Beautiful, Rustic Home Decor Ideas
Kim Sava lives by an uncommon philosophy: Keep only what you use, make peace with imperfection, and (seriously) help those in need. Her beautiful home is a snapshot of her spirit.
Meet Kim Sava
Kim, 53, is a charming outlier in her town just north of New York City. A stay-at-home mom who takes care of newborns for a private adoption agency, Kim moves to the beat of her own drum in many aspects of her life—and always has.
Finding Beauty in All Objects
RELATED: What Your Paint Color Says About You
Believe it or not, the paint colors you choose reveal something about your personality. Soft warm shades—like peach, yellow, or pink—suggest a cheerful and welcoming personality. Because of their brightness, warm shades tend to make a room feel more intimate. Soft, cool hues, on the other hand—think pale to medium blues, lavenders, and greens—evoke feelings of tranquility. If you prefer blues, you may be more introspective and view your home as an oasis. Bold colors—ruby or sapphire—make instant statements and differentiate a space, so those who choose these shades are likely to be confident and creative types.
Settling into suburbia, with a house to finish, Kim noticed that she was habitually heading out to the stores on Saturdays, stressing about the cost of decorating, and getting further and further from her own secondhand, salvagey self. “I realized, I can’t do this,” she says. “So I went back to my old ways. And I’m much happier.”
Loving and Letting Go
Opening Her Heart—and Her Home
Decorating With An Eclectic Style
The dining room is a collection of dark furniture with a modern chandelier (purchased from a friend) that has followed Kim from home to home for 20 years. In the kitchen, stacks of mixed white dishes, battered wooden bowls, and ancient cast-iron cookware create rustic-chic tableaux.
Giving Unexpected Elements New Uses
Keeping Treasures From the Past Useful
One trick to Kim’s ethereal interior is that she doesn’t use window screens: “I don’t like the way they look.” She says that sheers provide enough protection and uses linen Pottery Barn curtains downstairs, inexpensive polyester sheers in the bedrooms. “They keep out 90 percent of the bugs,” she says. “Except spiders, but we don’t mind those.”
Cutting Down On Clutter
Nowadays Kim is vigilant about avoiding clutter. Even the boys’ rooms are studies in minimalism. Instead of posters on the walls or shelves full of tchotchkes, the tiny rooms have vintage beds and bureaus, plus a couple of personal touches: in Wesley’s, a basket of lacrosse sticks that looks like a gallery installation; in Declan’s, a piece of graffiti art that he made. Legos have survived purges and are stashed away neatly.
Creating An Outdoor Haven
Kim’s yard is no less enchanting than her house. Obscured by an arc of rhododendrons is an old bathtub that came from the set of a film Kim worked on. “I had a plumber put in hot water at the hose,” she says, and the family actually bathes in it. And get this: The backyard is edible. “Gerard and I used to fight about who had to mow,” says Kim. “Then I took a foraging class, and it changed everything. I had spent so much time battling dandelions. After the class, I was digging up bunches from the side of the road to replant.” Also found outside the back door: wild violets, wood sorrel, stinging nettles, and wineberry bushes. “It’s so much easier to take care of—and it’s salad,” she says with a laugh.
Treasuring Her Family History
Finding a Home For Everything
Does Kim miss any of the stuff that she has purged over the years? “My big brother was mad at me because I sold his Marine Corps uniform,” she says. “That’s my one big regret.” Then, after a pause: “Maybe I’ll find it someday at a thrift shop.”