Monthly Archives: May 2010

beautiful and useful

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris 

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“He gains everyone’s approval who mixes the pleasant with the useful.”

Horace

simplify your home…renew your spirit

In a world of ever-increasing speed and information, where what happens tomorrow is not as predictable as it once was; we need an oasis to return to. A calm, grounding space that renews our spirit, refreshes our mind, relaxes our body and restores us to whole. A space that reflects our aspirations and dreams, wants and desires.

It is, however, unfortunate that so many homes are as chaotic as the world we live in. Places to pass through as opposed to live in. We need to readdress our priorities and clarify what we feel is truly important in our lives. The key to achieving this ultimate goal is to simplify our lives. This is a theme we see again and again, but all too often it is wrapped in pretty and expensive paper. Ultimately simplicity begins with our own mind-set; how we view what affords our time and what we choose to disregard.

What does your home say to you?

When looking around the home you live in, do you feel there is room for improvement? Not necessarily in the way it is furnished, but in the way it reflects the type of values you want to personify. Is it moving you toward your specific goals? Part of the simplification process is the view that “less is more”. This one idea relates to so much more than just our interiors. To have more for the sake of more, leaves an insatiable feeling of wanting to fill the void. By the same token, the idea of having less does not mean deprivation. Clearing out and paring down makes room for new thoughts, experiences and dreams to enter your life.

Be Discerning

When furnishing your home, be discerning. By choosing well made pieces that bring you joy, you set the tone for what will transpire in the space. Having each piece showcased requires a more thoughtful approach, but creates a much more dramatic effect. Choose pieces that contribute to your life, make your daily routine easier and work in harmony with your style of living. Measure the upkeep of a piece, large and small. If an item continually needs hand-prints wiped off it, is it really the best choice to live with?

Ask 3 Questions

Simplicity does require a lack of clutter, whether it be in our mind, home or workplace. To help sort through possessions, ask yourself three vital questions. Do I use it? Is it beautiful? Does it have sentimental attachment? Take note of your pieces on a day to day basis.

Do I use this piece?

Is each piece useful? Does the piece work well for its intended purpose? Do you have multiples of the piece, yet always use your ‘favorite’? Is the piece easy to maintain? Does the piece feel good (to sit or lay down on, hold in your hand, have underfoot or wrap yourself in)?

Do I find beauty in this piece?

Some pieces may not be particularly useful, but they are beautiful and bring happiness each time they are viewed. Certain pieces will create much more happiness than others, and this will help qualify what you keep and integrate into your space.

Do I have an attachment?

Other pieces are neither useful nor beautiful, but have such strong sentimental attachment that they would be very hard to part with. Bear in mind that the quantity of sentimental pieces you have or keep is not a direct reflection of how much you love or loved the person it is attached to. It is the living relationship that is most important, not the treasures we receive along the way or after the fact.

It is a triple victory if the pieces we have in our homes are visually engaging, have an intended purpose and were collected with a sentemental story attached. The more fully we can enjoy each piece, large or small, the more comforting our homes become. This three part process is an on-going one. Our homes are ever-changing, just like the lives we lead. Be ever mindful of what you surround yourself with and how it relates to where you are in your life.

Keeping these principles in mind will help you achieve a home that is your sanctuary from the world, somewhere to inspire your dreams.