My decorative touches are temporary. I move items, vases and books around my house continually to make "the art of living" in my home an interesting experience for me.
I want to trumpet the idea of specifically designing an area in your home that you can gravitate to for relaxation or a long phone call. Every magazine I pick up seems to rely on the bathtub as the lone sanctuary for women. When I say "designing," I mean giving conscious thought to the items within an area. Sift through the items that you own (candles, books, souvenirs, photos) and create a combination based on color or sentiment.
Sometimes the vignette is all about the flowers that are in bloom. Sometimes I want to highlight a book I love and I gather and add items that enhance the colors in the book jacket. And sometimes I choose to put something out that I love and never get to "see" when it is tucked away in the china cabinet.
So many of the objects we own have a story that you never get the chance to tell, unless someone sees it and asks. That kind of storytelling is good for you.
This vignette (above) is a little Japanese lunch. I like to have an acrylic tray on the upholstered bench between two loveseats in my living room. I change the items on the tray about every other week. I see the area as a place to display what I love. To give myself a dose of "Visual Vitamins." If you keep the same few items out all of the time you will stop seeing them and therefore miss the beauty and joy of looking at what you love.
Years ago, I was given a sushi rolling kit that included these dove gray ceramic dishes. I added a set of sushi soap that tickled my fancy when I was in a Japanese museum store in Florida. You can order yourself a set here. The combination makes it look like I am all ready for a quiet lunch for two. I popped two "Koko Loko" (crazy for milk chocolate) roses from my garden in a vase and added a small filled-glass votive candle and covered matchbox to make the peaceful vignette complete.
When I sit here, I feel relaxed and amused. The display is for me, and if friends stop by and happen to see it, all the better.