Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kill the deadly ache: Who are you?

"There is no ache more deadly than the striving to be oneself." -Yevgeniy Vinokurov We all know that pretending to be someone else is painful, not to mention exhausting. What about your house? Is it too, pretending? This is often much less sinister than it sounds - the truth is so many people are after a "look" or an "effect" or, perish the thought, spit-up-in-my-mouth, a "theme." It's plenty ok with me if you copy right out of the pile of catalogues that come in the mail or right out of House Beautiful, if you are genuinely inspired and moved by the design on these pages. That's right - let's get Biblical with our houses. Wait until you are moved by something before you buy it, nail it up or have someone install it. This means it will be a more lasting feature in your home. This is also are a really nice way to avoid buyer's remorse, so common in big house decisions! So put down the mags and cats for now. Take a moment. Knowing yourself and making your home reflect this is quite possibly the greatest thing on earth. This is coming from a house-addict, an abode-lover, a dedicated devotee to all things related to residential design, but still, who out there doesn't like to come home? And what is more home, than a space that makes you feel good, that reflects you, and knows you? That's why the best education you can get to make your home more beautiful, is an education in yourself. What makes you smile? blush? smirk? snark? What makes you think of that first love? What makes you angry? What makes you think of childhood in a good way? What makes you think of childhood like a briar patch? What do you need to relax? recharge? recluse? These are the questions you should be asking waaaaay before you pick up a color wheel or look at a design magazine. This is hard work. That's certainly true. And if you aren't that sensitive to your surroundings, if you are "never home" or if you swear you really "just don't care," I think you're lying, but you can probably skip the questions above all the same. For the rest of you out there with a pulse, put the work + time in, and stick to your guns. It's sometimes hard to pick the wild green chair that makes you swoon, that's a little weird, or the chartreuse kitchen walls, or the gigantic brass gorilla knocker on your front door. But have confidence - the only audience that matter is YOU and guess what? You're watching.