Vivez Bien * Live Well

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Simple and Spacious

You might have gathered from my previous post that I have a yearning for simplicity. Along with that goes a need for a calm, restful environment and, for me, that means a lack of colour and lots of open space. I like colour, but in other people's homes - not so much in my own. I don't know why. I do have some bright colour in my home, but mostly in places where I don't hang out very much like the boys TV room and bedrooms. I like to surround myself with neutral, soothing tones that don't jar my senses in any way. I might be fooling myself that I could possibly have a calm restful, environment when I share it with 4 teenage boys but a girl can dream, can't she?

I came across this house while trawling the web and I was immediately drawn to it. It struck me that there was almost no colour in the house, not even art on the walls. Being an art lover and an amateur artist myself, I feel that I shouldn't like the lack of art, but I do! Shame on me!

This home is situated in McKinney, Texas, USA. It was only built in 2012, but the predominance of antique French doors and fixtures, make it feel that it has been around for a long time. The beautiful herringbone floor is made of tumbled marble.

The floor in the living room is antique, imported from Belgium. I love the fact that there is no excess furniture, which creates the sparse look that I am currently obsessed with, but the furniture that is there looks comfortable and inviting with the use of textures like velvet. So while it looks kind of bare, it doesn't look cold.

I think I might have been inclined to add some linen curtains to this music room. It could get a bit "echoey" otherwise. 

The kitchen-living area is vast and also boasts the beautiful  Belgian antique floor. The soaring beamed ceiling adds to the wonderfully spacious feeling. 

Interestingly, there is only one chair in front of the TV in the corner. Imagine the fights that would cause in my house!

The home has an office for both him and her. Dad's above, mom's below.  Love both! 

One of my favourite rooms is the laundry room/butlers pantry. I'm not sure why because I definitely don't love laundry, but I might grow to love it if it meant hanging out in here!

The main bedroom is simple and spacious with doors leading out onto the garden. 

Also a very spacious en-suite with slipper bath, lots of storage and his and hers vanity areas. Very nice.

The children's and guest bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs. All are simply furnished in neutral tones. 

A covered patio - perfect for entertaining outdoors.

The kitchen area also has a covered patio. A lovely spot to take a break inbetween cooking and laundry.

The garden is kept as simple as the interior with mostly just lawn and hedging. 

And finally, the front facade of the house. 

So there you go. I'd love to know what you think of this house with its sparse furnishings and lack of colour. 

Till next time

Sharon x 

Image source: here

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A New Year

"It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life. For me. And I'm feeling good"   Well mostly.....

You might wonder why I'm a little slow in acknowledging the New Year, after all, we are two weeks into 2017 already. I will explain, but first of all, I'm pleased to report that my dogs survived their Christmas Eve chocolate eating incident completely unscathed. The New Year, however, brought a different set of problems with our older dog, Baxter, having to have an MRI which revealed a bulging disc at the top of his spine which required an op followed by a week in hospital. My husband hardly slept the whole time he was in hospital. I slept a bit, but only because I self-medicated with wine. The good news is that he is now back home and recovering slowly but I think we might have to harvest a kidney or two from the children to pay for it all!

That's why I decided that I'm going to allocate the first 2 weeks of 2017 to the "Annus Horribilis" that was 2016. So my New Year officially started today. Happy New Year to you! Onward and upward! 

As far as New Year's resolutions are concerned I have only one.... to SIMPLIFY... my home, my life and my mind. My children already think I'm simple-minded so I can tick that one off!  My husband's  resolution for this year is to try and earn more than our children can spend. I think mine might be more attainable!

I have started going from room to room and removing anything that I either don't use or don't love. I've emptied cupboards, carefully sorted through everything and put back only half of the contents. I've started taking everything off coffee tables, fireplace mantles and bookshelves and only putting back the bare minimum. Its amazing how those things shine more when they aren't surrounded by a whole lot of other things.

I wouldn't call myself a hoarder by nature, but I am and always have been a collector. I have collected, amongst other things, white jugs, silver tea pots, bone chine tea cups and baskets of all shapes and sizes. My current obsession is Wonkiware.

 Yet I have this compulsion to discard. Do you see the conflict here? I will never be a real minimalist, but I also don't like being bogged down by too much stuff.  And when you are a collector, friends often give you gifts to add to your collection so there are the sentimental attachments to many of my things,

 I have made the difficult and brave decision to part with my white jug collection. I will only keep 3 of the nicest and will tell the others that they have been loved and appreciated but their time has come to be enjoyed by someone else.

And so my mission continues.... I am not rushing the process too much. When I have time and am in the mood, I will clear out yet another draw or bookshelf and will regularly take a car load to my local charity shop. I am also gearing up for a car boot sale and I might or might not use the proceeds to add to my Wonkiware collection. Please try not to judge me.

Here are some beautifully simple interiors that have inspired me. Perhaps they will inspire you too....


Till next time

Sharon x

Images via Pinterest