Sometimes life gets in the way of creativity, so I have been remiss in sharing new posts with you for a while. Happily, my creative juices are flowing again, and I am back with lots of content on the horizon. If anyone is still out there, thank you for sticking with me!

Today, I’m talking about embracing trends and creating more neutral spaces…on a budget! For the past year or more, arches are “having a moment” in home decor. Every makeover I see includes arched doors and doorways, arched windows, arched niches, and arch framed bookcases.

I guess we are somewhat lucky in this regard that at almost 25 years old, our home is coming back into style. I knew if I waited long enough this would happen! We have a large arched window above our entryway, arched windows in the office and dining room which flank the entryway, and an arched niche in the hall. We are arched out:)

The other trend or look that has been popular for quite some time is creating neutral spaces with lighter furniture pieces, either painted or natural wood, and accents of natural stone, pottery and greenery. I have always loved neutrals for the large ticket items like upholstered pieces, bookcases and tables, and then accessorizing with accent colors that can easily be changed. Neutrals are a sure way to longevity in home decor.

If you want to jump on the neutral palette and arch trends but don’t want to do major remodeling or buy all new furniture, I may have a simpler idea. In our living room, we have identical credenzas on either side of the fireplace. Those credenzas were purchased at Costco years ago, and house all of our placemats, as well as cloth and paper napkins and seasonal soft goods. They are real workhorses, but the downside is that they were red/burgundy. Whatever you want to call the color, it was a little bossy and didn’t fit in with the rest of the living room. The only time I loved them was at Christmas and the rest of the year, not so much.

To put these credenzas in neutral, the first thing my husband did was remove all of the hardware and lightly sand the pieces. Next, I chose what I thought was a lovely neutral shade of sage green. After priming the pieces, the first coat of green went on. Oops. It was like mint ice cream. I was actually scared to tell my husband that I, the supposed decorating authority in our house, had made such a mistake. His response? “At least I hadn’t painted both of them yet.”

So back to the paint chips, where after taping several swatches on the wall, I landed on the color of khaki pants. Among all of the samples, it went the best with the fireplace, the sofa, and the walls. Khaki for the win! The color is Hidden Treasure by Behr and we used a satin finish. Once my husband and I got the two coats of paint on the credenzas, we reinstalled the original hardware and brought them back into the living room from the garage. It really never gets old to see what a difference a quart of paint can make!

Next, I wanted to somewhat simplify the area above the credenzas, so I purchased two arched mirrors with distressed gold frames from a local home decor store. To allow room for two framed pieces that I made for our first home in Hawaii circa 2001 and still love, we offset the mirrors and hung the artwork to the side. Total aside…the leaves on these prints came from trees from my mother’s yard in Walla Walla that she pressed and sent to me in Hawaii as a reminder of home.

Lastly, I added two new lamps purchased at Home Goods, and restyled the tops of the credenzas with books, a clock that belonged to my grandmother, and other items that added texture and a pop of greenery.

In the end, we absolutely love the look. The addition of the large expanse of mirror really allows the light to bounce around this normally dark room. And for a very small investment of time and money, we were able to neutralize the red credenzas and make them pieces of furniture that blend with the room so well.

Embracing trends can be done in many ways. I have now lived long enough to know that all trends come and go, so it is wise to tread lightly into trendy territory. Neutrals are most likely here to stay, and arches will come and go in popularity. Finding ways to embrace trends and keep your home looking up to date is possible and need not break the bank. With a little ingenuity, anything is possible!

Good tidings,


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