Back to Nature


Just knowing next week is September can give you that warm cozy feeling of Fall being just around the corner. Never mind that it is probably rather HOT outside and that is what is making your warm. This is the time of year when your mind starts to wander to your nesting instincts. Certainly you are not bringing out your fall blankets yet (are you?), but it is fun to start imagining the cool nights under the toasty covers and a crackling fire once again.

In our series on awakening all your senses by the things you put in your home, we are currently discussing the sense of touch. By adding texture to your home, you are adding a dimension that no color alone can achieve. You really find this displayed for us in nature. What could be better than being outside by the sea, in a bountiful garden, or gazing at the top of a glorious snow capped mountain or walking through a wooded forest? All of the textures are unique. The majesty of what God created for us in the world is an ideal place to gain inspiration for our homes!

Think about the authenticity of real texture taken from natural materials. Why not bring those inside, so on the dark dreary days of winter you can experience them year round? When paired in a weave of texture with contrasting materials, the beauty of natural materials inside your home can be remarkable.

Sometimes our houses feel dull or as if something is not quite right, so we start re-arranging things hoping that will solve the problem. Before you start re-arranging, look at your room. Sometimes it helps to take a picture of it so you can really study. Is it full of soft fluffy things? Hard or rough things? Too dark or too light? Are things all the same? Once you’ve assessed the room, start to pair objects up with things of contrasting texture.

If you have too much fabric and softness, try adding a basket, a shell or piece of coral, a beautiful natural wood side table, a sisal rug. If you have too much darkness or wood and you want to lighten things up, just add a lighter quilt, a pretty table runner, or a creamy porcelain pitcher to add some luster on a dark wood table. You will be able to appreciate the things you already have more when they have a contrast to play off of.

If nothing surprises people in a house, it can look too staged or decorated, stuck in a time-warp or not authentic. In a word, boring! Break out of your predictable mold by throwing in a natural element in a house overwhelmed by painted furniture. Or in a home full of natural wood tones, throw in greenery in the form of plants to soften things up. It is the mixing of materials that will make your home come alive with ambience! Try it, I bet you will be surprised by how much better things look.

Photos from , except where noted

The Superhero Exception

For those of you with younger boys, you may have run across this dilemma. Your son wants a superhero room. You don’t love the idea. I have referred to these theme rooms a few times, and in my opinion, they generally end up tacky. Especially theme rooms that revolve around a cartoon.

Unfortunately, oftentimes this is the case for the superhero lovers too. And that is because most of the superhero room decorations ARE tacky. The comforters & sheets are poor quality (which is why I don’t even recommend limiting a theme to sheets, they are usually dreadfully scratchy and poor fitting) and the theme just doesn’t lend itself to a tasteful room. Most of the time. I have suggested vintage prints of superheroes as a compromise and that I think works well. Pottery Barn has some, or you could frame comic books if you found pictures you liked.

I am all for kids being kids, but I just think we can let them be kids AND have some class and taste too. Give them some artistic appreciation, but done in a way that would appeal to a kid and not nauseate an adult. They don’t have to have a Monet or Renoir inspired room to learn taste.

I of course have no problem with superhero rooms in anyone else’s home, you can do what you are comfortable with, I just feel like kids will learn their sense of taste from us and we should do our best to keep things from getting too focused on a cartoon theme they may not like next week. For their sake, as well as ours. That is just me. A simple mural or a few accessories are no big deal, I am just talking about the all out Sponge Bob room, those just are hard to pull off in a classy way! Even for decorators. Again, it is all up to you, I don’t fault you if you decide to go that route.

So today I found a super hero inspired room that I think does a great job of appealing to boys AND being tasteful, and in the interest of boys who love superheros, I will share what I found. It is no secret, it is in the Pottery Barn kids catalog, just like the Superhero prints that I shared in a previous post called “About A Boy”. I think, as they usually do, Pottery Barn found a good way to incorporate superheroes in a tasteful way. Making it a room inspired by superheroes, but not consumed by them in a tacky way. That is the key, making your room inspired by something, not overwhelmed by a theme.

Using classic original artwork style superheroes, they have designed a room with a cityscape border (available from Pottery Barn), decent looking sheets and then balanced it all out with classic quilted bedding and accessories. Notice the brick wall, that keeps the room from becoming overwhelmed by cityscape decals! It suggests a theme without getting carried away. Most of us don’t have brick walls, but if we did, that is very cool. If you are artistic and have lots of time on your hands, you could paint a brick wall!

I am pleased to have a photo to show you there IS a way to do the superhero thing if you must — just learn from Pottery Barn. It is probably more “theme” than you really need, but still a fun room. A superhero inspired room can be tasteful, and I think Pottery Barn has the right idea!