How I’m Doing Home Right Now

I mentioned that I was simplifying, and a number of you commented that you were too.

I get it. There is no easier way to fall in love with your home than by clearing out the things in it that you no longer love (or maybe never did).

And because I think about this stuff a lot, here are some other ways I’m doing home right now.

I’m keeping it neutral.

I realize people have strong feelings about color. My kids are so bored by my love of neutrals. More beige, mom?

Neutral family room

But neutrals feel calm to me. And they let other – more organic – things make a statement.

Several years ago I saw this quote by stylist Rosy Strazzeri-Fridman and I’ve always remembered it…

Rosy Fridman QuoteShe was talking about her all-white San Francisco home (which you can see here…beautiful!), but I feel the exact same way about my neutrals.

I’m putting everyday stuff on display.

Heritage Hill jars started something for me. I began filling them up with (really) ordinary things (laundry detergent, bars of white Dove soap, dog biscuits) and I loved how they made those mundane things seem special.

So I started looking for simple ways to display other everyday things – kitchen utensils, wine corks, coffee – and got the same thrill.

glass jars of soap

Why do I love this so much?

I think it’s because the most interesting homes I’ve been in have given little clues to how the people there live. And if everyday stuff is not only left out, but displayed in even the simplest of ways, it elevates it to something more.

Kitchen coffee station

I love the way columnist Marni Jameson puts it…

Marni Jameson quote

I’m choosing real whenever possible.


Real plants. Fresh flowers. More original artwork.

If it’s at all practical, I’m going with the real thing.

I’m housewarming, not decorating.

I don’t enjoy decorating. Choosing window treatments, sorting through fabric samples, testing paint colors…I do as little of that as possible.

What I do enjoy is trying to give my house a little soul. Warming it up.

Candle snuffer will bell jar candle

The things that do that for me are books, artwork, family photos, flowers, and candles.

Over and over. In every room.

Those things never fail warm a space and nothing could be simpler.

That’s how I’m doing home right now. What’s working for you?

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  1. Julie, this is so timely! I’m also a fairly “neutral girl” and agree it can be calming. I’ve been contemplating painting our family room all white, and the photos of Rosy’s home reinforced my thoughts. Love the bars of Dove in the jar…I have an apothecary jar full of them in our guest bathroom. Thanks so much for this inspiring post! ~Jillian

    PS – Regarding Rosy’s home, do you happen to have any suggestions for a “soft” white paint color? I’m leaning toward BM’s Simply White.

    1. Jillian, when we did our kitchen remodel I went with BM’s White Dove on the cabinets and I love it. Since then, I’ve been using it on the trim in the rest of our house whenever we repaint a room. Prior to that my go-to white was SW’s Creamy, which is just a little less white than White Dove. A little more ivory.

      Also, here’s some advice from the former editor of Southern Living magazine. I pinned this long ago and he seems pretty definitive about it: When you just want a room to be “warm white,” meaning not too yellow or too peachy or too anything else, then go with Benjamin Moore Ivory White (925). Don’t overthink this—I’ve already done enough agonizing for everyone and can say for sure that it works pretty much anywhere, unless you’re going for museum-like sterility, in which case you’re reading the wrong magazine.

      I’ve seen BM’s Simply White pop up a lot, so I’m sure it would be lovely. I also hear a lot about Decorator’s White. Not sure if it’s BM or not.

      Good luck! Let me know what you choose. White walls are so classic.

      1. That’s so helpful, Julie…thanks so much! I have sample cans of White Dove and Simply White. For some reason the White Dove had a slightly gray undertone when we tested it in that room. I’ll pick one up for both Ivory White and Decorator’s White. Like you, I have also heard some good things about Decorator’s White…which is from BM. Amazing how different whites can be, and how NUTS you can get finding the right one! ~Jillian

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