The last couple weeks I've enjoyed the simple pleasure of spending more time in our home. Sitting for long spells over coffee, stacking dominos on the floor with my precious kids, wiping down the base boards in my boys' rooms (long overdue!), actually lounging on my sofas instead of analyzing what throw pillows they still need, and thoughtfully contemplating the arrangement and necessity of what makes this house a home.
I find myself doing a lot of purging.
Part of the reason is where I am in life. Recognizing that so many things I used to value greatly pale in comparison to the things that do.
Another reason is a growing awareness of how abundantly overwhelmed we are with all the little things we think we need, yet how little we really do.
Lastly, from a design perspective, I'm recently appreciating how powerfully one item or accessory can speak when given the chance to stand alone. Funny how this same principle holds true in conversation. One spoken word can often be much more meaningful than many words spoken.
There is value in silence, just as there is value in letting a room breathe.
I started in Gabriel's room, purging everything off his desk (he does have desk drawers, after all). I removed the two leaf accent pillows from his beds, stacked the pillows more casually, and folded the cozy soft green blankets at the ends. The whole room feels much cleaner, more casual, and almost camp-like with the beds styled this way.
(Okay, I do not expect my 12 year old son to fold the blankets like this every morning. Only most :) )
Although I still love the shelves on his wall, they're starting to look a bit busy to me now. It might be a phase.
Next, Isaac's room next door. Not much changed in here, but we scooted his bed off center so he'd have more floor space for guitar practice, and we tucked his nightstand back in the corner between the wall and bed. This simple arrangement neatly hides his alarm clock and its cord, which makes the room feel cleaner. (Again, the hullabaloo above his bed may be a bit much, but again, it's staying for now because it might be a phase.)
My living room is still a work in progress, but one thing I did was clean everything off the coffee table. Previously it hosted a stack of books, a squat vase with hydrangeas, and two white iron candlesticks. Too much stuff. On a whim, I snagged these two vases from my master bedroom, plopped them in the middle of the table, and voila. Simple, and so much better.
Next I think I'll remove the lanterns from either side of my armoire. And take down the two mirrors and sconce beside my subway banner. Again, too much stuff.
Besides, is there someone who could be blessed by these things beyond us?
On a side note, see how the two pillows on my wing chairs are mismatched? This is a nod to The Nester, whom I have grown to appreciate beyond words and have quoted numerous times lately. Just ask Mr. Wonderful. The Nester said awhile back (and she may have been quoting from someone else, now that I think about it):
"Imperfection makes everyone more comfortable."
I absolutely love this line. Take one moment and truly ponder the truth of this simple statement. It is 100% true. 100% true! I could go on and on about how this one statement is changing the way I'm viewing so many, many things in my life and heart right now, but I'll have to do that another time. This post is about Less, and I'm afraid my deep thoughts on imperfection might be construed as More than one bargained for :-).
And finally, back to the de-cluttering of my home, remember the mantle in my sitting room I was itching to style back in March?
This is how it looked initially.
But then one day I walked by and it just looked way too busy. So I took everything off the mantle.
Last week, though, just before we had guests over, I put the books and vase back on. They're still there, but they're not the best option.
Matter of fact, they're perfectly imperfect. So they just might stay that way awhile.
But don't think by a long shot I'm spending oodles of time de-decorating (ha ~ does anyone say oodles besides me and my mom anymore?) when it's so much fun playing things like this:
And rollerblading behind adorable, heart-rending scenes like this:
And baking yummy foods like this (I must share this granola recipe with you next time...it's that good):
Ahhhh, summer. Simple. Uncluttered.
And just enough imperfection to be comfortable.