inspirational.

  7. Terri, love the pristine look that you admire so. I couldn't do it for long, but it sure is beautiful to look at...very relaxing and calming. Have you ever visited Lots of lovely photos along the same lines.

  8. Yep, I can see this being your style...hip, modern, without being silly. Love it!

    I have an award for you at my blog. I had to finally reciprocate and share them!!