Friday, January 3, 2014

Miller Time Friday - A soothing palette


If December is red and green and gold and chocolate, January is white, ecru, silver, vanilla and tea. 

I always have a decorating book on my Christmas list and this year I received the book, A Life Less Ordinary by Zoe Ellison and Alex Legendre, co-proprieters of the British shop, igigi





The style is vintage French/Swedish/British all mixed in together and is more a philosophical manifesto of the authors' perspectives towards decorating and friendship than a how-to, but there are gorgeous photos throughout to inspire you!




As you know, this is not my typical palette for decorating - I do love me some colour, as you know.






But lately I have been enjoying some more neutrals fare in some of my rooms, and it is lovely.  We are still working on our family room, but the palette is pleasing and soothing on these cold winter evenings.




And there is something about January, when we are enthusiastically embracing de-cluttering and sparseness after the glitter dust of the holidays, that makes me think "Oh wouldn't THAT be nice". 

A Life Less Ordinary marries these palettes with my personal favourites: vintage pieces scored from estate sales, family heirlooms, antique shop finds:


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 At their shop, they also sell Women's Clothing, which is absolutely lovely:

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After last month's sequins, this is soothing stuff.  I immediately thought of our good friend, Janet, whose home is like a little oasis for me whenever I visit it online!


You have to go visit her here to see all the gorgeousness!

Janet, I thought of you the whole time I was reading this book!

This weekend is my de-cluttering weekend, getting ready for a busy January of editing my works and starting another project.

As I do that de-cluttering, I will try and create some calm spots along the way.  I began yesterday:







And I will continue to enjoy my foray into neutral fashion territory:


In honour of such a soothing palette, this calls for a cocktail.  (well not for me - I have decided to drink very little this month - will probably do a post on that next week):

How about the Vanilla Rose Cocktail:


Cape Samurai Cocktail - Cape North Vodka


Lavender and rosemary are two herbs that are fantastic together, especially in drinks. In this cocktail I've added an underlying, velvety tone to the two flavors by muddling a vanilla bean with lavender simple syrup and shaking that with rosemary-infused vodka and dry vermouth.
Rosemary-infused vodka is very easy to make (recipes online)
 

Yield: 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Chop a half of a vanilla bean in small pieces width-wise and place it in a mixing glass.
  2. Add the lavender syrup and muddle, crushing the vanilla bean.
  3. Fill the glass with ice, add vodka and vermouth.
  4. Shake vigorously.
  5. Strain and serve either neat in a cocktail glass or on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass.
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Enjoy!

How about you? Are you attracted to a more neutral palette in January?  Are you de-cluttering too?  I am about to start the January Cure, thanks to Patricia - I missed it last year, but need to do it this year!
Have a great day and stay safe out there!


 

33 comments:

  1. I like netural palettes more and more lately. I do like that Nordic look of sparseness in their stark light. Looks like I can get work done. But I have this bipolar tendency of wanting minimalism and then color and warmth so it is hard to decide. I can't wait for a good edit myself. I think neutrals really suit you - brings out your coloring and is really flattering - you should wear more tone on tone neutrals!

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    1. Naomi - I am just like you! For every neutral room or neutral outfit, I have to have colour. My hallways is raspberry red! What I have discovered (finally!) about neutrals is that there is a neutral for everyone - you just need the right shade! Today I am all blue! The tonal dressing makes me feel skinnier!

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  2. That's a good looking cocktail! Love the soothing palette.

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    1. Thanks Jen and thank you so much for the kind words about my article!! That is a good looking cocktail - maybe that will be my birthday one!

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  3. Happy New Year, WMM! I just read your wonderful piece and what a way to wrap up 2013, with a giant bow no less. Thank you for reminding us that the quality of our life is up to us. If we don't make things happen, they don't happen. I'm going to be Oliver Twist for a moment here and put my bowl out for more of your writing....

    Isn't Janet's house amazing? It's so zen with character and warmth. We're snowed in today so it's the perfect time to organize and reduce clutter. While a neutral moment is refreshing on you, I do prefer you in berry tones. I think your personality is more of a Berry than a Beige. I'm liking Pantone's Radiant Orchid choice for 2014.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Marie! I do hope you get to read more of my writing in the future!!!

      I agree about Janet's house - it is just so Janet!!!

      I am all blues today - I have decided that the real Wendy is just a kaleidoscope of colours! I like that orchid too! Earlier in the fall I bought a Jackie cardigan for spring in that colour!

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  4. That book looks so inspiring! I'm de-cluttering like mad just now. I have errands this morning but then will get back to it this afternoon. I have two large bags for consignment and 5 enormous donate bags as well as 3 boxes and counting. The donate truck comes on Monday which I initially thought was bad timing but with Old Rascal stuck down south due to bad weather it gives me something to focus on, get rid of this nervous energy!
    Good luck with your own de-clutter this weekend. Is Barry a help or a hindrance? MrBP doesn't really notice thank goodness. ;)

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    1. My daughter just sent a whole bag to the donate box as well. Barry will avoid the de-cluttering I think - and I dare not touch his space! My next is my baking drawer after cleaning my office all morning! That was hours to do and there was sparkle all over my desk top from wrapping - isn't that awesome?

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    2. Mr. H notices and then comments "when are you going to throw out my things?!" The clothing is tough because I want him to try things on and he refuses. He would be peachy with three shirts and two pants and of course his new shoes, which is is still smitten with.

