My favorite design tool is listening. By listening well, I hear all kinds of great ideas that I could never think of on my own. In my work, I am the translator who makes places that clients can sit in, look at, enjoy and make memories in. As a translator, I listen carefully in order to fully understand the language someone uses to describe their home. How their home makes them feel, what they would change, why they desire to have more openness or more art tells me who they want to be in their space.
There is so much said between the lines. People love beauty. We crave it and spend money on it and can’t seem to get enough of it. We are so drawn towards beauty out in the world, yet I often find that people don’t emphasize the need to have their own homes be beautiful enough.
I know in my design company I service only a percentage of those who are committed and who can afford to hire all their home transformation to be performed by others. Beauty should translate to all areas of our life. Especially our homes.
These are the places we grow, the places we get to create and change as our tastes develop. This is where our family gathers, where our friends come to see us in our element. Your home should reflect the authentic you. Homes tell us who were are like mirrors. They serve as metaphors for our lives.
If you don’t feel like your home is quite the ‘you’ you’d like it to be, don’t worry. It’s a process. I would encourage you to imagine what your home is saying about you. Ask yourself, is it telling the story that I want to be writing? Does this place uplift me and build a proper foundation for my day? Do I smile when I pull up to the door?
By asking these questions you begin to look honestly at how you’ve been treating yourself. If it’s time to make some adjustments, here are a few ideas I like to use when changing up my space:
- Marie Kondo! If you’ve never opened her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, start here. Trust me on this one, it’s a game changer for seasoned design geek and resistant near-hoarder alike. Read it, do the work, and authenticity is on its’ way. If you crave true transformation, I can’t offer any better place to start that is easier to embark on as the results are immediately rewarding and lastingly tangible.
- Less is more from a place of overwhelm. Many times people don’t really know what they want before they can describe the desired result, but they know what they don’t want. If you’ve gotten away from what you truly crave, start deleting all the not-fun things. Life is meant to be fun.
- Lily pad jumps are what I called the small leaps forward I used to make before I could afford some of my nicer clothes and furnishings. I still wanted to feel good and stylish, but I would put together the idea for less by scouting Craigslist of discount places. While theses acceptable – don’t get carried away with bargain hunting for life and definitely don’t get stuck there. Collect certain items for your home as placeholders and save and aspire toward larger investments that really make you feel good.
- Layer in the luxuries as soon as you’ve edited and set intentions for your space in a way that feels truly ‘you’. Find things that make the feeling of luxury for you rather than the idea, and use them! An indulgent snack station, phenomenally scented candles, soft textures in throw blankets, and evocative color accents – these small things will go a long way to personalizing.
You’ll notice that I begin with editing on purpose. I find that often times junk is in the way of some good bones in terms of design. As a horticulturist sometimes I would rip garden beds out off a park entirely just so others could take center stage and be enjoyed.
Don’t take it too seriously, either. Pursue results with passion, but remember to play along the way.