Decor Doesn't Take a Holiday

I have been very fortunate this summer to have escaped not once but twice to cottages. Nothing like a change of scenery and pace to make you truly appreciate down time and summer!

The cottages we rented were beautiful and well equipped which made our stays comfortable, with lots of seating areas perfect for a calm cuppa in the a.m. or a peaceful sip of something delish late in the afternoon. The serenity is addictive and it’s always so hard to leave these places!

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Decor Updates for Spring

I love this time of year when we transition to spring decor. With a few simple and easy changes to your rooms, you can have a fresh new look that will take you well into the next season. Read on for some ideas and tips for updating and refreshing your rooms.

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Simply Christmas

Happy Friday all! I hope your week has been fab and that you have a restful, relaxing weekend planned. Here at Simply Swank Décor, we are gearing up for the festive season and have been designing Christmas décor ideas for each and every area of the home. I will be writing about these in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Not long ago I wrote about transitioning from summer to fall décor (how can we be discussing Christmas décor already?!). As you may recall, I have a foundation in each of the primary areas around my home that I decorate for the season and/or occasion, i.e., mantel, top of the hutch, and the dining table centerpiece. At Christmas, I go a bit further (add in my EL’s eye roll here!) and add a touch of Christmas to the bathrooms, kitchen, entry way and of course the front porch.

The dining table centerpiece was the first to be done (yep, way early there!) due to a photo shoot I did for a December magazine article. I decided to leave it in place and let it shape and influence the Christmas décor in other areas of our home. I really love and appreciate natural elements and as I transition our home to coastal décor, natural elements continue to play a huge role.

For the centerpiece, I left the foundation rocks in the wooden tray and swapped out the orange candles used in the fall for a trio of pale blue/sea green candles. They coordinate beautifully with my set of pale turquoise and white placemats and burlap table runner. I added in silver spray painted mini pinecones, some small white and silver ornaments and starfish. I initially added some grape vine stars that I had painted silver but much prefer the starfish.

I would love to know what your Christmas décor plans are and be sure to share pics – always love to see what all of you are doing. Have a great weekend!

Simple Fall Decor

Fall has arrived! Unofficially of course, but the temperate days and cooler nights signal that it is here. With the change of seasons many of us make some updates to our décor to reflect the fall season.

I have three main display areas in my living room and kitchen area and changes in these areas signal a change in the season and/or celebrations. While updates to these areas sound like a lot of work, I have established a ‘foundation’ display in each area that I can easily and simply update. I can update one at a time or all at once as my schedule allows, which makes for an easy transformation.

The top of the hutch has a foundation of a cork filled bird cage (a very pleasant and enjoyable work in progress!), a grapevine wreath, a hurricane vase and a candle lantern. The bird cage always remains as is. However, the wreath has greenery on it in summer which is layered with maple leaf shaped mini glimmer lights in fall (http://www.pier1.com/glimmer-strings#nav=top); the candle lantern is empty in summer but mini gourds, pine cones, pumpkins and cinnamon sticks fill it in the fall; the hurricane vase contains sand and sea shells along with a white or pale blue candle in summer which is swapped out for acorns with a cream coloured candle in fall. The filler items around this ‘foundation’ can be clear or sea blue glass bottles or more pillar candles in summer and clear glass and a white pumpkin in fall.

The fireplace mantel foundation is made up of a large rectangular silver framed mirror casually leaning against the wall along with a large apothecary candle jar and two pillar candle stands all in sea green glass. In summer these are enhanced with starfish, seashells and sea green coloured candles. The fall transition means a white candle in the apothecary jar, removal of the seashells and the addition of clear glass and white pumpkins and one of the pillar candles for balance. I did keep one starfish this year – I thought it was a lovely contrast to the teal coloured gourd. It’s a simple but festive display!

The dining table in the kitchen has a foundation of seasonal coloured/styled table runner and shallow rectangular wooden tray. The tray is filled with stones, a small glass candle holder and a couple of glass votive holders and décor elements change around this to reflect the season or celebration. In fall the stones are topped by small pinecones, acorns, colourful fall leaves and mini pumpkins and/or gourds; the candle is swapped out for a cream coloured or orange one and fall scented candles are added to the votives.

I also have a large metal bucket in a corner of the dining area and the contents are always swapped out for something more appropriate to the season or celebration – in fall it’s a large bouquet of fall leaves (maple and maiden’s hair), bittersweet and mini jute pumpkins.

Having a foundation of décor elements in each of these areas keep updates from being overwhelming and time consuming and allows for quick and simple refreshes. It also eases storage as the décor items can be stored away by location and easily pulled out one at a time or all at once, as your time allows.

Have fun transitioning your home for fall and be sure to share pics – I would love to see what you’re up to!

 

 

Decorate Anywhere Anytime

Ah, September! For many, me included, this is the ‘real’ New Year! Somehow the beginning of school whether we have children going back or not, makes us want to get organized, start new or resume established routines, improve our eating habits, start new exercise regimes and prepare for fall. I am just back from an amazing couple of weeks in Nova Scotia where reading, rest and relaxation were the orders of every day.

We rented a charming cottage at Halls Harbour in the Annapolis Valley (https://www.tripadvisor.ca/VacationRentalReview-g154967-d4125892-Huntington_Point_Cottage-Nova_Scotia.html) that provided beautiful views of the Bay of Fundy. I was in my element beach combing every day, sitting and watching stunning sunsets, watching the tide rush in and out and just listening to the sounds of the ocean. But my ever lovin’ will tell you (to his amusement) that even on vacation I have to decorate my surroundings!

So, how did I decorate our space? Natural elements were plentiful and easily available. And of course, my love for anything coastal just made it that much easier and enjoyable! The wild roses in wine glasses set along the window ledge provided a beautiful splash of colour and heavenly scent throughout the cottage.

Of course, the many beautiful stones and shells made for simple and delightful vignettes on both the kitchen window ledge and the porch railing.

And candles, one of favourite décor items, are always with me and cast a lovely warm glow and ambiance for dining, reading or playing board games.

However, all too soon going to sleep and waking to the sounds of the ocean is over and reality has set in. Now that we’re home, my thoughts are turning to fall (my favourite season!) and preparing for the cooler weather ahead. I so look forward to the changing seasons and the changing décor that goes along with it. Stay tuned for fall décor ideas and simple, stylish and elegant updates.