Small, Yet Significant Everyday Details at Home
Wednesday March 16, 2022

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The leash on the hook by the door.

The scarf draped over the secondary hook, and the gloves in the drawer of the console table in the foyer.

As soon as Norman sees me make my way to the foyer, pull out my shoes from the coat closet and select my outdoor attire, he knows he is about to make his rounds about the neighborhood and say his hellos.

normanwallpaperarrived

I had planned an entirely different post for today, but unexpectedly and after months of waiting, my wallpaper arrived on Monday enabling me to finish my primary bathroom. As you might have guessed, my schedule for Tuesday changed immediately as I embarked and finished the wallpapering yesterday which took all day.

Not once did I look at the clock. I silenced my phone and my sole focus was completing a project I had hoped would have been finished in the fall. Now, it is done, and I cannot wait to share a tour soon.

Upon finishing the wallpapering, I put back the light fixtures, hooks and towel-holders, but I chose to do something differently with the latter as I realized, after having lived with the hand towel holder on one side of the sink for two months, that due to the placement of my sink and the direction my door opens of my medicine cabinet, it would make much more sense to be on the other side.

This unplanned change prompted me to think about the other details, seemingly small, yet helpfully significant to the establishing an ease and flow during our days. If we tend to such details, we can get out of our own way and enjoy our days even more.

Such details make a difference. How do you function well in your life? What enables you to do so?

More often than not, I have a feeling, it all comes down to the details, some we may and some we may not take for granted.

What I have enjoyed about the process over the past two years as I customized Le Papillon was consciously considering all of the details and how I, Shannon, lived, rather than just doing what is typically done. I took into account my height, which hand I might tend to use, the everyday routines and items I needed and used frequently during my days.

Thinking about such details was an immense amount of fun but also a mental workout because for so long I didn’t have a choice as to where details would be placed. I simply worked with what was presented. So when I did begin to think about it, I gave myself time, and held myself more consciously in the present, noting during my days what worked well, what caused frustration, and if it could be fixed, why not?

All of this is to say, when we iron out the regular routines of our lives – how we move about in the kitchen; bathroom time – washing our face, brushing our teeth, our skincare routine; how we best relax – do you have a side table for your drink? Is the light too bright or not bright enough? – we eliminate the ‘tiny’ headaches that can add up or be the straw that breaks the camel’s back during a tough day. And on the good days, well, having such a thoughtfully functioning daily life just elevates it even more, and that is what living simply luxuriously is all about. Living thoughtfully, with intention and savoring it all. When we iron out our days, we are living more consciously. We are tending to how we live and function at our best and this is how our everydays have the ability to elevate.

Below are a few more everyday simple, yet significant details that have made a difference in my life. Please do share what elevates your everyday that seems insignificant, but not to you and how you prefer to live.

  • My salts and pepper grinder are on the right-side of my stove as I am right-handed, making it easy to grab, season and not knock anything else over or interrupt the flow at the stove.
  • All of my skincare products are in a medicine cabinet above my sink so that I don’t have to bend over each time to find each product.
  • My make-up is in the right-side drawer – out of the way, but also on my right-side as I am right-handed.
  • I keep a vintage ceramic dish in my mudroom for my keys. Without even thinking, upon arriving home, there they go – into the ceramic dish. Very little, if anything else, goes into this dish, so my keys are easy to find when I am ready to leave.
  • As I mentioned above, I have a hook both in my foyer and in my mudroom (although I am thinking about renaming this room to my boots and baskets room ☺️) for Norman’s leash and my scarves. Easy accessibility when we head out for a walk.
  • I situated a short tea table in my primary bedroom next to my occasional chair for me to place my morning tea or glass of wine or water as I am either getting ready for the day or preparing to enjoy the evening and getting myself ready. The cup/glass is safe, easily accessible and elevates an ordinary part of my day. Usually a small bouquet of fresh flowers occupies this space to add a fresh touch from the outdoors.
  • I keep my cookbooks in the kitchen in their own library, easy to peruse for ideas, inspiration and ‘that-one-recipe-from [so and so] I cannot put my finger on’.
  • I have a spot for a cuppa at each of the handful of chairs and sofa favorite-spots to sit, so I always have a reason to sit down and just be.
  • A magnetic notepad is on the fridge – perhaps cliched, but it works -to capture any food items I run out of and will want to pick up during my next trip to the market. Currently, I am loving the larger size of TSLL’s new Croissants notepads.

These are just a few of the details I have either added or make sure are in my home as I have found them create a seamless engagement with whatever the day is asking of me, ensuring the task at hand has my focus and I bring my best and most prepared and focused self.

Sometimes it isn’t until we are outside of our home, our routine or away from the ‘tools’ and organization we have created, that we realize how well the life we have curated works for us. It doesn’t mean we have to be rigid, but it does tell us how when we take the unnecessary off of our plate, we can give even more of our full attention and engagement.

