Doing more with less

Doing more with less

It may look smaller and less expensive but there are alternatives for living a beautiful life

I was having brunch with a friend on the weekend who is going through big life changes; job, marital status and downsizing business and home were all on the agenda along with our eggs. It was a heartfelt conversation where we discussed life and the things that we think we need vs. the things we want.

Things have changed in Alberta in the past few years, we were the ‘haves’, the province flowing with milk and honey and the place where people came to work hard and see their dreams realized. The Alberta Advantage has been with us since I was young and this was always a place with a positive economic outlook and an optimistic future.

I’m sure many of you have felt the change happen, that the winds are blowing on us from a different direction and the life we have lived in the past has to change if we are to survive the new climate that has crawled over our province. When I was designing full time, I spent years working with people to make their homes glamorous and fabulous and gave no thought to financial restrictions as people were coming in droves, spending fast and hard. It was a time of blowing diamond dust around and I won’t lie when I tell you how fun it all was!

Now, life has turned down a road that I am unfamiliar with but am getting used to. Families are searching for affordable and cost efficient homes and are paring down with the force of an experienced old man whittling a stick on his front porch. It’s not like Alberta has turned into a dust bowl, but clients are definitely getting more reasonable with their expenses. Mortgage rules, carbon tax and tighter qualifying tests have cut our allowances and our credit score is more important than ever before.

What we chatted about over coffee was the possibility of living smaller/cheaper and still being happy. Like many people I meet (myself included) it takes a complete revamp of your priorities and what you think you can live with in life. My daughter takes great pleasure in telling people that I live in a modest mobile home on a vast section of land overlooking the mountains – me, the Designer who was created million dollar show homes and thought nothing of spending thousands on velvet and glass beaded drapery. Now, my happiness is in beautiful sunsets and feeding my horses when the dew is still on the grass.

Can we still have beautiful interiors when our economy scares us to death? Of course we can! It may just look smaller and have to be less expensive but there are always options and alternatives for living a beautiful life.

Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Kim Wyse Associate Royal Lepage Tamarack Trail Realty’.