I’ve been slowly picking out furniture, curtains, shelving and colors for my new house. We’ll move in about a month and I have the guidance of a lovely designer named David.
Yesterday, we chose the sofa and a few lamps. Oh, and pillows. I love lots of colorful interesting pillows.
I’ve never done this before. All of the places I’ve lived have been an amalgamation – i.e. hodge podge – of stuff. A couch I bought on the fly, shelves from a bunch of different life stages, whatever I could throw together.
I don’t know why, when my ex and I bought this house 10 years ago, we didn’t more carefully decorate it. We spent so much time fixing what was wrong in this house that perhaps all we could do was that.
Now, in my 40s, it’s time to bring it all together.
I don’t have a defined color palette. I guess you could say my style is eclectic. But I am ready for a house that has synergy, a house with rooms that flow, a house where we can really live.
That’s what Dan and I are planning: to really be in this house. To stop running so much and filling our calendars with activities away from home. Sure, there will be some – with four kids, you just can’t help it.
But he and I both have a vision of gardening on the balcony and in the yard, of evenings with the French doors open to let the breeze flow through the main floor, courtesy of abundant screens that will keep mosquitoes out.
And here’s a big decision: even the dishes I currently have combine several styles. Ten years ago, I loved that idea – that mismatched table setting, with different sets that do go together, and silverware styles that have each person at the table with a different combination of patterns.
So I found a set of silverware in an catalog that I really loved. And as David and I discussed what dishes would go with it, it occurred to me that my set of fancy china in the cupboard never gets used.
And I love it.
Why not use it every day? The metallic decoration around the rim of each plate and bowl may not be compatible with the dishwasher, so that was the first reason why not.
And then I thought – so what if the metallic eventually, over time, chips away? Is it better to keep something beautiful shut up in the cupboard for decades than to use it really well for a defined period of time and buy new dishes in 10 or 20 years if I need to?
So we’re using the china and its attendant silverware every day going forward because I don’t believe life is about being careful.
I believe life is for living well and from the heart.
It all comes together. When you choose what you love, what makes sense to you, you have an automatic flow.
David pointed out some artwork and vases to fill spaces, and I just shook my head. “If it doesn’t have a function, I don’t want it,” I said. That’s just me – other people might really like the way it looks.
This is going to be my house. Our house. Our home. And that’s a very different thing than a museum for walking through and viewing, but not touching.
I plan to live really well, fully and with so much heart in this place. After all, how I could do anything less?