Look for a detailed tour of TSLL’s Primary Bathroom (you can see all of the other room tours here) the first week of April. I cannot wait to share it with you. ☺️

peekprimarybathroom

One of my main concerns wallpapering after the medicine cabinet, backsplash and all of the fixtures were installed was how to neatly wallpaper around them. While it did take some maneuvering, I could not be happier with how the medicine cabinet turned out against the wallpaper.

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12 thoughts on “Small, Yet Significant Everyday Details at Home

  1. First, congratulations are in order on your accomplished project!:-) Looking forward for a tour of the room.

    I also have by the main door, a small ceramic tray for keys – what the French call a “vide-poche”. And since the beginning of the pandemic, also another small tray with hand disinfectant on a spray bottle. I tried to find a neutral glass spray bottle, that would not look so… well, ugly?… Not the best design element, I am afraid, but yeah, needs must.

    All my occasional chairs have next to them small side tables to put down a tea or a book, or they are situated next to a piece of furniture where a spot has been designated for same purpose.

    But because I have been living in this house for awhile (13 years), pretty much everything is now integrated on the flow of daily life, so I could not immediately think about this or that detail that – at the time – made a difference. I will have to make a tour of my own rooms… 😉

  2. Oh well done , Shannon !

    You must be absolutely delighted to have been able to complete your bathroom, and from the little glimpse you have shared with us, it looks beautiful , I really look forward to seeing it revealed in all its glory !

    You are so right about the ‘ little things ‘ which make a big difference to how smoothly our lives run.

    Like you, I keep my keys in a beautiful pottery bowl , and my umbrella and hatstand are just inside the front door ( I don’t have a mud room ! ) so they are easy to use each time I enter or leave the house.
    I also keep a small torch here , as well as in the cupboard which houses my fuses , so that if we have a power cut, I can safely light the candles , which are placed in each room, without having to search for one.

    Small tables and a good reading light by the armchairs , to be able to put down a drink , when settling down to read , make all the difference .
    A magazine rack lives nearby too ,so that this months magazine subscription issues are at hand to enjoy .

    Hand cream by the sink in the kitchen, the basins in the cloakroom and the bathroom , to try to remind me to use it each time I dry my hands !
    I also keep a tube on my bedside table, in case I forget , so I can apply it before I go to sleep.

    Yes, having your kitchen set up so that everything you use regularly is close to hand makes such a difference 🙂

    ‘ Mise en place’ is not just for kitchens though, I keep my hand tools , seccateurs, garden twine and scissors together in a sturdy canvas bag which is easy to pick up and transport outside when I am going to do a spot of gardening .

    I’m looking forwards to learning what everyone else does to make life flow easily, it’s always great to have new tips 🙂

    Have a lovely day everyone

    Anne

  3. I loved this post, Shannon! It really resonated as I just returned from a weekend away and, as much as I enjoy a hotel stay, I was so looking forward to being at home. I’m a recovering nail/cuticle biter, so I keep cuticle oil and lotion on a little plate on my bedside table so I remember to apply them every night. I also keep a favorite hand cream on my desk at home and at my “official” office. One of the bigger things I did in my home was turn an unused hall closet into a china closet. I keep all of my various place settings (beyond the everyday) and entertaining pieces there in one place. It makes me so happy to not have to hunt around the basement or in various cabinets to find things, and I find that I use them more – even just to elevate dinner for one! Living with a husband, 9 year old boy, and a dog can mean my house picks up more clutter than I would like, but I always keeps a few spaces clear so that I have someplace to relax, even when my son’s creativity is high!

  4. Shannon~

    Reading about Norman realizing by what you are wearing that it is time for a promenade, made me smile. I cannot wear my walking shoes anywhere, because the minute I put them on, my Abigail thinks we are going for a stroll. The same with a certain jacket. And my wellies are strictly meant for our working in the garden in her eyes. Feelings are very hurt if I have other plans.

    Congratulation on your completed project! As I commented on your Instagram, I love the pattern and hope you share the link. After our home burned, the bright side was to finally have a home built to my specifications and there is not one thing that I would change, even after 3 years. I had to convince both my husband and contractor that open shelving was the way to go, but once I did they loved the result. Everything is in reach, and since I love to cook, it has been most convenient. In fact, just a few days ago I looked over my kitchen and thought, “wow, it’s exactly what I want”.

    Hope you are relaxing with a cuppa and a good book after such a busy yesterday.

