Casual elegance defined:

casual (adj.): informal, happening by chance

elegance (n): tastefully fine, luxurious; gracefully refined

Casual elegance. The whole idea seems a bit contradictory. In fact, it's true that we are blending 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.

This 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. Linen napkins, crystal goblets and candles used everyday... 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 style 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 well being. 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.

Author's Bio: 

Kathleen Ellis, Lifestyle Designer, decorator, speaker, writer and TV personality, specializes in teaching you how to create a life of TOTAL BEAUTY which includes Inner Beauty, Outer Beauty and Surrounding Beauty. Kathleen believes your unique sense of style should be reflected in your life choices & mindset, your wardrobe and your home. She is an expert at motivating and inspiring you to create the Beautiful Life you dream of and to bloom into the Beautiful Woman you were created to be.
For 5 years, she was the featured lifestyle expert on CBS affiliate WHP-TV in Harrisburg, PA. As a successful Interior Decorator for over 14 years, she has been featured in several publications including Romantic Homes, Chesapeake Home, Central PA and Harrisburg magazines. Kathleen enjoys sharing her passion for creating romance, beauty and elegance in every area of life. Kathleen presents workshops on various Lifestyle topics. Kathleen inspires and motivates her audience to dream and to step out of the box to make those dreams come true. For more Totally Beautiful Lifestyle ideas I'd like to invite you to sign up for my free monthly newsletter at Once a month you'll receive Beautiful, Easy, Elegant and Romantic ideas for decorating, entertaining and living a Totally Beautiful Lifestyle.