I recently had a birthday. A big birthday! Some days I can’t believe my age and I wonder how I got this old when I still feel 25.
As I look back I see a great deal of things I would do differently and many moments I wish I could experience again. Recalling all the places I have lived and decorated; from my first apartment with the furniture I put together with my roommate to the beautiful heritage homes I have been fortunate enough to restore – there are many things I would change. This is a letter to my 21-year-old self:
You are starting out in life learning how to be a grownup! The familiarity of your childhood bedroom is behind and you are forging ahead into new territory. Would you mind if I gave you some well-seasoned decorating advice? You are going to need it.
Don’t be in such a hurry for everything; your home will not look like your parents’ house right away. Those treasures and beautiful decorative elements took years to acquire. Try not to fall prey to the flashy ‘buy now pay later’ advertisements that push cheap, poorly made furniture at you. The debt will be with you long after that trendy sofa has bit the dust.
Even though you are young, this is the time to recognize and develop your personal style. You may find yourself swimming upstream and may get discouraged with the lack of merchandise available. Have patience; search for what you truly love and only choose items for your home that speak to your soul. Purchase less and hunt more to avoid buying items to fill the void. Like fast food it is a temporary fix but all it does it take up space in your home – nourish your desire for a balance of comfort and beauty.
Save and then save some more so that you can purchase high quality items for your home. This is especially true for linens, how many $50 bed-in-a-bags do you need to go through before you realize that the combined dollars spent could have bought you an exceptional duvet? One that doesn’t start to unravel after the first washing, causing you to tangle your toes in its cheap nylon threads. If you buy fewer, well-made items and care for them they will give you many more years of satisfaction and comfort. Learn the value of quality; recognize local and respected manufacturers who use excellent materials rather than the quick purchase from the big box store.
Finally, be brave! Swallow your fear and embrace your love of colour, quirky finds and unique items which scream YOU. Don’t be so caught up in whether your mom or friends will approve of your choices, stay true to yourself as you discover your decorating talents. The earlier you grasp this concept the less time and money you will waste trying to please others. Embrace your style and celebrate the unique, expect that every person walking into your home will know it’s yours! If someone says ‘I could never do this in my house’ wrap the compliment around you and feel proud that you have achieved something very special.
Pace yourself Kim, you have dozens of homes ahead to decorate – you have no idea what is up ahead!
To a fashionable future,
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.