When I was little, all the cookies and cakes were divided into two categories - plain and fancy. The plain were for the everyday kind of eating, and the fancy (usually with chocolate, or a vanilla cream inside) were just for special occasions (when we had guests over, or it was someone's birthday). Packets at the supermarket were often labeled "Plain and Fancy", just in case our parents couldn't make up their mind.
Now that I am older, I find that I am a mixture of plain and fancy. I love to dress up, but I am also a homebody, who wants to lie on the floor and watch old movies in my favorite t-shirt.
Homes are a bit like that as well; we have to have the plain, in order to function, but we need a bit of fancy, just for fun. To have one or the other gets a little mundane, so pairing the two is as comforting as having a cup of tea and a warm slice of cake.
With that in mind, here are some more of my favorite plain and fancy combinations:
- Leather furniture sitting next to an over-sized, slightly worn, vintage rug.
- Fresh herbs and flowers floating in a pitcher of store bought iced tea. (Looks ridiculously fancy, and a lot of effort, but it isn't).
- A simple, bold lampshade almost overwhelming a formal dining room table.
- Garden's decorated with old mirrors, windows and chandeliers.
- Using the best china and silver for every meal (especially takeout).
- Filling a modern kitchen with a big, squishy sofa.
- Sleeping outside; pretending you are camping, when really you are in a beautiful, breezy, outdoor bed (without the creepy crawlies).
p.s. The photograph is of a small Summer cottage in the Catskills, originally featured in the NY Times