It can seem like it takes a lot of effort to turn a house into a home, especially in NYC, where apartments can be the size of a suburban closet and juggling everyone’s busy schedule can send you across all five boroughs. Who has time for cozy living room furniture, Pinterest-worthy refrigerator organization, or hosting a dinner party when there is so much to keep track of every day?
According to Molly Sims, you do!
Known for her career as a model and actress, Sims has spent her entire life juggling responsibilities between work, home, and family, but still manages to make her house a happy place for her husband, her three kids, and herself by “keeping sh*t real”—aka not striving for perfection, but being honest with herself and “embracing happy mess.”
We caught up with Sims to learn more about her new book and to learn some of her refreshingly honest entertaining, organizing, and decorating tips that can make creating a humble abode easy and, most importantly, fun!
What inspired you to write your new book, Everyday Chic: My Secrets for Entertaining, Organizing, and Decorating at Home?
My biggest inspiration for Everyday Chic was to show that it’s not about having a perfect life. This book is about embracing the imperfect happy mess and adding in those chic little touches whenever you can. It’s as easy as ordering takeout and serving it on your best dishes or serving sparkling water in a wine glass. I’m lucky enough to be able to know and work with incredibly talented designers, nutritionists, party planners, and homemakers who teach me as I go. So I really wanted to take the style and grace that I learned from these people and share them with all of you.
The book covers a variety of topics and tips that parents can infuse into their everyday lives, from home décor and organization to cooking and entertaining. Why do you think that these four core topics are so important?
The four core topics addressed in Everyday Chic are what the everyday supermodels or supermommas deal with on a daily basis. If we’re not cooking, we’re entertaining. If we’re not entertaining, we’re organizing a room and then trying to figure out what piece would look good in the empty corner. It all comes full circle. It’s so important to showcase these topics because it’s never going to be perfect. Us mommas are always doing something so these four chapters in my book highlight the tips that have really helped me.
In your book you outline an accessory rule for home décor that you love—remove one piece. Can you explain a little bit more about what this means?
There’s a fine line between chic and overdone. I always like to add one statement piece in a room because it can truly elevate the ambiance. You want the room to be livable and not overwhelming. By removing one piece, you can really elevate the room.
What other advice do you have for busy parents regarding decluttering, especially for parents living with young kids?
I’m the type of person where if my space is cluttered then my mind is cluttered. I try to keep an environment that’s as peaceful as possible. But at the end of the day, kids will make messes and it’s all about embracing that happy mess. In Everyday Chic, I talk about all of the unnecessary items that we accumulate over time, and that only grows once you have kids. The things that I keep in my home are what I value the most—the things that truly bring joy to my family and the necessities. If you keep clutter in the home, the chances are that your kids will too. I like to get my kids involved. Every once and awhile we go through their old books and toys that they don’t use anymore and donate them to a local charity.
One of the perks of having a decluttered home is that your focus can shift from organization to design. What are some of your best tips for families looking to make their house look luxe on a budget, and what is your favorite room in the house to decorate?
I completely agree! Something that I’ve learned over the years is that quality décor and design do not have to break the bank. Good design can be found everywhere from exclusive showrooms to flea markets! I truly believe that you need to invest the majority of your budget in instillations like cabinets, counter tops, and flooring. Save your money on trendy pieces or items that you’ll change out easily. As for my favorite room to decorate, it would have to say the kitchen. When we built this house we made our kitchen an open concept since it is the heart of the house. I’m able to talk to [my husband] Scott while he’s watching TV across the way in the living room while still keeping an eye on the kids—who are always roaming around.
Getting dinner on the table and organizing daily meals for a household can be stressful for busy parents, especially when health is a top priority. How does you book help parents tackle this concern?
Oh trust me, I know. It’s so easy to hit the drive thru on your way home but I picked up on this 2/2/2 + 1 strategy. This allows me to cook all my dishes for the week ahead of time and store all of my food in glass containers. This strategy includes cooking two protein dishes, two salads, two veggie or grain sides and one “top it off” dish which is a casserole, stew, or simple dish. I go into further detail on how I prep and cook these dishes every week in Everyday Chic.
As someone who is pretty familiar with and gets a lot of enjoyment out of planning parties and events, what advice do you have for parents who tend to get overwhelmed organizing holiday and birthday events?
Scott always says that good food, good people, good drinks, and good music are they key ingredients to making a great party. I also believe that the devil is in the details. As much as I love the basics, I truly appreciate stylish flatware and a printed menu. I always start my party planning with a theme; if I don’t begin to plan an event by setting a theme, I go down the Pinterest rabbit hole and we all know that’s a scary place to be.
Out of all of the dinner parties, birthday parties, and holiday events, what is your favorite that you have ever thrown?
As you know, I go ALL OUT for my kid’s birthday parties. Momma loves a theme. This past year, we threw Scarlett a unicorn-themed birthday party and my husband literally almost killed me. I actually got a unicorn for this party and I gotta say, it was definitely a hit.
A theme throughout your book is the idea that staying positive is more effective than achieving perfection and the importance of “keeping sh*t real,” and you tackle perfectionism in motherhood, body image, and work. How has your outlook on perfection changed since becoming a mother, and what do you do to stay positive when you are facing challenges in life?
We are living in the pressure cooker of perceived perfection. It’s a tough place to be but in all honesty, no one is perfect, even though Instagram or television makes it seem that way. Whenever there’s chaos, and believe me there’s a lot of it, I take a deep breath and embrace the happy mess.
For more information on where you can get your own copy of Everyday Chic, as well as more tips and tricks from Molly Sims, visit MollySims.com.