Decor Inspiration: Slow Living At Home & Ideas for Peace

Yesterday, I cleared the front porch of the remaining ‘wintry less-Christmasy’ decor, so things are looking bare like our deciduous trees. Since I am in sync with nature these days, I am adopting its pace and slowing down. Slow Living At Home & Ideas for Peace shares authentic glimpses of my everyday life.

Neutral decor and vintage style in our European country style entry with white oak hardwood flooring - Hello Lovely Studio. #europeancountry #entry #whiteoak #hardwoodflooring

Slow Living At Home & Ideas for Peace

Going to sleep at an earlier hour, carving out time for reflexology, cozying on down to watch movies on the weekend, and planning a vacation where ‘hustle’ is distant from the vocabulary…are intentional ways I am living slower.

Belgian style furniture in our European country living room with white oak hardwood floors - Hello Lovely Studio. #belgianstyle #europeancountry #livingroom
At Home: Slow Living as well as Ideas for Peace

I snapped these images yesterday, and they aren’t styled or zhushed. I didn’t even dust or place a vase of something on the coffee table! Things are quite spare because it is how we presently live after the holiday clutterfest.

(You see plenty of gorgeously composed vignettes from others in my archives!)

Antique Belgian sideboard and Belgian linen chaise in our living room - Hello Lovely Studio. #belgianstyle #sideboard #livingroom #interiordesign

Daring to Be Spare is Rare

And don’t think for a second you’re going to find hashtags like ‘living my BEST LIFE’ in this post! Hahaha.

I am the girl trying to live, previve cancer, and survive life with a shred of dignity.

Living room with Copenhagen egg chair (RH), staircase and catwalk - Hello Lovely Studio. #livingroom #belgianstyle

‘Best’ somehow implies I’m going to be graded, compared, or judged, and I’ve experienced enough of that business.

I’m no masochist; plus, real life brings enough stress without the self-inflicted variety.

Belgian linen upholstered club chair (RH) in our living room with white oak hardwood flooring - Hello Lovely Studio. #belgianlinen #livingroom #interiordesign #neutraldecor
At Home: Slow Living as well as Ideas for Peace

I know the idea of ‘surviving life’ or living a ‘good enough’ life is not sexy or likely to trend in 2020 modern American pop culture.

White oak hardwood flooring and Belgian linen upholstered Copenhagen egg chair (RH) in our living room - Hello Lovely Studio. #eggchair #belgianlinen #belgianstyle #livingroom #whiteoak #hardwoodfloor

But striving at this juncture, right where I am in midlife is not the healthiest or self-loving mode as my body heals and I adapt to daily life with chronic illness.

This quote sort of resonates with me at the moment:

Inspirational quote about life on Hello Lovely Studio from Donna Tartt. #inspirationalquote #lifequote #struggle #quotes

Ya know?

White oak hardwood flooring and Belgian linen upholstered Copenhagen egg chair (RH) in our living room - Hello Lovely Studio. #eggchair #belgianlinen #belgianstyle #livingroom #whiteoak #hardwoodfloor

Savoring the Sweet in the Slow

I have good days and bad days, and I tell you what…

Neutral decor and vintage style in our European country style entry with white oak hardwood flooring - Hello Lovely Studio. #europeancountry #entry #whiteoak #hardwoodflooring

I appreciate those good ones so much now!

Belgian style egg chair and dining room in our renovated home - Hello Lovely Studio. #belgianstyle #europeancountry #diningroom #whiteoakhardwood

When my gut is calm, and I can smile…oh, man.

Belgian linen slope arm chairs around round dining table in our home - Hello Lovely Studio. #diningroom #modernfarmhouse #belgianlinen #interiordesign

Simple things like being able to do light housework, swim a a lap at the pool, play music on the piano, or meet friends for lunch are a big deal.

Belgian linen slope arm chairs around round dining table in our home - Hello Lovely Studio. #diningroom #modernfarmhouse #belgianlinen #interiordesign

I know you get it.

Belgian linen slope arm chairs around round dining table in our home - Hello Lovely Studio. #diningroom #modernfarmhouse #belgianlinen #interiordesign

But I’m a slow learner and stubborn. So even though it has been a whole year since my last remission, it remains difficult for me to step into a new normal.

French doors from kitchen to dining room in our European country inspired home - Hello Lovely Studio.

Resistance to Share the Shadows

I don’t even want to push ‘publish’ for this post. I’d much rather keep the real stuff under wraps or report to you that remission has sweetly arrived as I turn a cartwheel.

