I am the world's worst decision maker. Given a choice between two things I can agonize for hours or weeks over which one to choose and still, when I make a decision, I'm always wondering, "Did I make the right choice?" When I was doing the Cure, it was this week, retail therapy, that was the one I dreaded the most. I was going to have to plunk down my cash for stuff, because of my budget most of it on Craig's List, that I had to make snap decisions on and that was not returnable. Oddly enough, however, when this week came, I knew exactly what I wanted, including a pair of orange lamps I chased down from Alex on This is Not Ikea. Woooah, what? How did I do that?...
I went back to the list of interview questions (pages 42-47), my style tray and, most importantly for me, the one sentence explanation of how I wanted my home to feel. Those words (in my case it was an entire sentence: "In the early 40s, a woman, having spent her childhood in Hong Kong and traveling all over the world, finds herself living in Paris for a few months before moving to the States" - yeah, it's a little wacked but it worked for me) are the key to this week.
They can help you make the choice between the mid-century stool and the stainless one by Phillippe Starck; between the white shag rug and the estate sale Oriental; they can even manifest the exact right end tables for exactly what you want to pay for them on Craig's List (I know, it sounds New Agey but trust us, it happens). And, they can also help you with weeding through books and CDs.
If you're agonizing over what to buy, if your budget can't support the couch AND the console AND the two chairs AND the coffee table, if you're having trouble deciding what to do now and what will have to wait for later, go back to those tools and expand your few words into a full sentence description. Unlike me (Abby)or Laure or Maxwell or any other of your Apartment Therapy writers, the only person who needs to know what your sentence is is you (and, if you live with them and they have a say in the decorating of your house, your significant other or your roommate). That sentence will give you clarity. It will give your courage. It will give you strength.
Buying stuff for your home, weeding through your books and media, repairs, sending out the invitations to your housewarming party -- really this week is all about commitment. Having a clear vision for your home helps turn that commitment from a series of tough decisions into a playful game of easy choices, from limiting to liberating. Does this support my vision of what a happy home looks like to me?
The person who lives in my house is well-traveled, about to embark on a new adventure and can't be burdened with a lot of books so the only books in my house are the ones I am planning to read or that have great sentimental value to me, the rest get donated or given as gifts to friends. Your sentence may mean that the art displayed in your home is constantly changing or that you always have the latest ITunes offering wafting through your speakers.
The commitment you're making is to your home as you would like it to be; your life as you would like it to be. The clearer you are about what that home and that life looks like, the more you will know that yes, a leopard couch is exactly what my home needs or no, I am definitely not a person who would paint her walls green.
This week I'm going to do something in my home that I thought I'd never do
Here are some suggestions: Paint the scene outside my living room window, bake cupcakes, have people over for breakfast, use my Wii to start an exercise program, have a Guitar Hero party, make love in the kitchen, turn up the music really loud and rock out to 80s power ballads, make a demo tape of that song I wrote and upload it to my MySpace account, start a blog, open an Etsy store and sell my hand stamped t-shirts, start a knitting circle, spend the whole day in my pajamas reading all four Twilight books, watch all the films on AFI's 100 Greatest Films list, open that bottle of Absinthe I got for my birthday and drink it, start a tradition of afternoon tea on Sundays, subscribe to the paper and have time to read it, host Thanksgiving at my house this year, have my friend's kids over for a soap bubble party while their parents go out shopping, dog sit my friend's Weinermaraner.
• Week 4 - Tips and tricks with Susie
• Week 4 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 3 - Show and Tell with Abby and Laure
• Week 3 - Tips and Tricks with Sarah Rae
• Week 3 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 2 - Show & Tell with Abby
• Week 2 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
• Week 2 - Introduction with Maxwell
• Week 1 - Show & Tell with Laure
• Week 1 - Tips & Tricks with Sarah Rae
• Week 1 - Creating Your Vision with Maxwell
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