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Learning to Love What You Have

Learning to Love What You Have
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Whoever coined the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place” was definitely not a stylist! As interior designers and stylists alike know, the best spaces are constantly evolving — both with the trends and with their owners’ changing tastes and lifestyles.

Creating a home that feels fresh isn’t a matter of constantly making new purchases and throwing out the old. Rather, it’s about learning to love what you have and making the most of it. Emphasize the features you like about your space rather than lament the ones you don’t: Keep that charming vintage medicine cabinet extra tidy, and you’re less likely to dwell on the dimly lit shower. Think of it as a gratitude practice for your home. Try these techniques…


framed photographs and posters

Move It

Stylists are constantly shifting objects around and exploring new arrangements based on their needs and imagination. A piece may make its home on a bookshelf one day only to be found atop a dresser the next. For example, Stylist Jenifer Altman continually moves, adds and eliminates pieces in a study of the unexpected. A giant boar’s head might face off with a life-sized photo of Athena one day, only to oversee an array of driftwood and deer horns the next. This fluid approach also works well with art. Stylist Claire Zinnecker embraces this through a constantly evolving display. Her gallery wall consists entirely of empty frames and an ever-changing assortment of photos, artwork and three-dimensional objects. For a more uniform but equally flexible approach, stylists Josef Harris and Liz Gardner choose not to hang art affixed to the walls; instead, numerous prints, posters and drawings in uniform black gallery frames lean in clusters around the room, ready to be rearranged on a whim.

Image of bedroom

Turn to Nature

You can also turn to to nature for inspiration. Found natural objects add a layer of personal interest without feeling too precious or contrived. Reserve a bowl on your dresser for an assortment of interesting stones or tuck a collection of feathers between your mirror and its frame, and don’t think twice about switching it up when you’re ready for something new!

Image of clothing incorporated into the room decor.

Shop Your Home

Bring personality into the kitchen by incorporating decor elements you already own but that you might not expect in the space. Nestle framed artwork among pantry shelves and hang houseplants above the sink or even from the undersides of the cupboards. Alternatively, rather than hide favorite fashion pieces in the closet, incorporate them into your look. Put an entire collection on display, such as jewelry in a compartmentalized tray on the dresser, or an especially striking silk scarf draped over the bedpost. This approach allows you to constantly refresh the display.

image of a chair draped with a blanket

Timeless Decor

For a space that always feels up-to-date, think like a stylist and invest in timeless, versatile decor that suits any room — or whim! An ultra soft cashmere throw and a Scented Candle in a clean-lined vessel travel from entryway to living room to bedroom with ease. In each setting they complement the existing decor and also add a touch of texture and fragrance too.

Ultimately, creating new vignettes from what you already own is half the fun — the other half is sitting back to admire your handiwork. For more tips like these on decorating the life you want and learning to make the most of what you have, read “Sage Living.”