Edit Your Rooms, Calm Your Life. Really.

Anyone who’s ever even picked up a design magazine knows the edict: Edit, edit, edit. But rarely have I heard it so soulfully articulated as from lovely Houston designer Jane Moore in the September-October issue of Veranda. We both think it was the second time I’d interviewed her but we couldn’t be sure… I have come to the point in life where that happens.

Jane Moore living room - Veranda
Houston designer Jane Moore's living room is a soothing palette of neutrals punctuated with periwinkle and hydrangea.

Downsizing after a divorce, Jane moved into a townhouse and embraced the opportunity for inspiration and self-expression in an entirely new way.

Jane Moore dining room - Veranda
A beautiful antique tapestry sets the scene for the dining room.

“I got to be me,” she said. “I took out anything that wasn’t exactly what I wanted.” Transitions in life often induce re-appraisal of both heart and home. Jane found that the more she edited the calmer she felt. “It was like getting rid of excess baggage. I ended up with favorite things from every era of my life. I love to come home.”

How appealing is that?

Jane Moore sitting room and kitchen - Veranda
A sitting room faces the kitchen. I love the ruffled slipcover fastened with buttons at the back and the collection of French crockery bowls called tians.

And better yet, editing is FREE. I’m going to make a deal with myself, by the end of the weekend, to put at least five things in a get-rid-of pile, to give away or sell at a tag sale in the not too distant future.

I feel calmer already.

It must be contagious. Just looking at this beautiful house is calming. You see exactly what she’s talking about, don’t you? Pared down but not minimal. Spare but not severe. Simple but luxurious. Moreover the palette is soothing, the fabrics and textures sensual, the discipline strong, the touches soft. It’s a steel magnolia sensibility of design.

Jane Moore kitchen - Veranda
The charming, daring kitchen

The kitchen has to be one of my all-time favorites, and we spoke about it at length. She’d had the old French architect’s desk in her shop for years without selling it. Apparently it was mean to be hers. She re-purposed it as kitchen counter and installed no upper cabinets (!). Note the pretty linen curtain in place of doors for lower shelves and the big baskets for storage.

She did confess there is more storage in a large walk-in pantry and for the things that aren’t pretty. Like ketchup bottles and soup cans. Thank goodness there’s a mess somewhere, I thought.

Jane Moore bedroom - Veranda
Master bedroom with lovely, lacy antique linens on the bed.

And if you want to know how much charm you can put into a postage-stamp-size garden, here it is.

Jane Moore garden - Veranda
The all-green garden is an oasis of cool in the Houston heat.

To see more of Jane’s work, I discovered a wonderful blog called Indulge Decor with a nice post on Jane Moore Interiors that ran a couple of years ago…. And this just in from an alert reader: A post on Jane Moore a few days ago on the Cote de Texas blog. It is extensive with lots of photos and more about the talented Jane–you’ll love it.

Do see the full copy of Veranda to get more of Jane’s story and decor details. It’s a very strong issue that also includes a pet project of my buddy Richard Keith Langham. It’s an amazing Pennsylvania farmhouse that belongs to a longtime friend of his. And other of his longtime friends, yours truly included, have been hearing about this place for years, I exaggerate not. I nearly collapsed with the publication of it.

Veranda Sept-Oct cover
Find it on the newsstand now - with Jane Moore's living room on the cover.


  1. This is EXACTLY how I try to live my entire life, and not just design-wise. Though not always successful, the effort is always worth it. I’m buying Veranda this weekend, Frances. The photos are beautiful. Thanks for alerting us to the new interview!

    1. I try, too, Deona, and not always successful. But the point is to have the intention, as you so gracefully point out. Thank you, and it is great to hear from you, wonderful girl. Frances

  2. Hi Frances. A good friend of mine is publishing a new book on Angels that she has painted. Her stories are wonderful and thought you might want to contact her to write about them. I will send you the latest email from her. She also was on Oprah to give her one. Great story!

    Hope you are well. I love following you everyday!

    1. Patty, so good to hear from you and YES please keep me posted on the Angels book. I would love to buy one when it comes out – and to write about it. Thank you thank you, love, Frances

  3. Frances,thank you for your post on this wonderful home. Yes,edit is the word of the day! Great idea to toss 5 items daily. Be sure to check out the blog Cote de Texas and see pictures of Jane Moore’s home in 2000. As always love your writing.

    1. Thanks, Becky! I don’t know about daily but weekly for sure! And thanks for the tip on the Cote de Texas blog. I’m going to update the post to include it if I can find it. xox Frances

  4. Oh dear, oh dear…I’m heading for my living room shelves right now!!! Beautiful post…just looking at the pictures calmed me!

  5. From one Frances to another, even a North Carolina Frances at that, although I live in the Pensacola, Fl area now. I am procrastinating once a again by reading one more email, Yours, before tackling my husbands closet. Now I feel, ruthless , poor guy… I always get a kick out of your stories, on this one, about the pantry and ketchup bottles..it is the let’s get real line that gets me every time. I will be purchasing Veranda too as I wait for now Tropical Storm Issac to clear out of here.

  6. Just the inspiration I need. Never really got the downsizing completed and need to tackle it once again, four years after moving in!

  7. I definitely see myself in environs as simple and cooling as these in my near future. I will be looking for this magazine! thanks for sharing.

  8. Frances, I too am editing my home right now. I am deciding which thing to keep and which ones to toss. I like to fill one bag for donation or trash every week. I keep them in all of the rooms to inspire me-if I see it I will fill it!
    xo, Lissy

  9. Frances, love your post!! I am an edit QUEEN! I cannot stop! There is nothing more calming than walking into a room that is free of clutter. Always love your writing! Hope you are well! XO

    1. Anne hey! Great to hear from you, girl, and am so inspired and impressed by your editing queenliness. If you have a favorite tip or two, please share. xox F

  10. Hopefully Preacher and Partner will read this before they move into the new rectory ! I find It is so hard for me to start edit but it feels so good when I am done!

    1. Hey Lee! Yes they say three moves = one fire. Rather a drastic analogy, but I’m sure this momentous move will inspire the meticulous selection it deserves. 😉 Frances

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