Window seat with Belgian linen cushions in our kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio. #windowseat #belgianlinen #europeancountry #interiordesign

Until that day, a slower pace in tune with nature and the unique needs of my health will do.

White roses in white terracotta urn on my white painted farm table in the kitchen - Hello Lovely Studio.

Slow Living Tips from an Expert

Here’s a great place to start if you too want to slow down.

Moving Forward Slowly & Imperfectly

Since I can blog from anywhere, I’m fortunate to travel when I have the strength.

Wing of airplane in blue sky - Hello Lovely Studio.

I’ll be heading for warmer temperatures soon and skipping all the feverish sight seeing, tourist attractions, and activities which might necessitate a glam squad to render my appearance presentable.*

*Full disclosure: the butterfly-like pattern of rosacea across my nose and cheeks is a reflection of my weakened immunity and poor gut health within.

Clouds, blue sky, and ice from airplane - Hello Lovely Studio.

The ability to board a plane to soar above the clouds is not a small thing.

Clouds, blue sky, and ice from airplane - Hello Lovely Studio.

I’m so grateful to have a travel companion on the journey who cares for me in a way that doesn’t ever make me feel as though I’m not enough.

Clouds, blue sky, and ice from airplane - Hello Lovely Studio.

Because as weak and ill-complected as I am, I am enough!

And so are you.

Encouraging inspirational quote by Maya Angelou on Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes #inspirationalquote #encouragementquote #mayaangelou

Words of Affirmation for You

I’m raising a half-FULL glass of Rosé champagne to you (since I can only have a wee bit these days) with this whole-hearted toast:

Veuve Cliquot rose on my birthday - Hello Lovely Studio.

HERE’S TO LIFE LIVED SIMPLY YET FULLY AS THE GIFT IT IS…where love is always the point.

Belgian linen club chair in our living room with winter trees visible outside window. Hello Lovely Studio. Come visit 10 Smart Peaceful Ideas & Gifts to Give or Receive.

What Stands in the Way of Slower, More Peaceful Living?

There are multiple paths toward peace to choose even when you decide to say YES to its invitation.

Neutral decor and vintage style in our European country style entry with white oak hardwood flooring - Hello Lovely Studio. #europeancountry #entry #whiteoak #hardwoodflooring

Lord knows I have sought them over the years as I journey through doubt, darkness, and despair.

Inspirational quote by Mary Oliver on Hello Lovely Studio

At times, my pursuit of light is a desperate, feverish one.

Icicles on the trees in our winter garden. Hello Lovely Studio. Come visit: 10 Smart Peaceful Ideas & Gifts to Give or Receive.
I snapped this last year, and it accompanied a vulnerable post RIGHT HERE acknowledging the tender whisper of trees in my winter garden.

Desperation seems to be a prerequisite for opening to peace if only because it signals I have come to the end of my personal resources.

Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #quotes #inspirationalquote #chekhov

I don’t know anything at all about the actual mechanics, but I don’t think the light swoops in when I’m sufficiently softened.

Rather, it seems the light is always there waiting for me to be permeable to it.

Inspirational words of peace from Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #selfcare #lifequotes #zenquotes #quotes #hellolovelystudio

Love’s tender healing light waits within the stillness for my surrender and silent, consenting YES.

Inspirational quote, funny quote, and humor on Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes
Hello Lovely Studio

10 Smart Ideas for More Peace

Reducing a journey toward peace to a Pinterest infographic that hardly rings spiritual and fails to include meditation…really? Who does that?

10 Smart Ideas for More Peace. Come explore this story with 10 Smart Peaceful Ideas & Gifts to Give or Receive on Hello Lovely Studio.
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I mean how can this list really be worth much if it doesn’t mention the peace a dog, cat, or pet may bring?

Think of it as a start.

Heartwarming quote about dogs. #hellolovelystudio #dogquote #quotes #dogs

While I believe in the power of prayer and have built spiritual rhythms such as meditation into my day, a lot of folks long for concrete ideas for embodied gestures as a bridge to more ethereal ones.

Inspirational quote about darkness and light from Martin Luther King Jr on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #quotes #MLK

And don’t be misled into believing embodied gestures are inferior gestures.

Inspirational quote from Dolly Parton about life on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #lifequote #lovequote #dollyparton #quotes

Mind Body Spirit Matters

After years of rejecting the body* (and accepting poor theology), I have had to relearn what a precious and sacred part of the whole it truly is.

*Unfortunately, a chronic illness can make it difficult to trust the body and enjoy simple pleasures such as eating.

