Joie de Vivre Style is a “feeling” that creates an ambience exuding warmth and comfort. It’s relaxed yet sophisticated living. We’re not talking about trendy here. This is a classic, timeless style with authenticity that appears effortless.
In the Beginning……
- Establish Your Style; Simple and Natural, Elegance and Luxe or Glitter and Glam or a bit of all three?
I think the most interesting interiors combine weathered finishes and muted hues with a bit of sparkle interweaved to form a textured tapestry that gives way to an exciting ambience. I prefer an eclectic layered approach combined with the “lightness” natural elements bring. The juxtaposition of natural and luxe are an interesting contrast in any décor. Yes, you can combine a bit of extravagance and coziness together.
If you have the option and the budget consider the impact of walls and flooring on your overall “design”. Walls with heavy texture or plaster, stone or shiplap siding and even textured wallpaper will provide another element of layering with a natural timeless beauty. Or think about just one wall as a focal point for one of these applications. Paint, of course is the easiest and fastest way to make a statement but don’t overlook the impact of a white or neutral palette which will provide a subtle backdrop for all of the other colors and style elements.
Hardwood flooring, stone, terracotta, tile with a wood look all create an everlasting appeal.
- Choose one or two pieces of furniture or decorative accents that will stand out in the room as “Statement Pieces” that reflect your style.
Incorporate over-sized wood pieces, especially kitchen furniture. Think large island, dining table or hutch, wood grained or painted. These function to “ground the room”.
Throughout your décor create contrasts between old and new, raw and refined, exquisite and ordinary, plain and sparkly which balances the look and creates the decorative version of a symphony. For example rough wood pieces with an elegant fabric or vice versa.
Use natural fabrics for upholstery, varying the texture or mix patterns. Most often colors are usually soft and muted. White, neutral and earthy colors with details in red, blue or purple.
- Must-Have Details
Be Bold with one piece of extravagant art, architectural salvage or decorative accessory that stands out because of its size, color, authenticity, ornamentation or special meaning to you.
Look for items that have “patina”. Patina is a term that refers to the sheen that develops on wood, metals and other materials as they age. The beauty of antique, vintage, cottage and re-purposed items are in their uniqueness.
See imperfection as a story, well lived. Allow past and present to meet in a glorious way!
Group things to tell your wonderful story. Or create a collection unified by style, theme, color or type. Mix and match. Marry rustic and refined elements to create a home that issues a warm welcome putting all who enter at ease.
Add a bit of whimsy with a piece or two. Oft times architectural salvage offers an affordable means to an end. The unexpected is always intriguing.
Incorporate some metal i.e. trays, pots, bowls or other items, along with baskets for contrast.
Lighting that ranges from lanterns to wrought iron or crystal chandeliers that represents your style. Place items in unexpected places i.e. crystal chandelier in the bathroom and the rusty iron one in the formal dining room.
Go easy on “soft” accents, like pillows and throws. Use just a few that will accentuate the style not smother it.
Sometimes one large oversized vase rather than numerous small items will have more of an impact. Avoid clutter.
In the kitchen; display decorative cooking utensils or wooden items like bowls or cutting boards, decorative pottery in vibrant colors or patterns.
Add natural “soft” element; herbs in jugs, pots, or baskets, straw or wicker items, dried botanicals like lavender bundles alone or in pitchers serving as vases.
These accents add color, contrast and beauty and are meant to be used.
Storage solutions; simple painted cabinets with glass or fabric insets in door panels, open shelving or plate racks.
In the bathroom the single easiest thing you can do for the biggest impact is to add wooden framed mirrors. It just instantly changes the ambience.
- Finishing Touches
The use of scent can’t be over emphasized. It makes an immediate lasting impression. Use scented candles, reed diffusers, potpourri or sachets from naturally derived botanicals. The best candles (with essential oils) will have a scent even unlit.
Adorn your home with dried lavender or other botanical’s as wreaths, swags or bundles to make it smell heavenly.
Family picture frames and beloved books are conversation starters and personalize the room with depth and meaning.
Bring the outdoors in with potted plants.
The aspiration is to create an ambience and decor with layers of visual interest that brings you joy! The French term “ je ne sais quois” meaning an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one that eludes description is the ultimate desire!
Given the diverse assortment of furniture and decorative accessories from which to choose, it is clear that there is no one way to decorate, anymore than there is one way to live. The beauty of design is in choosing elements that speak to you and create your own vision which is as unique as you are! Above all let your personality shine through!