Show of hands, everyone:
Who enjoys personally designing or re-arranging their home decor? And who when mentioning the words ‘personally' and ‘decorating' in the same sentence is completely appalled and/or frightened?
Please, come back out from under that rug; I promise I won’t make you pair the perfect coffee table and side table duo today.
But I’ve noticed an interesting and arguably obvious pattern from my conversations with clients as Chef & Somm's Event Designer:
Some people find picking out paint swatches, trinkets and shelving units to be as soothing as a vacation escape. Other people avoid making these choices by quite literally escaping the situation - there doesn’t seem to be an in-between.
Now here comes my own personal confession of this post:
I too used to be an escape artist when it came to designing just about anything. You see, I’ve been an artist my whole life but strategically applying traditional mediums to canvas is a far cry from - let’s say - organizing a floating shelf to be functional and visually appealing at the same time. In the past, I couldn’t seem to bridge the psychological gap between what art was to me (paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures etc.) and what household design could be.
Enter my Mother: DUM DUM DUM.
No, I’m kidding! It’s not one of those stories. It’s one of these stories:
As a mother of four, my Mom had it going on when it came to the artful balance of ‘I have no extra time in a day' and 'I desire to make this house a home.’ One day in my late teens I finally became conscious of what an eclectic, colourful, well-designed home I was blessed enough to live in (yes parents, this moment does happen!). It was within this fluidly changing, artistic bubble of my mother’s decor and personal tastes that I learned to develop my own, personal design principles and inner confidence in them.
Everything in this world is a potential source of inspiration; a way to harness your own creativity. And I would argue that embodying the spirit of ‘Why be someone else when you can be yourself’ is one of the biggest considerations within any type of artistic design.
But naturally, I had to stop, think and (over) analyze:
What part of me had changed from when I used to panic at the sight of an empty room to now when I shake from the excitement of possibilities?
I developed a healthy, strong, ‘I’m one of a kind’, ‘my style is style' mindset because I realized the one thing that was always holding me back was my poor attitude towards what I could and could not accomplish in this world. Psychologically I was holding myself back from trying new avenues because of the fear of failing.
So now instead of entering an empty room thinking "I know nothing and this will be a disaster," I now aim to enter thinking ‘Wow, what a room full of unlimited possibilities to imprint new, creative ideas on! What an exciting new journey. Let’s see how it goes.”
This new type of mindset - essentially a self-loving, self-encouraging attitude - did a few things for my ability to psychologically show up for a challenge and in turn make things happen:
First off, we’re admitting and preparing ourselves for the idea that decor is more of a process than something final and permanent. When we mindfully consider a room within our house to be a journey, continually working towards something we love, some of the infamous self-inflicted pressure lifts to get it right the first time.
Think about designing a room the same way you design a healthy relationship: When we view the beginning of our partnership with someone as the beginning of a journey or path together instead of say, thinking our work is now done, the union feels more fluid to grow and morph with you both in time. A room in your living space should operate under this same premise!
As fluid and moving people, we need to adapt to the idea that change is good. It’s necessary. It’s functional, above all.
So don’t be afraid to change things up. When we let go of our fear of change, designing our spaces goes back to a place of figuring out ways of how best to enjoy and utilize the spaces at the time.
Show of hands:
Who here has a room in their home affectionally dubbed 'The Room Where All Things Go To Die" but also lacks space for some genuine peace and quiet?
I now ask you another question:
How have you grown personally since the last time you moved your furniture around in the room you’re sitting right now? Any new interests, people, projects, work etc.?
And one more: What spaces do you require to do some of the things you enjoy? Or, what spaces do you require to do some of those cool new ideas, habits, dreams, or hobbies you’ve been wanting to try?