Thursday, February 8, 2018
Tension and Balance at Home and in the Garden
While writing this week about my shopping excursions and loot I'd collected I mentioned that I'd had a period of cleaning out, for the past few years since losing 3 relatives whose possessions I had to cope with. Also the kids moved out and I had to deal with everything they didn't choose to take with them. Then there were repairs and painting and last January a massive room by room reduction in stuff.
Everything was so fresh and clean I kept reducing, and getting rid of things. There were lots of blank surfaces. It felt great.
Until I reached a tipping point. The point when it went from clean and fresh to sterile and cold. I'd had colorful walls for years and painted them all white as a clean slate to start over. The house was on the verge of losing its sense of cozy. I carefully added a few things.
The Hive Guest Cottage is a great example of the process! See the pics here.
As I mentioned in the last post I also deal with this same scenario in the garden.
But as I thought about it more I realized this is all part of the tension or balance of life. Something in the brain craves both a sense of visual order as well as stimulation and interesting things to look at. Plus I just adore looking around a room at treasures collected on travels or favorite books I've read. This search for balance occurs in other areas of life as well.
I have spent tons of time thinking, talking with friends, and trying to work out what would be the ideal capsule wardrobe, for instance. I've even written about it. But after a few weeks I notice there are still things I never wear and something I need to dress for that then sends me out shopping. I'm often guilty of over purging.
For years I've thought I could put this puzzle together but I'm beginning to realize that I may have to be comfortable with a pendulum that swings back and forth a bit. Minimalism is never going to work for me even though part of me feels like it's a "should." There has to be a sweet spot somewhere between that and the next episode of Hoarders. But I'm okay with thinking that target might shift a bit one way or the other depending on what's going on.
Read about how I rediscovered and rescued our lost tool shed.
I've learned that my tolerance and/or appreciation for things changes with the seasons. I love seeing more books displayed in winter, for example. In the summer I put lots of things away to make room for fresh flowers. My "summer look" is definitely cleaner which I associate with cooler. In winter more stuff equals cozy. There is a warmth to layers of favorite objects. Cozy also means a lot more color and texture.
In the garden I finally achieved a certain amount of balance by letting the cleaner landscaping rein in the front yard and fostering my love for all things cottage and rambly in the back. A classic solution. I like a front yard that looks more "managed" even though I still have more going on than most people. In the actual garden I like definite areas, some wilder than others.
Creating areas is a great solution indoors as well. I don't think you can have too many trays. Something about a collection or tablescape on a tray says "this is a contained mess." Much easier for my brain to handle.
In an upcoming post I'll discuss how I've been adding color back in.
That's right, Joanna Gaines. I said color.