interior design, Interior styling, naturals, white interiors
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How to achieve an effortless, natural look at home

How to create an effortless, stylish, natural look at home. More inspo at www.karinecandicekong.com
How to achieve an effortless, chic, natural look at homeLast Friday, my friend Mandy and I had a good laugh because our respective businesses (hers is Hush Homewear and for those who don’t know this, mine is BODIE and FOU) were built on the back of great style, French chic, Australian laid-back style and relaxed vibes and our girls, being pre-teens, have sometimes, gone on the opposite side of spectrum with pink leggings and mismatched outfits.
When she went to France for the school year, I let Mila decorate her bedroom in our home there but a snapshot of her bedroom with mismatched cushions, colours & patterns on her Instagram, freaked me out (don’t look for it, I have deleted the photo hahaha).
The good news is that we are finally turning a corner and since she saw her cousin’s bedroom in Paris (which is almost a BODIE and FOU showroom), she has decided she wants the same look and hallelulia to that! So if you have kids who loves spreading Lego or a boisterous dog with long hair like ours, breathe… there is a light at the end of the tunnel and here are a few pointers: 

How to achieve an effortless, chic, natural look at home1/ De-clutter regularly 
And I mean regularly. Not just when Spring comes or when you are about to move house. I de-clutter each month make that each week, taking bags to charity shops, putting things on Ebay, Instagram, recycling/upcycling, taking used batteries to Tesco, Mila’s old books to the local library, old tablets back to the chemist, Kinder toys/plastic crap to the bin. Mila knows that if she leaves plastic toys in the lounge, I will ask three times to tidy up and then it will go straight to the bin without further warning. Her bedroom is her space so its important that she feels she has creative control over it but we go through things together once in a while to see what she no longer wants or play with and I love these moments because not only, we get to clear some crap but they are nice mothers/daughters times.

2/ Use white waterproof paint 
I use waterproof paint for kitchens & bathrooms throughout the whole house not just the kitchen and bathroom, which means that any smudges in Mila’s bedroom or in the entrance, can be wiped off. It’s a bit more expensive than the average paint but in the long run, it will save you lots of emotional breakdowns and will turn out to be less high-maintenance (go for Pure White).

3/ Add textures
In the bedrooms, I use stonewashed linen because it gives our bedroom this instant, effortlessly chic & relaxed look  I cherish. It’s also a fabric that is eco-friendly and soft. I know the ones we sell are expensive but there are better quality than the ones from the high-street and personally, I’d rather own two duvets in stonewashed linen than 6 cotton ones from Ikea for instance. Less is more I reckon. I also love using rugs to add textures to a room. Cotton, seagrass or jute rugs like these rugs add a wonderful, natural feel.

4/ Mix vintage and contemporary designs, high-end & high-street
Like with fashion where I mix designer pieces with high-street ones, I apply the same rule to our home. From my travels, I bring back things that I know will fit with the style of my home rather than the typical touristy thing…like a beautiful off-white jug from Copenhagen, or this stool I got in Amsterdam and a black dish from New-Zealand which are now displayed & used in our kitchen.

5/ Eat clean
I’m far from being Nigella in the kitchen but I do believe there is a connection between what we eat and how we feel, not just how we look. I collect chopping boards, display super foods (quinoa, rice, oats) in pretty glass jars, have fresh flowers and generally, try to bring a positive, relaxed vibe in the kitchen (after all, our stomach is our second brain). For those who have been following me on Instagram, you know how much of a positive impact eating clean has had on my well-being and it’s certainly something I’m passionate about and wish for every women to embrace.

PS: Talking of women, I’m planning a feature on Mandy who founded Hush Homewear in 2003 and it can either be a profile about her & her business or about husband/wife in business as Rupert, her husband is part of Hush too. Which subject would you prefer?

Credits: 1. Utsuwa Kenshin 2. Cream throw | François Köng 3 & 6. Unknown | 4. Femke Patsijn| 5. My messy bed

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10 Comments

  1. I love natural/white decor, its calming and tranquil, but it has to feel homely and warm. Rustic furniture and textures/rugs as you mentioned are very necessary. It softens the white adding warmth.

  2. Ces inspirations sont également les miennes. J’y apporte une touche de vert en plus, en peinture ou en textile. J’adore faire entrer la nature dans la maison.

    Ton post est très intéressant, merci !
    Nat

  3. Sarah Wyatt says

    Aah I know what you mean. However I have always let my boys choose their own room decor(sort of). It means one has a woodland bedroom with a Mockney ( my version of a Hockney ) mural and log print curtains and the other has flags and magazine covers on the wall. Not so much of the calm natural decor but important for them to have their own space.
    As always yours is the first blog I read of a morning :)

  4. Carolyn says

    Hi Karine, great tips as always, definitely inspiring me to de-clutter more regularly!
    Would love to hear about Mandy and her business journey and any advice she may have about starting/running your own business. I’ve enjoyed reading your magazine interviews before so along the same lines would be great.. Look forward to it :)

  5. Lorraine Nugent says

    Hi Karine. I’ve just taken a tour around your beautiful home (via Instagram). I love the natural light and calm, chalky palette. Love the miss of old properties, styled in this way….. A bit of an emotional day today, as my son Harry has gone on his first school camp for 3 days (year 4). So will distract myself with sorting out and de cluttering!! We too have an old cottage in St Albans. Have a good day x

  6. Pingback: BODIE and FOU Style blog: HUSH BEACHWEAR: SS 2015 COLLECTION

  7. Lene Christoffersen says

    Love the white and different textures paired.. Still .. It’ll only be a total look in my home the day I’m either divorced or husband distracted long enough bot too notice..,meanwhile I enjoy looking at your white spaces and add it in bedlined and other stuff( like panties) that hubby approves of.. Funnily, he takes badly to my hint that I sould be solely in charge of interior.. Must have played my hand badly.. But re Mila changing her gout.. Same thing happening with my girls- at least now they are finding it really interesting and I love when they or their friends come to me for advice:-) My son thinks I’m really boring.. But I am allowed to buy the expensive stuff he says:-) Smart kid!
    Concerning Hush- feature.. I’m curious to the couple- working- together story.
    Always a pleasure reading your feed.. ????

    • Yes me too I really like the combo of white light fabrics and natural things like wooden bowls and rugs.I’m lucky, Steve let me do the interiors, his domain is the garden… :-)
      Thanks for reminding me about Hush. I dont think I followed up on this one, will do…

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