How To Decorate With Intention: 3 Lessons From Sage Living

Robin Reetz shares the decorating tips she gleaned from former Clementine Home & Living editor Anne Sage's debut book: Sage Living.
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Robin Reetz shares the decorating tips she gleaned from former Clementine Home & Living editor Anne Sage's debut book: Sage Living.
Image Credit: Emily Johnston 

Image Credit: Emily Johnston 

Periods of growth and change – new jobs, relationships, moves – are intrinsically linked with buying. Whenever we rearrange aspects of our daily lives, we often purchase new items that will help make our new arrangements easier, prettier, or more convenient.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Thanks to the work of Marie Kondo and the minimalist movement, we’ve learned how to rethink our wardrobes by making smarter, slower shopping decisions, and finding new ways to wear what we already own. But when it comes to our homes, we have a habit of purchasing new items – some throw pillows here, a new ceramic planter there – every time we move or feel a yearning to redecorate. In an effort to make our spaces, and ourselves, feel new again, we purchase items for our homes that we want and – convince ourselves we need.
Rather than buying new, what if we rethought the practice of decorating all together? This is done by slowing down the decorating process, and giving every single item in the home thought and purpose.
In Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want, written by Clementine’s former Home & Living Editor, Anne Sage, Anne thoughtfully and carefully breaks down the purposes served by a home space, room by room – Connect, Entertain, Nourish, Create, Disconnect, Grow, and Celebrate. In each of these sections, we tour the homes of artists and creatives around the world and learn their secrets to decorating with thought and intention.
In honor of Chronicle Books’ release of what we’re sure will be a new go-to manual for slow decorating, we’re giving the art of slow decorating a try. We’ve put together a few steps on refreshing your home with intention – all based on our favorite lessons from Sage Living:

Lesson 1: Connect with Calm: “Minimal décor makes the room feel like a deep, slow exhale at the end of a long day.”
Whether you’ve just moved or are rethinking a home you’ve lived in for years, embracing a more minimal mindset when it comes to decorating can lead to a décor change like you’ve never seen.
To bring this idea to your space, consider reviewing each and every object in a room individually and think about its meaning. Your home should be a place of peace, sanctuary, and comfort. To embrace true calm in a home space, try out the practice of minimalistic décor by surrounding yourself only with objects you truly love. To start, imagine what your current home would look and feel like if every single item in every single room was meaningful and represented years of memories, travels, and stories. From the art on your walls to the dishes in your kitchen, next time you redecorate a room, consider every single object carefully and individually.

Image Credit: Emily Johnston

Image Credit: Emily Johnston

Lesson 2: Entertain with Authenticity: “Each travel token represents a tale of shared humanity…”
Rather than decorating a space as a response to necessity or a fleeting trend, add only items to your space that reflect your experiences.
Our advice on bringing this idea to your home? When decorating, let the pieces come to you. Rather than rushing out to Target to buy a new throw pillow or coffee table for your next soiree, embrace the art of slow decorating. Maybe your next best home décor find is at a local market or boutique visited on your next vacation. By shopping slowly and waiting to find the perfect piece, you’ll not only embrace stillness and intention, but you’ll also end up with a home filled with pieces that tell a story.

Image Credit: Emily Johnston

Image Credit: Emily Johnston

Lesson 3: Grow Thoughtfully: “…combine equal parts enrichment and enchantment for a room in which the whole family can learn, dream, and grow together.”
There is arguably no greater change that can come in life than welcoming a child to a home. Our first instinct is to buy new – furniture, toys, and the like –but instead, consider giving items you own a good, hard look.    
Bring these sensibilities into your home by reviewing items you already own instead of purchasing new every time you want to redecorate. For example, you may think you need a new set of dishes, but do you really? Consider giving a set that you already own a new life by using it in a different setting. These lessons work wonderfully with children, as Anne thoughtfully illustrates.
By embracing the art of slow decorating, you’ll create a peaceful, tranquil home filled with objects you truly love. And for more inspiration in thoughtful home décor, pick up a copy of Sage Living to learn the art of intentional decorating. 

p.s. The key to maintaining an intentional life? Staying present.