This morning as I was riding–not driving–to work, I was reading this post from Kerilyn Russo over at Roots of She, and I was struck. Particularly by this:
Besides my belief about the three things that you can do to change your space, without spending a lot of money (Paint, Lighting, Art) this… is my most powerful design statement.
Your space… has to speak WITHOUT YOU
Yikes. What is it that my space(s) is saying when I’m not around? As I was thinking about it, it’s saying a lot about me that is true, and a lot of those things aren’t things I’m too proud of.
This is particularly insightful for me right because for the last month or so, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about decorating and making the spaces I occupy more of “my” space. Or in the case of the house I live in with my husband, two dogs, and two cats, “our” space. How do we make the places where we spend so much time reflective of who we are?
Right now if you walked through my house, it would say the following things to you about me:
- I’m a mess. There are things scattered here and there and piles all over the place. I’m not sure that I’m willing to say that my space would tell you that I’m dirty–cleaning last weekend took care of that and we went comfortably back to the realm of “Messy. But. Not. Dirty”–but it’s definitely a mess. If you were to let me know you were planning to drop by, it wouldn’t be a mess by the time you got here, but it would have been two seconds before you walked through the door. Not so much proud of that one.
I suppose, though, it’s OK. Not that it’s OK that my house is a mess but that it is understandable because, well, I am a bit of a mess myself. The pathways of my brain often look like rabbit warrens or mazes that have so many dead-ends that you quickly scream with frustration. I’m not sure which way to go, and there are 8 different things going at once. Not all of them are pretty; some of them are a bit gross. But that’s what it is.
- I like to read. There are books on the wall and jammed into a bookshelf, magazines strewn across the coffee tables and desk. There are boxes of them behind a chair and in the storage unit. There are all kinds of books there. Worthless books, trashy novels, great literature, text books, resources. I like having the knowledge at my fingertips, and I know a lot of useless stuff. Less than I used to because it is sometimes so hard to focus and remember things. But it’s there. If you give me a minute.
- Either I like to capture memories or I like to take pictures. Maybe both. There are a lot of photos in this house. Collage frames. Pictures on ledges and shelves. Snapshots on dressers and desks. If you look closely, you’ll see cameras, too. Newer ones, older ones, different ones. So maybe my space says I like to take photos.
- You’ll probably notice pens. Several containers on the desk that are stuffed full of pens. So I’m forgetful, a strange collector, a petty thief, or perhaps maybe I’m a writer. Or someone who pretends to be a writer.
- There’s a huge television on the wall in the living room and a couple of media towers that are stacked with DVDs. If you looked at them closely, you’d see that there’s a layer of dust coating them, so you’d might wonder what they’re for. Why do we have them if we don’t watch them, which is a good question. I’ve never watched movies but I’ve always bought them. It’s odd, I know. I can’t
That’s about it, though. It’s a pretty nondescript place, and that is totally something that I want to work. I’ve got a pinterest board that is filled with what I want my home, my space, to say about me. I want to be organized, fun, and comfortable. I want a little funky flair. I want peace and calm. I want maps and mirrors and clocks on the wall and lots of places to lounge and talk. I want cool, rich color. I think I just need to begin collecting and looking for the things I want to help organize me, make me comfortable, and keep me calm.
Of course, I need to negotiate all of these things with the other person who shares my home. I’d like to think that I’m flexible enough to honor what he’d like his space to say about him, but I do know that I don’t want my home to look like a teenage boy’s room. There’s a framed jersey in the hall and for some reason, there’s a framed autographed photo of a Saints’ player on the entertainment center. Figuring out that balance is difficult, though. I don’t want to have him not represented here in his space, but I want some elegance and class.
We won’t even get into what my work space says about me when I’m not there.
What does your space say about you? What do you want it to say? How are you going to make that happen?