Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Longtime readers of Easy and Elegant Life know of my struggle between my ideal, sophisticated, elegant existence, and my rather baroque inner self. I am more maximalist than minimalist. This probably boils down to my half-Greek side warring with my Protestant upbringing. Usually this dilemma manifests in my wardrobe choices. It is also painfully clear in my home decor. How I long for neutrals… these days. Relaxing simplicity. Order.

With the holiday season upon us, the morning commute is always a treat. Lights decorate trees and houses. Massive Christmas decorations, glossy and colorful balls, white sparkling snowflakes  dance in the wind and pine swag drapes everywhere.

Please don’t get me started on the tacky house tours.

What I really appreciate is a perfect wreath on a black door. A thick, six inches deep, green mass of magnolia leaves, bay leaves and pine, with a deep purple velvet ribbon. That’s it. Take this live eucalyptus berry example. It doesn’t even need a ribbon. (Click on any of the photos to be taken to the site from which it was cribbed.)




This is a classicist’s delight. The photo could have been taken here in Richmond. You know the radio is tuned to Lessons and Carols on the BBC.




Add to a perfect wreath window candles glowing in every window — even the attic dormers — and I find a peaceful elegance that reflects the stunning Victorian architecture of my neighborhood. Here’s a beautiful example from Maine. That’s Federal style architecture, I believe.


This year, how will you decorate? A riot of color and joy, or quietly peaceful?


One thought on “‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple

  1. Dear Chris,
    Since I don’t have (to my knowledge…) any Greek blood running through my veins I opt for quiet peaceful. KISS = Keep It Sweet & Simple.
    Enjoy your season of decorating with and for your family!

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