    ~Michelle

    1. Michelle,

      First, please give big loves to Abigail. Our dogs are truly smart beings, and their willingness to share what they love is motivation to do the same, as we are more likely to let others know how to create happy moments with us. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing how your knowing what you wanted in your kitchen, regardless of others’ doubtfulness was something you are grateful you heeded. Knowledge of ourselves and how we function best is the best foundation to stand so we can speak confidently. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  5. Great article, Shannon, and so full of wisdom! I don’t know if I’m an engineer because I’m a Virgo by birth & very much by nature or if that’s just a coincidence, but I definitely like things to be orderly, organized & to run smoothly — and if they don’t, I spend time figuring out WHY they don’t & then fixing it. So, yes. A pretty basket on a shelf by the back door to the garage for myriad keys: house, shed, car, truck, motorcycles. Another basket there for gloves, mitts, scarves. A pretty flowerpot on my kitchen counter with pens, notepaper, scissors, markers, a roll of twine, labels & a gadget to open jars that otherwise defeat me. A folding step stool tucked beside the fridge so I (at 5’4″) can reach the upper kitchen cabinets when my 6’5″ husband’s not handy. A basket in the laundry room with light bulbs for every fixture in the house. A chart detailing what circuits (lights, outlets, appliances etc) every breaker in the electrical panel controls so if you need to turn the power off quickly somewhere you know immediately which breaker to flip. Good lamps for reading & tables for cups of tea in every room. And ever since the day many years ago when I was getting ready to go out & in a tearing hurry & came THIS close to putting flea mousse in my hair instead of styling mousse — I’d actually foamed a mound of it into my hand & only caught myself in time because of its smell — all pet care supplies are in their own box, clearly marked, instead of in random bathroom cabinets. Systems: I loves ’em.

    I can hardly wait to see a tour of your bathroom now the wallpaper’s done — what a joy that must be! And speaking of “things finally arriving”: the bookstore called yesterday to tell me your book was in! I’ve not yet had time to sit down & really get into it, but it’s just gorgeous & SO you. Your voice comes through so clearly it’s like listening to one of your podcasts. It also appeals to me because I love big fat thick books with some heft to them & “The Road to Papillon” fits that perfectly. You should be really proud of this project, Shannon — it’s a seriously impressive effort. Thank you!

    1. Susanne, your comment about the flea mousse had me laughing out loud! I can appreciate how helpful it is for everything to have a place. We are renovating a first-floor room into a functional laundry room, and it will contain intentional spaces for all of the items that don’t currently have a home (and unfortunately consistently bring frustration). It will indeed be a true luxury to have this room complete sometime this spring. I also appreciated your idea to have an organized chart of the electrical panel. I’m adding that to my list since the renovation will include some electrical work. Thanks so much for this post, Shannon!

    2. Susanne,

      So tickled to know the book is now at your home! And your words about it, thank you, just thank you so very much. 🙂

      As Jane shared, you had me chuckling with your flea mousse incident. Oh my goodness! Thank you for all that you have shared and thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  6. I keep a large upright freezer in one garage for long-term storage. When I prepare meals I have continued to keep the portion size the same but divide the product, sometimes cooked, sometimes raw, store it in heavy silicone bags, labeled with cooking instructions. I keep an inventory sheet on the front of the freezer and a blank tablet and pen. When I remove an item I cross it off. If a stape is down to its last item, I put it on the blank shopping list. This system has worked well when I cooked for 6 and now for 2. Food is rotated and remembered. Each Sunday when making my grocery list, I pull any frozen items from the large unit and place it in the drawer of the combination unit in the kitchen.

    I have a laundry system, a cleaning schedule, (daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally.) It is all very flexible but if I need to be away for a day or two, there is no mess to come home to and if I leave the husband and the dog on their own they are fed and comfortable.

    I strongly believe in routines and schedules as long as they are flexible and not fussy. In retirement from my professional job, I have had the opportunity to relax a bit and even adjust some of the hard and fast routines because I really didn’t need them anymore.

    Shannon,I am looking forward to your new wall paper reveal! Having finished a big project like this you now have the sense of completion that you have been waiting for. Since the other bathroom reveal I have been fussing about the hardware on my vanity wishing it was flat! My cords are getting on my left nerve and quite frankly, I never really thought about it before. Smile here, it is your fault!

    1. Lucy, Thank you for ALL that you have shared. I especially appreciated the idea or the inventory of the freezer. So many items can be forgotten about, and keeping a list would be a good reminder to use what we have before buying more. Your laundry system as well, thank you for these ideas.

      Your last paragraph made me smile regarding the cords and knobs! The good news, you can change them out. It may take a special craftsman to do the carving out, but oh my goodness, it is worth it. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by.

  7. Maybe you could rename your mudroom to the attrape tout room, the catch all room! I absolutely love your podcasts and blog. Thank you for being so authentic, elegant, and warm. I’m reading your second book now and look forward to purchasing your newest one very soon.

    1. Sarah, Thank you for this idea! 🙂 I am thinking about renaming it and I love the idea of a French term. 🙂 Thank you very much for your time to tune in to the podcast and visit the blog. I do hope you enjoy the new book and thank you for stopping by! Bonne journée,

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