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The Power of One

Do you think that you can change the feel of a room with 
 just one simple thing?

vintage french cottage kitchen black white runner

Maybe a new pair of pillows for the sofa or a different painting on the wall.
Just one thing- but something that is powerful enough that it takes the room
from feeling one way and makes it feel another. 

The other day I shared a peek on instagram of a styling I was working on in the kitchen.
A lot of readers loved it but there were some didn't like it at all.
I expect the feedback will be much the same here.
And that is totally okay.
 I wasn't even sure that I  100% liked it when I shared.

It was an element that I brought in for a few photos for a styling
I was working on photographing.
 I simply needed something a little colorful for a backdrop for the photos.
 But while I was working with it,
 that one different thing in my kitchen surprised me.

vintage french cottage kitchen black white runner

 I will admit...
when I walked over and got behind the camera after setting up
 and peered through the view finder
I actually said  'Wow' out loud.

The kitchen felt completely different.

Our kitchen is pretty classic and elegant and serene in styling.
It truly is my feel good, makes me happy, everyday love style.

But in the view that day,  there was that same kitchen
but it had a little bit different energy.
 I definitely enjoyed playing with that energy a bit while I snapped some photos.

So what was that one thing?

vintage french cottage kitchen black white runner

It was just simply a charming black and white striped runner.

vintage french cottage kitchen black white runner

And I have learned that if I love something- even if it isn't my 'usual'
 if there is something about it that grabs me- it is coming home with me
and  I bring it in and mix it with everything else.

Because sometimes, it is really about what is different 
rather than what is expected that makes the room.

vintage french cottage kitchen black white runner

My style has definitely evolved to be much more muted & quiet over the years
I crave serene and soft and romantic in my everyday surroundings
 But I definitely do add color just not in a big way usually.

Though I do love to mix in that little bit bold
something - something 
that is unexpected.

In my bedroom,  that would be the antique sofa that wears that
big red and white oversized check.

In the dining room,
it would be that chalkboard behind the crystal chandeliers.

french country cottage dining room

So even though that rug was different and more bold than I might usually choose
for my quiet serene kitchen- it was fun and I had fun playing with it.
And I loved seeing the difference that just that one thing made.

So next time you are contemplating something in your room that is unlike your usual 
but that you absolutely love-
why not give it a try?

Give them something to talk about (design wise!) 

It might actually be one of those things that makes
your room and style absolutely memorable. 

vintage french cottage kitchen black white runner

And you might find that the power of just one unexpected thing in a room
can be pretty darn amazing.

Happy Monday everyone

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  1. I love this post, Courtney...the sense of the unexpected is what makes a room interesting and personal to me!

  2. Courtney,
    This is a great post! We, being the people that live in our homes, should have what we want...what makes us happy...even if it is unexpected for others. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I actually love the rug, it looks like it belongs to me. Sort of that vintage farmhouse elegant look.

    1. I think it does have a fresh farmhouse vibe too Marty. It was fun to play with it for a bit and see how it changed the look. Thank you for stopping by!

  4. I really like the rug in there, but it's your house and if you love it, that's all that matters. I believe that everyone should decorate for themselves and for what they love, or it isn't a true reflection of the person living there.

    Just my thoughts ;)


  5. I have mix feelings on the rug, I kinda love it, but love your wooden floors without the runner covering it up...hum does that make sense? Lol....your home is gorgeous no matter what....


    1. Exactly how I feel. I am a bare wood floor kind of girl most of the time. Thanks for stopping by Mari!

  6. Oh Happy Monday to you! I love that I actually had a moment to spend here. Beautiful in every way.

  7. I really like that rug, Courtney. I think it looks great! You're right. It adds a little somethin' somethin' to the kitchen. :)

    1. Thank you!! It definitely makes it feel entirely different for sure! :)

  8. I love your style and the rug looks awesome. The red check sofa reminds me of one I had 12-15 years ago but it wasn't French! it was in my family room and I loved it for a while! Keep up the great inspiration! I love your decorating style!

    1. Thank you Mary! The red check sofa is a favorite of mine for sure!!

  9. I love it Courtney, but I have lots of black in my home. I cannot remember what you had there before, but I would definitely let it stay until you find something else that may catch your eye. I feel it really gives the room a little extra richness. I love those chandeliers in there and in your dining room too and am in love with the custom blackboard with the chandeliers in there too. You are so talented. :)

    1. Hi Kathy, I didn't have a runner there- just the hardwood which is how it is everyday in the kitchen. I do love black and white together- and with pale pink or pale blue- even better!! Thank you for stopping by!

  10. Hi Courtney,

    I tried to think what I would feel about the rug if you had not mentioned it and I just looked at the photo. I LOVE what you have done in your cottage kitchen renovations. Always go with what you love, because that is perfect for YOU. That is the important thing. But, I like subtle and soft, so the boldness of the rug, distracts me from the harmony of the other elements. But, just goes to show how each "ingredient" in a room matters. LOVE IT!

    Sarah :)

    1. Hi Sarah, I feel totally the same way. I love the kitchen as it is- soft and subdued and elegant- it is me. I also appreciate how much that rug changed the feeling of the same room and definitely enjoyed the different look for the day I was working with it. It made for an interesting point of view the more I thought about it. :)

  11. I go to a lot of auctions and buy really cool things I will never use, but can never pass up a set of white dishes in a box for a dollar..or a pair if elaborate brass candelabras.. so I have recently decided I am going to fill my soon to be wine cellar with these cool things and every now and then bring them out just like you did with your rug. Why not? One day, one item, a different dynamic. I wish I'd always done it. A good lesson for you to teach us

    1. Love that idea. Enjoy playing with some of those treasures!! Thank you for stopping by!

    2. "One day, one item, a different dynamic". I LOVE this message!

  12. Wow is right! It's the stripes... What a pop of color, plus the repeat of stripes from the rug with the new fluted sink, and the baskets with their horizontal "stripes." Really looks nice!
    Happy playing,
    Barb :)

  13. Courtney -- I had the same experience yesterday -- I was decorating our new den and when I added faux topiaries to the coffee table, the room sort of "popped" -- delightful! It seemed finished and charming. Thank you for your great blog; I am a faithful reader! -- Maureen Ryan

  14. Love the stripes! In clothing and decoration... And your rug is so pretty Courtney!

  15. Love your home! Where is your barstool and seat cover from? Your whole jouse is lovely!

  16. Courtney:
    Love the rug. I once read a quote by the quite famous designer, Charles Faudree. "It isn't so much the match as it is the mix." I think he is exactly correct. Your kitchen is just beautiful and I am sure you love and enjoy it every day.

  17. I love it! Your house is beautiful and I like your surprise pieces. The tug looks great in your kitchen!

  18. I like the rug, but I don't think it's "quirky" enough! Your blackboard in dining room and buffalo checks in bedroom: perfect quirkies. I think you should really let go like you did in these rooms . . .