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  6. January is a natural time to simplify in response to the holiday excess and the clutter that develops from so much indoor activity. Now we can contemplate, relax and enjoy the quiet.

    The images in the book are too washed out for my taste. I need some color, even if a single vibrant shot or even pastels. The absence of color makes it look too staged.

    Have a wonderful weekend Wendy.

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    1. I think I will be finding balsam fir needles for months now!

      I like the images in the book - I find them quite painterly, actually, though even my "neutral" rooms have colours in them!

      Have a great weekend too!

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  7. I don't have any clutter, it's something I cannot abide, it's just not in my nature to horde, my parents were the same. I love neutrals but I like a bit of colour at this time of year as it's so bleak outside and even bleaker once the tree goes.
    Boy oh boy Miller Time Friday - have lost track of the days!

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    1. Tabs I here you about the days! 2 kids and a dog breed clutter, trust me. So does two people who work from home. Ah well. It is getting corralled. My parents were pack rats, even worse than myself, so I think I come naturally by my tendencies!

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  8. I was able to clear out a huge box and 3 bags of stuff from my daughter's room, with her permission; she is a little pack rat who frequents the Goodwill for her wardrobe, just a bit too frequently. I do "save" things in case I may "need" them so yes this is a good time to combat those tendencies. I have sympathy for "string too short to be saved" drawers!

    Wine goes well with blizzards so had some pinot noir yesterday while watching the snow pile up(again); I don't tend to over indulge in either food or drink so no resolutions there, but I need to up my muscle mass.

    You do look great in neutrals! You are colorful enough-haha-but you can also carry color so no reason to be bored.

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    1. Lane - that is one of my objectives this year as well - muscle mass! Barry cleaned out our kitchen junk drawer the other day - it is a thing of beauty - for now!

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  9. I don't know what it is about January, but as soon as the New Year begins, I feel the need put away the darker colours worn through October to December, and shift to pale neutrals with a shot of bright red or mustard yellow to liven things up.

    As for the house, well, with 2 small children, it is a constant battle against clutter and I am always on the losing end! But we are trying to do a bit of redecorating to freshen up the house (which, along with all the furniture, has taken a serious beating over the past few years). I am trying to make it feel a bit lighter and less crowded. Besides decluttering, I think going for a neutral palette is another way to do it.

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    1. Louise - I miss the toy days! It used to be over the Christmas holidays we were hosting many lego building sessions or staging epic Lord of the Ring battles with action figures or playing polly pocket. So do not despair, but enjoy! Our furniture was practically destroyed then, what with all the monkeys jumping on the bed. I miss those days, so just remember: you will soon have a practically empty house and your friends don't care anyway!

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  10. that cocktail looks so delish but i'm afraid i'm cocktailed out at the moment. will have to save that recipe.:)

    thanks for the kind mention. your home is spectacular just as it is. i'll have to look into that book though, looks lovely.

    xo

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    1. Janet - I am SOOO cocktailed out....

      I love my home as well, but it is nice to "visit" a different style now and then, isn't it?

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  11. Can't say I am really decluttering. More re arranging my stuff and scrubbing while I go. Honey, you are anything but vanilla. Neutrals should be considered your accents :) I love the boldness of color but am chicken shit to do so neutrals it is.

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    1. T - I cannot imagine you afraid of anything! I do like my colour, that is for sure. Beige has always kind of scared me!!!! I am not getting rid of any more clothes I have decided. I need to see what the year brings and I want no regrets or rebuying!

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  12. I always de clutter in the New Year else where would we put all the "stuff" we accumulate over the next year??

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  13. I am about to do my own purge and drop off a few trashbags of clothes at Goodwill. I love your home too-especially that wall of bookshelves. Did those come with the house or did you have them built?

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    1. My dear husband built them. He also did the shelving for the DVDs in the basement. I can't find the post where I showed that right now, but if I stumble over it (story of my life!) will pass it on! He is very handy!

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  14. My house feels so empty without the christmas tree,but it is a good empty:)
    I love neutrals for my house and i have a lot of light grey,which i find soothing .

    Lately i have been using mint as an accent color and i like it lot.I am tired of the decadence that christmas brings and long for fresh and clean,so i wll declutter as soon as kindergarten and school has started again.I have also upped my workout regime and added more core workouts to it.

    I love color on you!

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    1. Well Ina you would be happy as I am head to toe in blue today!!! I like mint as well but I think the only place that has a twinge of mint is my laundry room, though I guess the kitchen's green is a darker version of that colour!

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  15. I need one of those cocktails right now. Will you make me one?

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    1. yes! Will keep me busy so I don't drink one!

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  16. I need that book. It speaks my language. I need the quiet and peace of soft neutral colors to calm my world. My wardrobe is the same way. I adore vibrant colors but can't wear them and can only live with very small amounts of color in accessories. I haven't always been this way, but have for the last 15 years or so. As soon as this bug is gone I'll be de cluttering myself. Looks like a yummy cocktail. Have a great weekend. xoJennifer

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    1. Knew you would like this Jennifer! It is so cold here, I am hunkered down, but have decided to go out later this morning and buy the house some lovely flowers, as there is nothing so necessary as flowers in January, is there?

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Kindness is a virtue...