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Article: The art of relaxed living - mixing old with new and appreciating beauty in the imperfect.

The art of relaxed living - mixing old with new and appreciating beauty in the imperfect.

The art of relaxed living - mixing old with new and appreciating beauty in the imperfect.

Don't get me wrong, we love beautiful interiors here at Rebecca Pitcher, but what we love most, is the feeling that you can really enjoy those interiors.  You feel relaxed, welcome and at home.  What is the point of a beautiful coffee table if you can't put your coffee on it? And why have gorgeous soft cushions, if you aren't going to sink into them and put your feet up?  When friends come round to my house I don't want them to worry about finding a coaster, I want them to settle in and tell me their news.

Great interior design is not just about the way something looks, but the way it makes you feel, and this is illustrated in the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi a mindful way of living which practices slowing down and appreciating the beauty in imperfections. Natural materials, handcrafted details and a timeworn aesthetic.

Green and Natural Linen Cushions in a relaxed living interior

Mixing old with new

So how do you bring this concept into your home?  One way to start is by mixing old with new.  The juxtaposition of an old piece of furniture or art against more contemporary interiors, adds character, warmth, texture and most importantly individuality to your home.  Also, it is the ultimate in recycling, there is no carbon footprint attached to giving an old piece of furniture a new lease of life.

Personal items with history make your interior feel distinctively yours.  They may be inherited heirlooms or something retro that caught your eye at a salvage fair, these are the items that will tell your story and that of your family members.

Some of the pieces we have picked up at salvage fairs and antiques shops include old glass bottles, tins, a chest of drawers, observer books and an old wooden cattle lick box!  We use the cattle lick box to store kindling next to the fire and the rustic wood, typography and general sense of oddity never fail to make me smile.

Blue linen cushions by Rebecca Pitcher

Materials & Colours

Materials should be textured and soft, nothing shiny or metallic, and colours should be muted and natural.  Think of the colours of nature on a lazy summer's day.  Not the vibrant bright greens of spring shoots or sunny yellow daffodils, but the softer more relaxed colours of summer roses, herbs or a pebble beach.

These colours invite you to slow down, relax and rest a while.

Collie Dog Mug on a rustic side table

Finishing Touches

Finishing touches are the things that add signs of life to an interior.  A pile of books, a favourite pair of slippers or a cup of coffee by an armchair.  They create a lived-in feel and a sense that you can make yourself at home.

You can also add another natural dimension with pot plants, indoor trees and cut flowers.  Just remember that whilst faux look great from a distance, it's the natural element you want to add, and nothing compares to the beauty of the real thing.

"Create a home to be comfortable in - unique, tactile, textured, and imperfect.
The art of relaxed living."
Rebecca Pitcher

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