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Casual elegance defined:

ca-su-al (adj.): informal, happening by chance

el-e-gance (n): tastefully fine, luxurious; gracefully refined

Casual elegance. The whole idea seems a bit contradictory. In fact, it’s true that casual elegance blends two distinct approaches to life and interior décor. However, for many of us these two ideas simply compliment each other. We believe a home should be warm, comfortable and inviting and at the same time embrace and reflect sophistication, beauty and refinement.

 When you experience casual elegance, you find elements that surprise and delight-elements that don’t necessarily “match” in the narrowest  sense, but that bring beauty and a sense of timelessness to your living spaces.

Casual elegance is not about following the rules- it’s about following your heart. Choosing an ornate antique crystal chandelier to illuminate your rustic farm table or your tiny powder room. That’s casual elegance. Luxurious silk fabrics fashioned into simple drapery panels hung in every room. Again, that’s casual elegance. Linen napkins, crystal goblets and candles used everyday…casual elegance. Diamonds and cashmere with denim…definitely casual elegance.

Casual elegance is a way of life in much of Europe, where centuries old heirlooms are blended with the latest trends and the commonplace with the refined. Across this country, a growing number of us have become disenchanted with the mass marketed “cookie-cutter” approach to decorating found in many stores. For many, choosing to follow their hearts and incorporating casual elegance into their homes and lives offers an antidote to the “instant room” offerings found in many catalogs and stores. Being aware of trends but not allowing them to dictate your own unique sense of style is key.

Taking the time to seek out beautiful, elegant and unique one of a kind furnishings, accessories and functional elements in antique shops, boutiques, thrift shops and tag sales and then blending them with existing furnishings creates the satisfaction of  knowing you’ve created a home that reflects your own unique sense of casual elegance that you will not see duplicated in every other home in your neighborhood.

So, why not pull out that lace tablecloth, light some tapers in ornate silver candlesticks, pour some orange juice into a crystal goblet and enjoy some fresh strawberries and croissants at that little table on your patio? With casual elegance you live well – with simplicity. You embrace luxury and comfort. You create an environment and everyday routines that nurture your soul and nourish your sense of wellbeing. You make every day special by implementing grace, beauty and elegance into the more mundane aspects of day to day life rather than waiting for one or two special occasions a year to do so.

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