Five Senses

When beginning to decorate a home, most people immediately start thinking about how the room will look when it is done. And that can stop people dead in their tracks. Trying to put together a room can be daunting. If you aren’t sure of your style, short on time or funds, or just not sure where to begin you can find yourself running around in circles or just plain paralyzed.

As you know by now if you follow my blog or know me at all, ambience and authenticity in the home are the building blocks to everything I do. I can’t imagine doing a home that didn’t address those two issues. But in order to create those two foundations in any home, I must understand certain things about myself or my clients. The five senses are big piece of the design puzzle. I believe a home needs to address all of the senses, according to the taste of the homeowner, in order to feel complete.

If I were to ask each of you which of your five senses were most important to you, everyone probably would have a different answer.

Some people feel most alive with color and pattern and sights. They see everything in all its splendor and beauty. The way the light casts a shadow or illuminates a painting sends chills up their spine! To some, they instinctively reach out to touch something with their hands — they want to feel the texture of a fabric or the smoothness of a stone. Yet others have a keen sense of smell and memories associated with different scents. The smell of lilac from their grandma’s garden or the yummy goodness of bread baking in the kitchen would make them feel at home anywhere. To others, music is their heart and soul. They are soothed by the sounds of water, the whir of a fan, the soft gentle breeze blowing through the curtains. And to the foodies out there, one sip of a good red wine, a taste of a marinara sauce or a piece of fine chocolate makes their hearts sing.

In our homes, all of the five senses are important in creating the ambience of home we all long for. We may be more keenly aware of some of our senses and tend to focus more on those, but for a house to really come alive and have that certain something so many houses are missing, we need to consider all the senses in some way or another.

When you address the five senses in choosing things for your home, you will be creating an ambience and style unique to you! Each choice you make will say something about you. Layer upon layer these choices will create your authentic home.

Because this is a more intricate and involved topic, I will be breaking it down over time, addressing each of the senses and how to incorporate them into your style. I hope you will check back and follow this series. It is one of my favorite topics!

Photos from one of my favorite home product creators:

Seaside style for any home

On these hot August days, nothing sounds as wonderful as being able to spend time in a seaside cottage taking in the cool ocean breezes. While not everyone has a beach cottage, practically any style of home can infuse a little “Seaside Style” into its decor. By adding a few accessories here and there, your house can enjoy a little beach freshness too!

Something about the sea inspires me — it reminds me of adventure, travel, relaxation, and lazy days all rolled into one. At my own house, I infuse the sea into my style through the use of ships, maps, sisal rugs on dark stained wood floors, antique white plantation shutters, and creamy white serving dishes surrounded by seashells.

Our house is well suited to the British Colonial style. The way I interpret that style gives my house a sense of world travel & adventure, antiques from all over the world and a certain feeling of being on the islands. It is eclectic, brought together over time and has a real sense of history (our history and that of our family’s) because everything in our home has a story of how it came to us or what it represents.

Here are a couple of photos from my house, showing the plantation shutters in my son’s room and one of our ships and small globes from the desk in our living room:


Seaside style for any home

Seaside style for any home

Here are some lovely photos showing ways you can add inspiration from the sea to any kind of house:

In this French style room they have used some well placed starfish, which tone down the formality of all the fancier gilding. By repeating the starfish across the mantle you have more impact. This photo is from .

And if you have an Old World style, eclectic or English style home, adding a few tasteful nautical or island items gives you that “world traveler living by the sea look” like the British Colonial style. Photo from .

I always love stripes for a little casual seaside or island flair. Striped rugs are a personal favorite way to add a little summer by the sea fun to your room, this one from , but I usually find them in affordable places like or :

If you have a more cottage style house, I found this super cute frame at one of my favorite shabby chic stores . It is a bit spendy, but it would be fairly easy to duplicate the feeling on accessories you already have. Adding some subtle stripes to a bulletin board, mirror, frame or piece of furniture would be fairly easy to do and add that little touch of casual flair you get from a beach cottage. And of course, nothing say beach cottage like beadboard on walls or ceilings!

Whatever style house you have, I think a little sea-side inspiration can add just the perfect touch of summer adventure.

Have a great day!