Sunday, January 29, 2012
The Heart of the Matter
I think there is such a thing as design overload, design junkie, design noise. As I check myself on this topic I fall into several traps. I love to spend hours pouring over design magazines, interiors mostly, blogs, websites, etc. Design* Sponge, Apartment Therapy, Pinterest, Etsy, NotCot, Lookwork, are all sources of continual inspiration, the possibilities are endless. However, I've noticed that the more I submerge myself in this sea of design 'experts' the less I actually create. It's like anything else 'out there', there is a lot of noise, some gems and a few icons worth noting but hours lost in weeding through them. I'm creating virtual visual mood boards, fun, fun, fun but to what end? Where does the addiction stop and the creativity begin? I do not work in the design industry so there is no direct application or result of my 'research'. I only have my small living space to design, again and again. This leaves me feeling inadequate most of the time. I see a new great 'space' on Design*Sponge and I experience the thrill of the new and then instantly the deflation of my own space now not as creative, cool, hip, "Design*Sponge worthy".
It's the old 'keeping up with the Jones's' syndrome and my pocketbook, time and energy simply can't keep up.
Our living spaces have a certain sustainability in real life. Our living rooms and bedrooms are not pages in a magazine or posts on a blog, really. The beauty of our homes is in the familiarity, family heirlooms, pieces we've acquired over the years, each with a story or day spent with someone or no one in pursuit of the perfect credenza. I can spend time moving objects, rearranging and renewing my space with the mood or the season, small changes most often. The heart of the 'matter' is in the every day rhythms and rituals that take place in our homes and the people and animals we share our lives with. The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, the sound of the water from the kettle pouring into the french press and the thwump, thwump of the milk frother to the final pillowy pour into the cafe au lait bowl, ah, heaven. The fullness of the pantry after a shop at the market, featuring a bouquet of yellow and orange carrots. Opening the blinds and shutters to each new dawn and closing them as we settle in to our beds to snuggle up with a book. Tending the plants and animals. I spent hours on Etsy and Ebay this weekend looking for the perfect kilim pillow to lend some color to my otherwise fairly neutral palette. I saw 1,522 and couldn't settle on one but did narrow it down to a dozen in my cart. Do I really want a kilim pillow or have I just seen the trend and feel that I must have one? Getting back to basics is what is required, the heart. What do I have a sincere response to?, what do I really like?, what inspires me? and watch for the second guessing if I'm getting it 'right'. Real creatives don't follow, they set the tone. Time to unplug and reconnect with my heart where the real satisfaction can be found.
Posted by Melinda Johns at 5:22 PM