Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Simplicity in the Power of Neutrals

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As a child I was always fascinated by some of my Mother's friends who were perpetually designing and redesigning their homes. There seemed to be constant flutter of change to try and keep up with the trends. Even as a child, I remember being amazed by the waste of it all...the painting, repainting, wall papering, Yikes!  Not to mention the "musical chairs" of furniture and art that was taking place.
My mother, however, was building our home with classic pieces and pops of color that could be switched out with the seasons. We didn't have tons of furniture, but what we did have spoke volumes.  The result was a home haven that reflected our personal style, not something that was manufactured in a showroom.

Imagine everything in the living room above remaining the same...now, in your mind, switch out the pillows with something in blue or orange.  Change the natural fiber rug to one with a bold print.  The curtains...pick up one of the bright colors in the other accessories.  VoilĂ !  A totally different feel in the space!
Here's another great example.  I LOVE white bedding.  With the simple modification of the comforter and pillows, the style is transformed.  This room feels like a seaside retreat...cool, breezy and light.  By changing the cool blues to warm tones in red, we now have two room styles that are poles apart.

Imagine that same bedroom with chocolate and white damask curtains, warm toned accent pillows, oriental rug, down comforter in a subtle pattern of red and hanging over the bed a large, gorgeous, natural wreath with pine cones, crimson berries and bows.  Now you're ready for holiday guests (: 
The neutral, outdoor living room above is another case in point.  Here you have a lavender slipcovered sofa, chevron rug and curtains along with pillows in purple tones.  What if those purples morphed into greens with touches of teal?  Now you're getting it!
 
I love the illustration above...Everything in this dining room is neutral.  Instead of the layers being the pop of color or accent, the yellow walls give the impact. To show what the simple change of wall color can do, we've taken the yellow room above and given the walls four different colors...
It instantly remakes the room and paint was the only newbie added.  We even left the yellow rug in place.  For the adventurous among us, now envision the dining room walls covered in a bold wallpaper...wow!!  It's amazing how one simple thing can generate a completely different tingle for the senses and the cost to do so can also be frugal friendly (:
 
I have grown to appreciate the power that neutrals hold. A room can have the same furniture, the same tchotchkes and yet with the simple alteration of a few layers (wall color, rugs, curtains, pillows, art, etc), the room takes on a totally different feel.  Build your spaces with neutral key pieces that are special to you.  When you're in need of a change, it's a simple switch of the layers and the result will be a home haven reflective of your spirit, which in turn, is your signature style.
 
With Gratitude,


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17 comments:

  1. Interesting post - colour can make such a difference! Thanks for commenting on my recent post - glad I found your blog.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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    1. Hi Liz, it was my pleasure! Thanks so much for stopping by (;

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  2. Hi Michelle! I'm glad you found me. I am enjoying your blog...I just read the first page. Wow...all your apt. stuff...you'd think the guy's commonsense would question his mind about maybe this is a mistake! That is neat you met the other people at the hotel who had their own stories! Reminds me of the year we lived in an apt. in Marshall, TX..our neighbors sounded similar!

    I can see how you miss your grandmother...she looks so sweet. My mom used to like Helen Steiner Rice too. Well...I will read some more, love,andrea

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    1. Hi Andrea! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the sweet words (: I would have thought twice if I were he, but I guess some just move ahead without it (; I've considered the whole process a blessing tried to learn something from it. Take care!!

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  3. Hello there Michelle,

    Thanks for popping by and leaving such a lovely comment, you certainly have a beautiful home, I'm quite taken with your GF pizza in your previous post too. x

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  4. Sorry.......just had another peek and realised the pictures are just examples................still pretty gorgeous though. x

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    1. We have had a lot of fun making different pizzas for different moods.

      I would love a home with those rooms!! Inspiration photos are great to help create the parts I love. Thanks so much for the kind words and the visit (; Take care xoxo

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  5. Gorgeous pictures, I must admit I have to keep moving furniture and displays to keep things fresh, I also love white bedlinen :) thanks for stopping by my blog as I get to follow your sweet blog now. Have a happy week sweetie

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

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    1. Thanks so much Deborah! I like to move things around for a fresh new take too, but also like to use what I have to do it. So fun! So glad you stopped by for a visit!! Take care - xoxo

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  6. Hi Michelle, thank you so much for viting my blog and becoming a follower. That way I could find your blog too ; ) I love it.
    I know what you mean about changing the interior all the time. I don't want that either. I'm a big thrifter and a lot of our furniture and other things come form thrift stores or second hand online sites. We are very happy with the things we have and why change something you love ??
    Have a wonderful day.
    Blessings

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    1. It was my pleasure...so glad I found you (: I like a little change, but usually it's with items I already have on hand. I like to take "shopping trips" in my closet or even outdoors to glean items. It gets the ol' creative juices going, eh? Take care and have a lovely day!!

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  7. Thanks for dropping by my blog Michele its nice to 'meet' you!
    The home we've renovated is minimalist with the intention of keeping it so after two huge moves in three years with many possessions going to charity. So I guess my idea of decorating is too keep things simple and change rooms with a new cushion cover, throw rug...simple stuff!
    xx

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    1. It's so nice to 'meet' you too! Thanks so much for stopping by (: Simple is best, isn't it? Over the years with our moves and combined households, I gravitate to it more and more!
      xoxo

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  8. Hi Michele, I enjoyed your blog. I am in the process of redoing a little kitchen and bathroom in our old farmhouse...it is not as easy as it sounds and both should have been done 20 years ago. I hate the mess that goes with remodeling.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. It was a pleasure visiting (: First, I hope you're feeling better soon...not the best time to be down and out with health during a remodel, eh? Just ignore the mess and focus on yourself (: LOVED your hats from your most recent post...so lovely!! Take care and get better soon. xoxo

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  9. LOVE this! I am getting ready to re-do my office/family room and I was JUST contemplating painting the walls turquoise. I have been hesitant because hubby and I are NOT d-i-y ers soooo I would have to hire some one. Then, in 2-3 years, what if I get tired of turquoise? I have taken your advice and decided to accent my beige walls with turquoise, black, white and yellow accents!

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    1. Hi Katina! I'm so glad that post helped (: I went through the same thing...I'm a DIY gal, but lately painting has become one of my least favorite tasks. When the studio was redesigned, time was tight so I paid someone to help finish painting those sad pale walls a lovely coat of dark olive. He said he wasn't very good at painting, but if I could do it, surely anyone could...um, he was right...definitely not his stength. I wish I had gone with a neutral because the olive was nice, but the touch ups were a challenge and the love quickly faded (; Lesson learned...neutrals are best, especially if ya like to change things up! xoxo

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