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July 28, 2008


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For starting out, neutral is a good idea, but if you add color I found a palette works well. This way, there's "flow," as my artistic mother has drilled into my head.

Currently, I live in 720 sq feet in a converted mill. My main living area is a light taupey cocoa with white trim, and all the curtains are the same throughout to keep the space open (ikea white lace - 10 windows). It has helped make the place seem larger and less choppy.

The pops of color are from books or artwork (I have lots of both). And, I keep my tchotchkes in a floating glass/wood cabinet at the end of a short hallway. This has visual impact and cuts down on clutter.

The bedrooms are each a complementary color (light cameo, light caramel) as are the bathroom and kitchen (both a spring/tea green). The colors within the room blend with the earth tones of the rest of the house. And, each room has a cozy feel. Plus, I can move a lamp/pillow/throw from one part of the house to another, and the color scheme works.

For furniture, I go for quality and longevity (and try not to pay full retail), but I'm also practical. There's only so much in the budget!

I try and really evaluate if I need a "for now" piece or not. This means, I have some nice pieces that will stand up to time, cats, and family, but I accumulate furniture versus having everything "done now".

Hmmm, apparently I have thoughts on this topic, or I really go on.

Good luck on your new place!


I agree with Benita about the bed, it's so important to have a comfortable bed, because moving and fixing up a new place is hard work and you need a place to reload. My bedroom was the first room I finished before moving in and I made sure it was a very peaceful place where I could relax.
Starting out with basic colors and furniture is also a good idea. Once you have those, you can focus on one room at a time and really get a feel for the place. Take your time and let the house grow on you.

Good luck and enjoy :-)


I am going to use your tips for my small apartment. I did not know that your living space was small because it looks very spacious and airy, I really like your sense of style and I want you to know that I try to visit your blog everyday, take care


Benita, you SO should write a book.


Please write a book! I'll buy it if you sign my copy! :-D You write such inspirational texts and your pictures are always yummie. I am sucking it all in like a dry sponge! Thank you so much for taking your time to share your wisdom.


I am all for white as background. It makes homes feel bigger, clean and modern, and it's such a good canvas for everything that follows! That's exactly what I did chez moi and everyone loves it :)

Thank you so much, Benita, for this daily inspiration! I truly look forward to reading your posts everyday. You rock!

Barb (Australia)

Benita, you make it sound so easy! Everything you say makes perfect sense. I sometimes find that I am so close to my own space that it's difficult to see it through objective eyes - does anyone else have that problem? I also find I get so inspired by other people's places that I then start to waiver on the direction I am going with my own place. I am hoping I am not the only one who has these problems!

I agree, you really should write a book!


Great advice for those starting out *and* for those of us who want to freshen up our homes. I just got a cream-coloured loveseat and I really like the feeling of it against the cream-coloured walls :D. The artwork on the walls is starting to pop out.

Nina (UK)

Great post. Very helpful. Like Barb, I also find that I waiver in direction because I constantly get inspired by new ideas I see.


Benita, thank you for answering my inquiry! You really should consider authoring a book.


Nice post.. If this really is whatt you like then soon it will be money for you.. Gambate..:)


Thank you for your continued writings; I've been going steadily through your "archives"... but this post has been so helpful to me...I never was able to figure out what looked "wrong" - we have furniture in at least three different colors of wood, and that makes everything look "patchy".

While we can't afford buy new furniture, I'm thinking about how to move things around so all the light pine and beechwood is in the bedroom and all the darker teak and oakwood is in the living room

Helena Söderberg

Vilket vackert hem du har! Otroligt inspirerande! :)


In addition to keeping all woods in the same shade, I'd do the same for metals - at least within each room and preferably throughout the whole home. For example, if you already have a brass lamp that you love, don't buy a silver one for the same room. Having coordinated wood and metals really makes a room feel harmonious.

Double Glazing Warwick

I really had a problem when it comes to complimenting colors in our house. My mother likes light green and blue , so every time I tell her that white looks good in our walls she would totally disagree because according to her white walls would look dirty in the future. Thanks to your blog , now I can suggest a different color to my mom for our walls.

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