This post is sponsored by NESTEA.
A couple weeks ago, I told you that I was working with my friends at NESTEA to decorate a Tiny House in NYC. It took a couple months to bring it all together, so it was great to finally see the result of our collaboration.
The Tiny House was created to show the idea of “less is more” and that by simplifying our lives, we’re able to focus on what’s truly important and enhance our joy.
The timing of this opportunity with NESTEA was perfect since I have been making changes in my own life to increase my happiness. As I travel between my house in St. Marys and my apartment in Pittsburgh, the advantages of having less have become apparent. I know this sounds kind of backward because having two residences instead of one is the opposite of less, but I’m referring to the “stuff” I have in each of those places.
As I work to create simplicity in my homes, today I thought I’d share a few tips for how to do this. Whether you’re starting out in a new space or reinventing your old one, I hope these ideas help you maximize your joy!
Keep Only What You Love
I’ve always used my job as an excuse to “have a lot of things.” Since my home is my stage for Inspired by Charm, I’m constantly wanting to keep things looking new. That means shopping for things each season to give my spaces a fresh and updated look. And while I love this (because shopping and decorating are my jam), a house can only hold so much.
Recently, I’ve been trying to follow the principle of when something new comes in, something old must go. For example, if I get a new set of throw pillows for my bed, the old ones should be donated rather than stuffed in a tote and stored away. This instantly eliminates the excess.
Now, I totally understand that I can’t just get rid of everything. Decorating is a passion, so I do like to change things up seasonally. That’s why I’m working to create a dedicated area in my basement or attic where I can store sentimental decorations that I plan to use again and again. Simplifying is about balance, too.
In Color Order
Let’s talk about simplicity in decor. No matter what your style (even if you’re like me and want to keep things eclectic), you can still find a beautiful sweet spot between extravagant and simple. You can see below how I was able to incorporate a few of the tiny house accessories into my own home just by working within a color scheme.
With any design (even when I’m planning a party), I often turn to color as a guiding principle. If you can limit the colors in a space, you can instantly keep things simple and cohesive. Take the Tiny House for example. The goal for the home was to honor the NESTEA green and incorporate that throughout the space. This was a great idea because it instantly gave us a theme. It simplified the design process as well because I could focus my efforts on finding things in that color scheme rather than searching through every possible color palette.
For balance, I choose to incorporate a few touches of blue. While simplifying is wonderful and powerful, maintaining a balance is also important. An example is the new NESTEA. While the recipe has fewer ingredients and a simpler recipe, there’s still room to play with levels of sweetness (from unsweetened to slightly sweetened) and flavor (lemon, raspberry, and peach.) The goal here is to add joy, not remove it.
Design With Purpose
One other thing to keep in mind with your decor is to have things with purpose whenever possible. Can a basket add texture while providing a place to store towels or magazines? Can a bedside clock look chic and as it gives you the time? Can banquette seating offer hidden storage? Can open shelving in the kitchen function as wall art and storage?
Anytime something can do double (or triple) duty, I think it’s a win. Again, it something serves a purpose and brings you joy, it’s worth keeping in your home. Also, keep in mind that “purpose” can also mean that something makes you laugh or brings a smile to your face. Be it a gold unicorn bust or a brass wiener dog, it’s important to allow things in your life and home whose sole purpose to make you happy.
Like many people, I struggle with staying organized. There have been multiple occasions when I’ve bought something new, forgetting I already had something similar stored away. Or I’ll buy something because I just can’t find the one I already own. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)
Therefore staying organized and having a place for everything can be helpful when it comes to simplifying. For example, store your tools in a tool chest instead of having them scattered around in various drawers. Keep all your jeans on one shelf or in one section of your closet. Have a dedicated area for mail rather than allowing it to pile up on every flat surface from your door to your desk. It’s a joy suck when you realize your electric bill is a week overdue because you can’t find it and now you have to pay a late fee.
No matter our intentions, I know that at times we are all restricted by life, time, and money. In a perfect world, we’d follow every “good” principle and life would be dandy. There’s no need to drastically change things in one day (unless that works for you). Try making small changes over time. The goal is to simplify and maximize the joy in your life (not cause stress.)
For more information about the NESTEA Tiny House that I helped to decorate, check out my post here. Also, be sure to sample the all-new NESTEA. It’s mighty tasty. Their real brewed tea (in black and green tea) comes in a variety of sweetness levels. They also have fruit-flavored teas, including lemon, raspberry, and peach. You can get a free taste at NESTEA.com Cheers!