Inspirational quote about gratitude and happiness on Hello Lovely Studio. #happinessquote #inspirationalquote #quotes #gratitude

You already know about the strength of the body-mind-spirit dynamic.

Inspirational love quote and scripture from Corinthians 13 on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #scripture #lovequote #corinthians13 #christianity #faithquote

BTW. Number 8 is decidedly not ’embodied,’ but it is so important to let go of shame and forgive yourself in order to welcome more peace.

Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio
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Our bodies hold on to shame, pain, and regret, but we can show them the door!

You could pair #8 with number 4 and write post-it notes to yourself (i.e. IT’S A NEW DAY – YOU ARE FORGIVEN FOR WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YESTERDAY!)

Classic white Shaker kitchen with 30" Reinhard fireclay farm sink - Hello Lovely Studio. #farmsink #classickitchen #kitchendesign #fireclaysink

One more thing regarding #10 (invest in relationships)…if you truly want to love another purely, keep this in mind:

Barbara Brown Taylor inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio about loving the neighbor. #inspirationalquotes #barbarabrowntaylor #spiritualquote #faithquote #lovequote

Thanks for listening, friends. If a faster pace of living, #livingmybestlife hashies, and ‘don’t ever let ’em see you sweat’ is more your style, I honor your journey too.

Our diversity and differences make us beautiful.

I have felt gently held in the buoyancy of your kindness and prayers and pray for you too.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shopping for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE (not just items mentioned in posts) or home decor keeps decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

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Gold Milagro Heart
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Gold Starburst Mirror
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Gold Sacred Milagro Hearts
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Flameless Candles & Remote
Antiqued Brass Candlesticks
Natural Linen Napkins
Bonjour Pillow
Vintage Chinese Bench
Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Weathered 4-Door French Cabinet – 71″
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Galvanized Console Table
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
French Country Loveseat
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Faux Bois Candleholders
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
Belgian Linen Sofa
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool
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20 Comments

  1. Marilyn S.
    February 11, 2020 / 4:56 am

    M.

    Thanks for your transparency – not very common in the ol’ blog world.
    This scripture came to mind as I read this post.

    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14

    Lifting you up today – Gods power is made perfect in our weakness.

    Marilyn

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 8:27 am

      Thank you for bringing me the Word and for this timeless reminder. What would I do without the Psalms – the sweetest comfort I know. xox

  2. Lori
    February 11, 2020 / 8:56 am

    Your post touched me, but not “for” me… Rather for YOU! I am moved by the Lord with great compassion to intercede on your behalf. What a lovely woman you are from the inside out. May His peace cover you and comfort you and may you feel His presence. He is holding you in the palm of His great hand. Onward! Psalm 91.
    Lori

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 4:16 pm

      Powerful healing words of love, Lori. Thank you. Thank you for the Psalm – and the image which brings such comfort. You’ve blessed me.

  3. Amy
    February 11, 2020 / 9:22 am

    THIS is why I love your blog so much!! Girls living a ‘good enough’ life unite!! 😁I appreciate your honesty/authenticity…so refreshing & I relate on so many levels. I don’t battle w/chronic illness, at least yet (though I dealt with DCIS stage O two yrs ago & sprained my ankle last week), but my husband does. His diabetes, which totally makes it difficult to trust his body & enjoy the simple pleasure of eating, is something he must contend with everyday at every meal. As you know too well, it’S SUCH a challenge that can wear you down esp’lly when things get even more out of whack than normal at certain times (which is the case right now for him🙏🏼). He’s always pointed our fam towards the simple life…there’s truly enough chaos as is without self inflicting more as you said! I love your sparse yet lovely/calming decor and it’s what I’m going for in our new home…I guess that explains why I’ve yet to hang one single thing on the wall so far or put together more than a couple small vignettes! 😁I’m definitely going to be VERY selective because, especially at mid-life, less is truly more! Plus I’m getting rid of as much ‘crap’ as I can now as we move in to save our 5 kids from having to deal with that down the road & it feels SO GOOD! Thanks again for sharing your wisdom from the heart ❤️.

