I travelled to my old stomping grounds last weekend and spent a few days in Medicine Hat. I haven’t been back there in a few years and it was wonderful to connect with old friends and family. My sister and I made a point of driving through neighbourhoods looking at the houses we grew up in which was a wonderful and nostalgic exercise. The homes have aged, a few have changed colours and one of them was kind of run down but in my eyes they were all beautiful because of the memories they hold.
There is a drive through burger joint in the Hat which is an independently operated store called Tino’s. They make the most amazing chili fries and they were a staple in my childhood so naturally when I travel there in the summer months I must make a stop at this ridiculous looking building. If you Google search images you will see a white brick building trimmed with red and black trying very hard to imitate a tiny castle. Pointed arch windows and bright red brick corner towers adorn this Medicine Hat landmark while a faded sign in the parking lot boasts ‘Where the burger is KING’. Looking at this odd building one might think that a Monty Python crew had left a quirky set design standing while filming one of their epic movies but it is a true and thriving burger and fry business that I think is beautiful.
It is possible for us to have items in our home or in our lives that show beauty to us even though they may be aesthetically unpleasant to others. Our imprinting of memories upon a building, colour or any object will convince us that it is beautiful. Only when sitting outside on the picnic table waiting for our order did I see the building up close, noticing that some of the bricks were fallen and that the mortar was crumbling. Up close the building showed its age and may not have been as beautiful but my memories and the delicious aroma wafting out of the tiny service window clouded my judgement and I saw it all as quite beautiful.
It might be a good practice to invite a friend or professional designer into your home if you are considering a refresh of your space. As we live with items, colours and decor elements day to day we can sometimes become blind to its true nature. Memories and nostalgia may cloud our vision and help us overlook items that may make our interiors dated. I’m not saying we need to get rid of every piece of memorabilia in our homes but it may be time to store some items – especially if we are craving a fresh update.
We all joke about rose coloured glasses and many of us have sat with friends laughing about an ex partner wondering ‘what we ever saw in them!’ I believe we all have these items and memories in our lives and sometimes it is a good feeling and memory and then sometimes it can just be clutter. If you are searching for a change and a refresh it may be time to take off those glasses and have a candid look at your home. Store or repurpose those items that are no longer working in your space and make room for new items or maybe more room for less items.
Kim Wyse is a interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.