When my daughter was growing up we had a struggle when it came to decorating our Christmas tree.
I had always let her be fun and creative with her bedroom but I was fairly rigid when it came to what went on my tree. Looking back on it now, I probably should have let her creativity extend to the holiday decorations and allowed her to put her own personal touches on what I considered to be ‘my’ tree.
We all have these areas in our life where we are immovable in our design wants and desires.
For some of us it is the kitchen – we need to have everything in exact spots and all manner of pots and pans and prep tools in places where we can reach them almost by memory. Other people want their linen closet to be an aesthetically perfect stack of co-ordinated towels and sheets. If someone knows how to neatly fold fitted sheets I would appreciate the information!
For those of you (and us) who are very structured in the ways of design, I would like you to ask yourself this question – what happens when your life circumstances change? Where does that ideal go when you have children or get married or even widowed or divorced? We need to have flexibility in our design dreams to allow for contingencies and for changes in life.
A dear friend of mine recently lost his wife and realized one day that the home they shared was her design vision and now he longed for a more simplified way of life.
His life circumstances have caused him to get in touch with his need for serenity and less ‘stuff’ which I’m sure would have never crossed his mind when she was still with us.
Foresight is not always right in front of us and we need to stop for a minute and ask ourselves if what we are choosing is sustainable or even adaptable over the long term.
Are we fixed on only what is trendy and hip right now or do we incorporate our personal delights and create a space that is going to grow and change with our inevitable growth as individuals? Choosing comfort combined with style that can be adapted to various circumstances (and people) will be by your side for a very long time.
As a designer I completely understand the want for order and control over our homes.
I struggle with the desire for picture perfect rooms that don’t even look lived in and can be easily tempted to show what I can do with a fabulously trendy design. Currently I am living in a calm serene home with pale walls and am really loving the palette yet people still come to visit and comment at how surprised they are at the neutral colours!
If you are considering designing a home, consider relaxing the rules a little bit.
Look ahead and realize that things in your life will change and that circumstances may be beyond your control. Allow your kids to be creative in your home and try to stop obsessing over every little detail – soon enough you will have a space all to yourself and will long for the days of chaos and busy family time when you couldn’t keep anything organized or controlled!
Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.