Simple decorating ideas

August 28, 2014

Hello there! I got to thinking after my last post about the trip to the Better Homes and Gardens headquarters -- how one of the editors made things look so effortless. She threw together a few different centerpiece ideas for us in minutes, just using regular plates and items from the store and nature. Fruit and pinecones showed up a lot. :)

Simple decor really resonates with me – it’s one of the reasons I write this blog. A lot of the DIY projects I do are hard work and take some skill, but most of the decor in our home is simple and quick. It doesn’t need to take a lot of money or time to make pretty little spots around your home! I took a look around the family room and kitchen to share a few of my favorite simple ideas.

I get comments on my corks and candle often: 

simple decorating -- corks around candle

The vase was from HomeGoods (but I’ve also purchased similar containers at Goodwill) and I just plopped a candle inside and filled around it with wine corks. I didn't drink all that wine – just some. ;) I bought a bunch of the corks off Ebay a long time ago and still have some to play with.

If you follow me on Instagram you saw this one recently: 

simple decorating -- plants in pitchers

The vintage pitchers were $15 for the set at a local antique shop – I stuffed some plastic shopping bags down inside the bigger two and then placed the plants in. The small one holds an air plant. I LOVE the combo of the white and green! As I type this I’m noticing that most of these examples have green in them. Interesting. It gives a room life for sure!

I saw this simple idea on a blog and can’t remember which one it is! I’ve had the vintage baguette tray hanging on the wall for years and never really loved it there. The fake apples were sitting in a basket above the cabinets. Together it’s totally cute and EASY: 

simple decorating -- apples on tray

I don’t know where I got those apples but I’ve had them forever. They are SO REAL looking. They’re heaving like real apples too. They fool everybody. And you don’t need a vintage anything – a wood tray lined up with them would look just as pretty.

I love our pantry area – as you can tell I love to put plants in things other than just pots. I think it adds some interest – this one is a old crock:

simple decor -- boxwood wreath

And I hung that boxwood wreath up last spring and it’s never come down! I just wrapped some burlap around it to hang it and then nailed that into the top of the door. Bonus is that it works for Christmas too. ;)

All of these are easy and quick! To me it’s about looking at things in a different way – and taking inspiration from blogs. ;) Do you have any simple decorating tricks? Feel free to link some if you’d like.

**To find more info on the pantry door, go here.

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  1. Oh my goodness!! I've been wanting a bunch of wine corks for a big class bottle, but I only drink a glass every several months or so... it was going to be a long process. Never even thought about checking Etsy!! Thanks so much! :)
    - Lora

    1. My pleasure! I meant to type Ebay by the way -- but I bet Etsy has them too! :)

  2. Love it all, especially the baguette centerpiece. I have those faux apples as well and I love to mix red and green ones at holiday time.

  3. Very pretty, Sarah. Like the contrast of the green apples with the different wood tones. I'm a big fan of anything green and white, too. I like how BHG keeps things simple. So often magazine stylists over-accessorize, so it's refreshing to see well thought-out and edited decor, like yours.

  4. I just moved from NYS to Louisville, and my apartment is much smaller than I've had the past three years, so I've been trying to keep my decorating simple, classic, and true to my style. I love the plants in the white pitches. Lately, I've been getting into house plants, which are great on going decorations.

  5. First a warning - if you bring in any fresh acorns and pinecones into your house, put them in a plastic bag and freeze them. Better yet, let them "thaw" out and refreeze them. Then, the probability of bringing in bugs into your house decreases. A while back, I collected some large acorns to use as decorations. I stashed them in the garage for a few weeks and was amazed at the worms coming out!

    One year at Christmas, I got the lights on the tree, some ribbon and was then distracted and didn't finish decorating. To get the boxes out of the living room, I just put a limited number of favorites on the tree and filled up bowls with the colorful balls and placed them all over the place. It was lovely and colorful and easy! I still do it every year.


  6. I see that the light has been relocated over the kitchen table and I can see a smidge of the island countertop in your picture. When will we get to see the remodel?? Can't wait :)

  7. Great topic, Sarah! My favorite decorating style is simple but beautiful. I have employed the painting anything and everything trick to get the look for less and love it. Here are some décor items I have painted.

    Wisteria Inspired Vase-

    Gold Costal Driftwood-

    Decorative Boxes-

    Also adding fabrics to your décor is a simple way to add interest. Here is how I used fabric in creating wall art-

    And here is a discussion all about using fabrics in decorating-

    Hope you enjoy these links! Thanks for your years of inspiration (been a reader since the beginning) !:-)

  8. I bought my faux green apples a couple years ago from Walmart and they too look so real, love your tray!

  9. I like your style...and the pops of green, especially the green apples! :)

    Very nice! :)

  10. These are some nice, yet simple ideas! Thank you for sharing! Please come visit my blog too at Thanks for letting me read!

  11. Your kitchen is perfect with the sleek kitchen and the simple table. The choice of bright color theme is popular for this minimalist area. White color is great for this kitchen design with small space. The ultramodern kitchen looks sleek and clean with the contemporary kitchen with the black simple stools.

  12. A long time ago I pinned a pic of the plant in the crock and I have had probably a hundred repins! I bet you got lots of traffic on your blog just for that simple thing. You always have cool ideas! Thank you!

  13. I love how the simplicity of your choices are elegant as well. Especially love that baguette tray and will be on the lookout for one!

  14. One thing I have noticed is the art in many homes, seems the simpler the better. If there's too much it's pretty confusing as to where to put your eyes. If only one simple thing in art it's very relaxing to me. That's one thing I've been trying to do when I decide to change out my art on walls and I do that seasonally or when I get an urge. I'm sure there are other decorating ideas I could mention but right now can't think of them, do things without thinking and do things I didn't use to do since have been so inspired by bloggers.
    Happy weekend

  15. I love your house and yard; I've been following your blog for several years now but rarely comment. I am pretty good at putting color together and spotting things that will "go" with what I have, but not so good at envisioning uses for things other than what they are. Thank goodness for blogs, like yours, that provide inspiration. I recently downsized to what I call my retirement home (a one story 1073 sq. ft ranch style home). One trick I brought from the former house is printing out color wallpaper samples from the internet and framing them. Whatever your color scheme is, you can find something complementary or contrasting, and a frame dresses up even the simplest of designs. My kitchen in this "new" old house is dark grey, with dark oak cabinets and even darker vinyl plank floors. I surprisingly like the dark grey and the dark floors, but not the oak cabinets; however, for the time being, I have to live with the cabinets. They will be painted when budget allows but for now, I've brightened things up with light grey, cream/white and goldish colored accessories. I printed out several different wallpaper samples from online and selected four to frame. The frames aren't large -- they are 9x12 and the framed inset is 5x7, but with creamy white mats offset by the black frame and black inset that frames the 5x7 "print," they pop against the dark grey walls and add uncluttered splashes of pattern and color. This place almost looks sophisticated :)

  16. Clever tips! I have so many random pitchers laying around. I should definitely put them to good use as planters. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Hi Would you mind sharing your wall paint color of your kitchen/breakfast area in the pics above? I've read thru some of your other paint posts trying to find out, but not sure if it's the same as those other areas or same timeframe (maybe changed since then..?)...basically just totally been confusing myself trying to find out! LOL!! Thanks for any info! :)

    1. Yes, those are still the old color, Sisal from Ralph Lauren. :) I got it mixed in Behr at Home Depot years ago. They don't carry RL anymore but I believe they can still find the formula for you! There's also a Sisal color by Martha Stewart there that is a similar color.


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!