"Home wasn't built in a day" Jane Sherwood Ace
When I look back at pictures of all the homes my family has lived in since we were married, there have been multiple versions of "design". What I thought looked amazing back in my 30's and what our home looks like now, they are miles apart. As it should be, a work in progress.
Whether you are starting to create your look as a 20 or 30 something, starting over due to a move or life changing event. Perhaps you just want to "redesign" your home, think about a couple of things as you move through this process.
Don't rush! Take your time to find and keep things that you truly love. Let your home tell a story. Gather things on trips that will bring back memories of a family vacation or a time with friends. Each time you look at that belonging it will remind you of that time. As I sit in my living room writing this post, I look around and see a side table that we bought in the first couple of years of marriage. I remember buying it on a visit to see my sister in the hills of West Virginia. It has always been used for Santa's milk and cookies, so that is going nowhere. Another piece that will stay with me forever is a beautiful Pennsylvania setback cupboard that was I was lucky enough to inherit. The rest of the furnishings in this room I have accumulated over the years, remembering where and when I got them. A memory or story for each. My sister use to say her home was a revolving door, I subscribe to that. Keep what you love, get rid of what you don't and....gather carefully.
I am a huge blue and white fan. Blue just makes me happy! Perhaps you noticed the background color of my blog. I have collected blue china from antique stores, flea markets and yard sales. I was married back when you registered for everyday and special occasion china. WHAT??? I used my everyday china for years and only used my good china on Christmas. What a waste. I ended up selling both sets and started the search for blue and white china. My husband once spotted a box of blue and white china under a table at a yard sale for $20 that had 10 of everything. I was so proud of him! Many years later, I gave that set to my daughter for her first apartment out of college. I now have several patterns of blue and white china and mix and match them always. It keeps it interesting. Not everything has to come from a retail store. You can find some of the best treasures for next to nothing at yard sales and flea markets. One man's junk is another man's treasure.
As I get older and think about what in my home is really special to me and what makes me happy. I let go of things along the way that no longer fit into those categories. We have all bought something or been given something that at that moment was "the best". Recently when we moved from Virginia to New Jersey and again from our beach rental to where we are settled now, I really thought about that and moved things along. Use it or lose it! Considering my husband is in the hotel business, I am realistic in knowing this will not be our last move, so why hang on to things that don't bring me joy or that I use rarely if ever. Never mind moving them again!
While going through this process of what brings me joy, I also think about my children and what will matter to them one day. Again, I think about memories. I love signs, old and new. I collected a few signs on yearly lake vacations back in the day when the kids were small. I have a feeling one of them will want one or two of those. Vermont was home for much of our lives. I have collections from three Vermont artisans. ShackletonThomas, Fossilglass and Simon Pearce, all made within miles of our home, those I will keep for my children. I think about the items that my kids used daily, things that will stir up memories of childhood. Things that I bought on a whim or with intention, I will understand if they choose not to keep them. NO GUILT! As I write this knowing they will read this....NO GUILT....take what you truly love and pass along what you don't. Sell it or donate it...someone will love it. In the end, it is stuff, no matter how much you love it.
Hanging on to things because you think you will use it one day or you feel guilty because Aunt Elizabeth gave it to you does not make sense. If those things sit in a drawer, they then become a weight around your neck. The other philosophy I stand by is if I don't use something or wear something in a years time, I never will. While I love my blue and white, I had too much of it, so I moved some along before this move. It was liberating. Less stuff made me happy after years of collecting.
Please explore any of these wonderful Vermont artisans, surround yourself with beauty.
www.shackletonthomas.com, www.simonpearce.com and Fossil Glass located at 75 Central Street, Woodstock, VT 802-457-9366.