Cozy, rustic, industrial...The eclectic mixed style of Hotel Emma

There are many benefits to having a mixture of styles; it is truer to life and more compatible with it, usually we end up with loved-pieces of various styles over our lives and they get to coexist in our homes. Such a mixed style is visually more interesting and more stimulating to the senses than a mono-style set up. It also allows you to more easily introduce new furniture or replace pieces without having to worry about them perfectly matching what's already there. When you make those mixed styles also consist of items that age well and gain patina and character from daily use, you get additional benefits like ease of use, livability, and a timeless look.

The Hotel Emma in San Antonio is a great example of these ideas being put to use. They achieved a beautiful timeless look that is sophisticated yet casual, elegant but cozy and comfortable all at once.

Photos by Casual Casa

European Front Doors

Part of the charm of a house, a space, and doors, is character. A front door with some color and character adds to the property value and the curb appeal but more importantly, it makes the place a cozier, a more welcoming place.

Here are some pictures I took around Europe of home and apartment building doors. There are some old, some new, some modest, and some fancy options as inspiration but they all have plenty of character and charm. Enjoy!

All pics are taken by me.

Colorful tiles

Color is a good addition to life and our environments. Most often we are more likely to have a lack of color and patterns rather than an excess of them, so brighten up your spaces with some color and patterns. Colorful tiles are a great way of making spaces more lively and chevron patterns are easy way to add a good dose of character and visual interest.

Image sources: image 1, image 2, image 3

Simple DIY furniture: Benches

Substantial solid wood benches look great, are easy to live with, and have a cozy appearance. Here are some examples that you could DIY relatively easily. ( has good instructions on building the bench in first two images, and the rest are for inspiration.) I especially like ones that are a bit rough and rustic. Those age even better and the wear and tear you might cause just adds to their character.

Want more ideas for DIY benches? Check out this post or this one.

Sources: Images 1 & 2, image 3, image 4, bottom image

Colorful window shutters of Mediterranean homes

Add some casual color to your life. Mediterranean coasts are some of the longest inhabited parts of our world and that collected wisdom taught them how to live a casual, easy-going, colorful life. Painting a whole house a wild color may be too much, but colorful shutters, window frames, and/or doors seem to be just the right amount of lively color.

^ These top two pics are from Alacati, Turkey.

Sources: images 1 & 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

Casual & natural backyard pools

As with most things, backyard pools also benefit from a generous dose of natural materials, shapes, and textures. Such a look is also easier to maintain and therefore more relaxing to be in and around.

If you're interested in poolside landscaping you would probably enjoy my previous posts here, here, and here as well.

Sources: image 1 (Helena Christensen’s home near Woodstock, NY,) image 2,  image 3 & 4,  image 5

Mediterranean casual style of Provence and Tuscany

Stone walls, colorful shutters, easy-going gravel, and plants that are allowed to grow into their natural forms make for a pretty and cozy setting. This approach is also low-maintenance and ages well. When people, especially in the US, try to recreate this look they often create an unnaturally pristine version and miss out on the perfectly imperfect charm.

^ Even fully-paved narrow alleys can be charming with colorful stucco, shutters, and wild and free potted plants.

Image sources: image 1, images 2 & 3, image 4, image 5


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