I thought it would be fun to look back today and share some of the little things that brought me joy over the last year. Here are my favourite things of 2021.
Of course the last year was pretty eventful for all of us, and we all have our thoughts about all of the many challenges we all faced, but as I was looking back at the end of the year, I realized that there was so much good as well. Big things that came from pandemic-induced mindset changes, and little joys that came from appreciating the simple, beautiful things in life. Here are some of the things that brought me joy and happiness in 2021.
Coffee table (same coffee table, but at a much better price than what I paid) | Washable rug | Bookshelf lights | Velvet curtains (I have the “pillow white”, which is much more of a warm cream than how it looks in the product listing) | White marble chain | Wood dough bowl |White colorblock vase
I played around with houseplants even more this year and discovered some new ones that I absolutely love and some that just didn’t work for me. I allowed myself to not feel too guilty for the plants that I killed and just moved on to trying new ones. And I found a lot of good, new ones. I actually find them so practical for decorating purposes, because they’re so easy to move around and bring life to a space wherever it’s needed. I’ve found them so handy to have ready to go for photo shoot styling too and I’ve learned a lot about which kinds of plant pots I prefer to use from playing around with so many different styles. There’s also no thrill like seeing a new leaf growing!
Of course, cashmere is amazing because of its softness and warmth, which is so helpful to me because I’m always cold, but it can also be really expensive, so I never invested in cashmere anything for myself because it just seemed a little too fancy for someone like me. It occurred to me earlier this year, that if cashmere is meant for anyone, and if there’s anyone for whom it’s a practical choice, it’s me. I’m always cold because of my Reynaud’s (basically, really bad circulation in my extremities) and it can get to the point where I turn purple. Of course, being that cold is a pretty miserable, unproductive way to spend the winter. So I’ve invested in a few cozy cashmere sweaters and they really do make a big difference, which I was pretty thrilled to find out. The amazing thing I realized is that you can also find great cashmere at the thrift store if you know what you’re looking for, just like everything else. So I’ve been able to stick to my rule of having a 50% secondhand wardrobe for my little cashmere sweater collection too.
This was the year of re-discovering the power of black for me when it came to styling. I went from feeling like it was a fun, but kind of crazy decorating trend, to really implementing it in some way with every room that I styled. I realized at a certain point that it was feeling like any space without at least a bit of black kind of felt unstructured and I needed that grounded feeling that black elements can bring. Of course, this is kind of timeless design rule and it’s nothing new, but matte black everything really is everywhere right now. I love how it can be really modern, but also fits right in and adds a bit of moodiness to traditional spaces like in my own home.
Decluttering and Refining
I wasn’t so much excited about the absence of things, but more the idea of the absence of things that don’t serve you, as well as the purposeful introduction of things that do. I’m still right in the middle of this process, but I’ve been slowly peeling back the layers and realizing that I only want to have the things that I’m using and enjoying right now around me. Part of this has been realizing that there are so many things available in the world and if at any time I find that I want or need something, it’s pretty easy for me to get it, but holding on to everything I ever come into contact with isn’t really making my life richer, it’s actually doing the opposite. There are so many moments in any given day that could be really enjoyable and lovely that are just kind of ruined by the fact that we’re forcing ourselves to trip over and dig through all the stuff that’s crammed into our houses. So I’ve been loving the feeling of freedom from that burden and also the fact that it feels like our house gets bigger and bigger every day. 🙂
The Return of Warm Neutrals
I love a good, classic Nantucket grey, but it’s been so refreshing and comforting to have warmer neutral tones coming back into style in a big way. I think we’ve all been happy to take all the extra coziness and comfort that we can get. 🙂
I don’t care what anyone says about how damage-prone it is, there’s nothing like the beauty of natural marble. I’ve been so in awe of its beauty in furniture and decorative accessories. Marble is always in style, but it’s been having a bit of a moment and I’m all for it. Marble is definitely something I’d like to add more of into my life, although I have to admit that it’s really heavy so I always curse myself a little bit when I bring marble styling supplies with me to a shoot and I have to carry a big bin of them into a house.
Forced Family Photos
I love a good family photo, but even though we have a photography business, family photos just don’t happen naturally for us very often. When we’re all out having fun, we tend to be more “in the moment” and forget about trying to take photos to help us remember. In 2021, I was pretty determined to take more family photos and we kind of adopted a “just do it” kind of stance on the matter. Whenever we were out and about, on a hike or a camping trip, I made sure to set the expectation that we were going to get at least one good family photo. When you go to the effort to carry around a camera and tripod in your backpack, you tend to remember to actually use them. A few times we even found ourselves getting in the habit and using our iPhones propped on a tree branch just because photo opportunities were on our mind even when we didn’t bring along the “real” camera. Even if I was kind of a pain about it and probably annoyed everyone by constantly asking for photos, I was so happy to have so many happy memories documented, and I’m sure we all will be, eventually. 🙂
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- Ruggable Washable Rugs Review
- Things I Love More Now Than When I First Bought Them
- I Went Ahead and Got the White Velvet Curtains for the Living Room Anyway
- Styling a Small Round Coffee Table
- The Creek Line House Decorating Archives
This post contains affiliate links.