A Little Vision
Updated: Jan 8
We have all been turned inwards again, home based and home bound. So, what can be done now to ensure that we ‘feel at home’ at home?
We have de-cluttered and then re-de-cluttered with steely determination, with Marie Kondo’s YouTube 20 top tidying tips in mind and with a conviction that minimalist living is the perfect end result for our temporary house arrest.
We have deep-cleaned all the places that we usually skip over with a lick and a promise. We have finally tackled all the hateful domestic tasks that we have been brushing under the carpet for years, literally in my case I am ashamed to confess, creating a perfect storm with the prevarication of ‘mañana, mañana’.
Even the jars of herbs and spices that went out of date 12 years ago have at last been replaced, in neatly ordered, rejuvenated lines, in drawers and cupboards, with a few new ones added to the collection to show-off how pleased we feel with ourselves – Asafoetida, Zaatar and Nigella seeds – and to back-up our proud participation in the renaissance of mindful home cooking.
So, now is the time to move. Drastic? Don’t worry, not an estate agent or RightMove app anywhere in sight.
It’s one of the simplest but most effective things that you can do! Moving a piece of furniture, a painting, a vase, a lamp, an ornament can transform the feel of a room and more importantly, your feeling about your living spaces.
Instead of looking at the bigger picture, set your targets on the space that comes immediately into view when you open a door. This can be your front door, your living room door, your bedroom door – every door!
It might be a section of wall where you can hang a favourite picture or photograph. There might be just the right space for a piece of furniture that is an heirloom or that you lovingly recycled when you set up your first home. If there is a shelf you can make sure that it gives pride of place to one or two meaningful ornaments, your favourite books or a friendly lamp (for your bedroom set up a lamp on a time-switch so that you open the door to a room that is bathed in a calming glow).
At first glance it’s not always straightforward. Kitchens and bathrooms are the hardest because of the restrictions of the inevitable installations, especially where floorspace is limited. We all know that delightful view of the loo with the lid up! Our bathroom door opens to give full view of shelves filled with sheets aka the linen cupboard! I have patiently folded towels and bedding in my favourite colours so that instead of seeing that functionality, I see burnt orange and turquoise. Our back door opens out onto a brick wall! I have carefully placed an earthenware pot (admittedly of large proportions) that is home to a frantically enthusiastic wisteria. You might just need to think outside the box in these spaces but there are still ways and means, colours and textures that can make a difference, create an effect and more importantly catch your eye.
How much better are these warm and heart-felt visual greetings than the first sight of bins in a kitchen, a pile of ironing in the spare bedroom, an overflowing laundry basket in the bathroom, a headache of official letters on the hall table?
In that defined space as you open a door, in that fleeting line of sight, you can stage a special moment that will make a subconscious emotional connection with you every time you step into a room.