I have always been a leaper and a grabber. I make bold decisions, with a vague sense of what will be good for me, and then forge boldly ahead to reap the consequences and rewards. I fly to Africa knowing no one and nothing of what that might mean and settle there for a season, eyes and heart open...
Then to New York, coasting like Mario with my raccoon tail down the streets and subway halls, ducking in the next open door of a train that hurtles me that much further in some direction. When I got my first New York apartment, terrified of the empty space, I marched down to the basement of ABC Carpet and Home with $300 cash in my pocket and muscled through rug after rug until I found the one that - for no predetermined reason - was perfect - and then matched everything else to that relatively random foundation.
On the other hand I am also a grabber - I wear my favorite jeans until the patches themselves are worn through, I sit in my newly decluttered room, declare it perfect, and swear never to let it change: the way my bed is snug against the wall, the light hits my bookshelf, the wooden elephant rests on my dresser. I leap towards the unknown and then sit in that meadow I chanced upon in the clouds, grasping at the grass, shivering for fear it will disappear as quickly as it came to be.
So putting together my style tray was the perfect way to allow my creative spirit the freedom to dream, without committing to anything (even change!). Interestingly enough, I found myself pulled towards two pretty different realms - dens with deep red walls and ornate tapestries, lots of books, and impossibly cozy couches - also deep blue walls, rich and vibrant, with antiques hanging on the walls (see rich color palette photo). And on the other hand, inspired first by some small silk pillows I picked up on clearance last month (also at ABC!) - the cool calm of velvet green, the white light through the window, deep grey and white linen. The simple lines that encourage peace and meditation (see calm color palette photo).
So what do I do with these impulses that seem to pull in different directions? Is there room for both in one room? My room is primarily my sleeping place, but I also want it to be a place where I can write, read, think, create - where a friend can sit and talk with me about ideas and dreams. Which style will best facilitate these things?
Also, there is the question of fitting in with the rest of the house and with the things I already own. How far away from the rest of the house is it tasteful to go when creating the color palette for my own personal space? Is it worth it to paint? I do like the rich color of my walls (though the dark ceiling is not so great), and they (again, by chance) do match that first rug I bought. Even the gold trim, which I originally hated, is growing on me.
One thing I do know - life without clutter is amazing. My room is manageable, and is at last peaceful to come home to at night (with the exception of a minor panic at the loss of my voter registration card, which somehow ended up in my outbox!). This week I also threw away an old pair of favorite (but very ratty) jeans, a last stronghold, and celebrated with the purchase of a deliciously swingy skirt and knee socks. (In with the new!) I am SO ready to go through my outbox and gift my things to their future owners. That's on the list for next week!
Best, Rebecca "the winsome clutterer" Bea
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