Take a cue from Amanda Edwards, a gifted author, herbalist, she shed designer and farm owner near Asheville, NC: Sometimes a clean slate is the best approach. “I need a simple and soothing color palette in order to thrive,” she says. “When we first moved into our home, every room was painted fluorescent green or medium grey, so the very first thing we did was paint most of the rooms white with pale cream trim. Whites, creams, soft greens or blues, and natural wood tones are my go-to colors.”
There is a reason we are so taken with homes and rooms done mostly in whites, creams or wood tones. These hues suggest cleanliness, order and calm. Perhaps as importantly, they offer a stunning canvas that captures the imagination on social media, especially Instagram. While not a literal return to the shabby chic craze of the 80s and 90s, the trend that began with Rachel Ashwell and other influencers continues to resonate. There will always be a wide ribbon of women with a passion for the ethereal nature of white.
“Keeping things simple and neutral makes the space calming, and turns it into place where I can be at my most creative,” says Amanda, who uses her shed for many things including garden projects. She is a certified aromatherapist and grows medicinal herbs, which dry on hangers inside the shed. Amanda is also a regular contributor to a local magazine, writing articles about natural healing and the therapeutic powers of essential oils.
Another “favorite thing” in Amanda’s world is the old-fashioned one-room schoolhouse. Inspired by the historic structures at Conner Prairie in her home state of Indiana, Amanda, her husband and a local builder created this schoolhouse-style shed on their property. Starting as a plain box, the structure then got a cupola, along with a front porch and ample window boxes. The exterior siding is board and batten, the interior remains unfinished. and she’s been busy making it special. The thing is, it’s very sparse. Intentionally so.
Resisting the human urge to fill negative space, Amanda instead embraces the emptiness. “Besides being the perfect space to get work done and further my hobbies, it also acts as my peaceful little escape to drink tea and relax,” she says. All that’s needed is a place to sit and something to put the teacup on. What’s next for Amanda? “I’m thinking about a velvet chair,” she confides. We wonder what color it is going to be.
Amanda posts about her rural life and becoming a better gardener on Instagram as @threepinesfarm.