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 4:15 pm

      I love hearing more about your story and life, Amy. Thanks for supporting me for sharing mine. Two straight days of feeling pretty dang human for me! I could get used to this!!!! It’s why I’ll never get too proud to ask for prayer – I truly depend on God’s grace and the prayers of his kids to manage the assorted issues that are my reality. Being joined in them helps so much. It’s so much easier to live with less at this age – easier to clean, easier to stay focused on the present…My very minimal sister has this thing where she looks at one of her rooms and thinks, “how fast could I pack this baby up?” and that comforts her. Great point about making it easy on our kids who inherit all our junk! Thanks for reading, friend. Sending peace. xox

  4. Mary K.
    February 11, 2020 / 10:11 am

    Michelle
    Your writings today really touched my soul. I have had double total knee replacements this winter. I , too, have multiple immune system issues. The trauma of the surgery has sent my entire being into a state of total disarray. As if the main event( double knee surgery) wasn’t enough, dealing with the pain in multiple body parts, jacked up gut, and more/ it is an act of strength and courage just to arise from bed and try to be functional . Your thoughts and words are very inspirational and give validation to living a slow and determined life as best as one can , given each person’s particular circumstances.
    Thanks and God bless you you❤️

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 4:02 pm

      Thank you for sharing part of your story here, Mary. I know a little about one knee replacement with my mama, but the double must bring on incredible levels of pain. I’m thinking of you. I helped my mom recover, and I’m aware of all of those side effects from meds and anesthesia which linger. Not for the faint of heart. It’s going to get better, friend. This is going to pass. If I could hold your hand, look you in the eye, and say the words with conviction, I would. You are healing, and I am sending more light across the fiber optics and more prayer to hold you as you strengthen. xox

  5. Jayne Finkbohner
    February 11, 2020 / 10:12 am

    Wow, such total honesty and putting your whole self out there. Your post reminds me embrace each day and each person who passes our way. It also reminds me to never stop praying or believing that God is right there with you and all of us each step if the way. You passed along so many beautiful nuggets of truth and the most important one is to savor my family and sweet friends who are precious gifts and quiet myself and reflect on God’s glory. Your beautiful home looks like a sweet retreat. You are in my prayers.
    When my heart is faint lead me to the Rock that is higher than I ❣ Psalm 61:2
    You are in my prayers!

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 3:58 pm

      Ahhhh, thank you for this Psalm, Jayne. What a comfort it truly is – lead me to the Rock (with a capital R, mama!). I’m so blessed to have support and appreciate your prayers so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  6. Mary Wilder
    February 11, 2020 / 11:00 am

    This was a lovely post, Michelle. You’re home is so peaceful. The reminder to slow down was perfect for me today. I’m sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.
    Much love to you,
    Mary

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 3:57 pm

      Thank you for the kind thoughts and love, Mary. Peace to you right where you are.

  7. February 11, 2020 / 4:07 pm

    I like number 9 about swallowing frogs. I am going to do that. Also, love the big white vase your white Roses are in on the table. Hugs.

    • Michele
      Author
      February 11, 2020 / 4:20 pm

      Hi Colleen! #9 is a good one, isn’t it? When I can tolerate it, I like rewarding myself with chocolate after swallowing the frogs. A chocolate chaser, if you will. Hahahaha. That big white terracotta vase was found in Franklin, TN, where we vacationed last summer. Hugs right back, friend. xox

  8. Angie Runyan
    February 13, 2020 / 3:05 pm

    So lovely! The photos, the thoughts, the words. Thanks.

    • Michele
      Author
      February 13, 2020 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you for reading, Angie! I’ll be over to your blog in a jiffy. 🙂

  9. February 17, 2020 / 10:21 am

    Yes, I get it!

    Absolutely beautiful and so needed for me today as I have been in bed for 4 days with flare up/flu/food reactions? Not sure what is exactly going on but this is the first time I have felt really awful since returning to teaching in late November. I even made it through the stress of the holidays and thougth it was going to be smooth sailing.
    I am trying so hard to fight fear over chronic illness relapse, no…I am going to rebuke fear!

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post!

    • Michele
      Author
      February 17, 2020 / 10:34 am

      Praying for you this moment, Amber. You’ll be feeling more balanced in no time, and this will pass. Thank you for these words of kindness. Yours is such a beautiful soul, and what a blessing that the wisdom and love there overflows and reaches corners like this one. Peace to you, friend. xox

  10. February 20, 2020 / 8:45 am

    Michele,
    OH sweet lady I so love reading your posts. You remind us all that we all are dealing with something. I hope that you enjoy your time away and the warmth that it will bring. We need to enjoy each day. As always your home is so lovely ans serene. Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you stop by.

    Hugs,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      February 20, 2020 / 6:43 pm

      Thank you, Bev. Hoping to have time to link up to this week’s party as there is always fresh inspiration to discover. Peace to you, friend.

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