One of the gifts that wintery weather encourages us to enjoy is tending to our sanctuary. And that is just what I have been up to these past few months.
No grand or expensive changes, updates or remodeling, but touches that make my cottage my home, my sanctuary.
Today I’d like to share with you eight simple and small, most very inexpensive, ways to add your signature to your sanctuary.
1.Add a vintage wine pedestal table
If you are limited on space or simply want a small table so that each sofa, chair or even each side of the guest bed has their own table, consider purchasing a wine pedestal/table. Sometimes called a plant holder, they are the perfect height for placing a drink. I found mine for a steal of a price (fewer than $40), so keep your eye out, as you can buy them for more (and they are stunning), but either way, you will love them as they are easy to move, functional and beautiful.
I recently purchased one on Esty which arrived from Belgium for my small guest bedroom (see the top of the pedestal in the above image). Having no more than 8-12 inches on one side of the bed for a place to put a book, reading glasses or a glass of water, I needed something that fit well without looking crammed. The wine glass pedestal was the perfect fit.
2. Enlarge and frame your digital photos
The smart phones that so many of us have now have impressive pixel quality photo-taking capabilities. I have a feeling you have more than a few gems in your photos, so why not consider blowing one up and framing it as your very own piece of art?
A local print and frame shop in Bend has a digital printer that can print 100 inches wide if the picture quality is available, and with Photo Shop to edit the image (remove that power line, for example), you have a stunning photo of a memory you never want to forget displayed as a piece of art in your home.
3. Choose linen matting for your framed photos
Speaking of framing, I recently did just what #2 suggests for two of my images captured during my travels to France and England over the past 18 months, and when I was trying to decide what type of matting to you use, I saw linen matting was available. Yep, linen. Perhaps to many, this is well-known to be an option, but it was new to me, and I was tickled to see that it was exactly what I was looking for.
Adding an extra touch of texture, the white (there are many shades of white to choose from, as you might suspect) becomes richer and softer, at the same time working well with the white wooden, beveled frame.
4. Find a beloved window frame, and add a mirror behind the panes
I have talked about this idea a few times and specifically in my new book, chapter 13, “Living Small, but if you come across a beautiful window frame – perhaps it has leaded glass or unique panes, remove the window and place a mirror behind it.
For more than 13 years the mirror in my foyer has been a window frame taken (with permission) from my NW Portland apartment which contained leaded glass diamond-shaped panes. With the suggestion of my mother, we had a mirror placed behind it, painted the frame white, and I couldn’t be happier. A memory and a function, as well a perfect aesthetic fit for my decor style. (View all of TSLL home pics on Instagram, including images of my entry mirror here.)
5. Have seasonal tablecloths at the ready
Traveling and dining in France has made me even more appreciative of lovely linens for the table, and so I picked up a few while traveling and continue to keep my eyes open for vintage linen tablecloths and napkins. They add a touch of color that can easily be changed for the season, and are an easy way to change up the decor without any fuss at all.
6. Turn linen tablecloths into your window coverings
There were many decor ideas I picked up while traveling in France this past summer, and one was inspired by the vacation rental in Luberon – Villa Dæsch.
The owner is an interior architectural engineer, and as you will see when you read the post, oodles of decor ideas were asking to be remembered. One such inspiration that I knew I could replicate at home rather quickly and for a small cost was the linen window coverings (see images of this decor idea from the rental below).
Having purchased oatmeal linen tablecloths from H & M for my living and dining room (see previous photograph) and white linen tablecloths for my bedroom, I saved money and have a simple touch of Provence in my home. (H & M has many different colors and sizes)
What is wonderful about purchasing tablecloths is that you can adjust the length to fit your ceiling height, leaving a long or short “valiance” of sorts at the top.
7. Add sturdy, matching stools
About a year into living in my cottage here in Bend, I purchased two matching stools to sit at my kitchen island. Wanting sturdy, comfortable stools, I choose these from Restoration Hardware, and I have been very happy with the purchase. Part of the reason I chose to buy from RH is should I move or my island ever change, I could simply order additional matching stools. And for a reasonable price, they fit my decor well.
8. Add a Feather Eiderdown Quilt Comforter to the top of your bed
Yard sale treasure hunting has yielded some amazing finds over the years. Finds that I often didn’t know how fortunate I was to have acquired until years past. Such was the case when I purchased an Eiderdown quilt comforter. Filled with a hard-to-find down of the Eider duck, their feathers are the most valuable down due to supply and demand and it’s lightweight in ratio to immense warmth (learn more about it here).
Fitting the top of a double bed perfectly (see the first photo at the top of the post), it is a rich gold color offering warmth in the winter and a lovely contrast to the provençal blue duvet and sheets in my new guest room (similar one here). Perhaps you have watched Downton Abbey? Do you recall that most of the beds had a down quilt comforter that laid across the top of the bed? Most likely, these were Eiderdown comforters as the Eider duck is native to the North Atlantic shorelines.
The impressive changes that can be made to our homes need not be grand nor expensive. They simply need to be ours – thoughtful, and a reflection of what we love and how we live. While it takes time to “feather” our homes, the patience you give this journey will be well worth it as you will eventually look around your home and realize it is unique, providing the exact comfort you need at the end and the beginning of each day.
~View more TSLL Decor Posts here.
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