I used to think that the prettiest things were the most expensive, the most ornate, and the over the top things, but I really don’t believe that any more. I was drawn to the heavy fabrics with loads of trim. The more the better. But as I’ve gotten older, my approach has changed. I’ve found that there is not only beauty in simplicity, but there’s also staying power. The more simple something is, the more people it will appeal to. The more people it appeals to, the longer it stays ‘in style’ and ‘current’. Simple things stay in fashion longer than complex things do. The other reason simple fabrics stay in style longer is because they aren’t tied to a particular time and trend. Ticking (the narrow simple striped fabric) has been in style for over a 100 years. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. If you can look at a fabric and think of a specific year, then that fabric is by definition ‘dated.’ Think ikat fabric. It came and went very quickly.
It’s a paradox in life that seems to be perfectly ironic; simple is best. I used to look with wistfulness at over the top, massively sized homes. Now those same homes turn me off. They seem to be too much, too expensive, too big, and mostly way too much work. I’m not the only one either. I think a lot of people are eschewing the McMasion for a bungalow, even if they can afford more. The same goes for design in the home. People want a streamlined look. Gone are the rooms full of ornate curtains, expensive fabrics and expensive antiques. People are opting for less fuss in a room.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love my antiques, but I use them judiciously, rather than stuffing rooms full of antiques. I love to use simple baskets, wood bowls, and old books. I still love the look of grain sacks for their durability and primitive nature. Restraint is key. The more modest things can be appear elevated, if the room is not overcrowded with stuff. The details on my antique French chair are noticeable, because the room is not cluttered with stuff.
I do think there is a trend toward the simple things that is affecting a lot of people. It seems to be almost a movement. Clean lines, simple, uncluttered spaces are very much in vogue now. If you have a simpler room, then you can add a French chair, or gorgeous antique and it will become the belle of the ball. I would love to know your thoughts on the simpler things in design. Has your design aesthetic become more simplistic? I would love to hear your thoughts.
I couldn’t agree more that a simpler, cleaner look is more appealing – regardless of the style. The busier, more cluttered rooms are looking very dated now. It brings a peacefulness to see less going on in a room or home. However, our grown kids want less of our ‘stuff’ or hand-me-downs and the unfortunate downside is that our now-unwanted things are cluttering places like Goodwill donation centers and landfill.
I don’t like the downside Richelle.
Your words are very wise and thought provoking. I agree totally.
Connie Fowler says
It’s amazing how my taste has changed over the years. I also loved more ornate things, but now cleaner lines in furniture appeal to me. I recently purchased a Scandinavian brand of dining room table, and i think it fits right in with everything I have. I love to mix styles, as well as high-low pieces. I’ve gotten rid of so many things that I no longer wanted. My rooms are fairly uncluttered. My rooms feel and look inviting and clean.
Connie, it is so interesting how my tastes do change over time. I am so happy you love your home. It sounds wonderful.
Anita, you are so right about simplicity in design! After decorating my homes in French/English country style for a long time, it simply became overwhelming with the multitude of prints, checks, colors, and all the details. Now I stick with soft tones of sage green, sky blue, and natural flax. Ticking, burlap, and linen have always been mainstays in my houses.
Maybe it’s having 60+ year old eyes now- LOL- but all that pattern, saturated color, and busyness had to go when I transformed my new home over the past 2 years, after living in the foothills of northern South Carolina and Texas. The draw of French style began with living in south Texas when I became enamored with the Alsatian influence the early European immigrants brought to the area outside Austin and San Antonio. I’m returning to that simpler style first experienced there, though I now live in Tennessee.
When I stumbled over your website 2 years ago while still living in SC, I felt this instant connection to your style. I also raised a child with special needs. Love your design esthetic!
Oh Nan, thank you so much!!! I’m headed to go get my sweetie right now! Hugs to you.
You are welcome. Enjoy the weekend with your daughter. Thank you for all you share on your site!
Good morning Anita. True. I used to go over the top with seasonal decorations. I dont anymore (and still think I could reduce the amount of stuff I use) now a few pillows , a table centerpiece and a scented candle, makes me happy.
Now let’s not get crazy here and ask me to eliminate any of my 4 my christmas trees. Have a blessed season. ??♀️
Vanessa, you are a hoot! Do you really have 4 Christmas trees????
Yes. A 9′ spruce for the living room, a 7′ flocked for the family room, a 6′ rustic one for the master bedroom and a fir for the basement…let’s not even mention the table trees all over the place. Mary Kondo would write a book about my pillow hoarding and how she lost her infinite patience with me. ?♀️???
Having accumulated LOTS of treasures over the years, I am reluctant to just eliminate them for simplicity’s sake. I just moved and am fortunate to have storage in my garage, so I have set up a studio and am in the process of making spaces for Open storage of some of the collectibles that are in the wings, waiting to be displayed in the apartment. I can switch things out, but still can enjoy the off season things. I still have things stored in boxes, but have some of the pretty treasures now in the open shelving so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. As I slowly downsize some items, I can still enjoy the rest without digging through boxes all the time. A slower but more enjoyable process.
I realize my home is a miss-moss of styles. English country,rustic farmhouse and cottage style. I love floral everything,tole everything and lots of french country. I guess I am not simple styled. I try to break up with reds in my my home. mostly I have softer colors except the kitchen/dining room I have alot of red /cream transfer ware and few chair covers in red white florals.