Part of being home more is that I come face-to-face with with my dissatisfaction with my house. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to move or be in a different house. I love our neighborhood and I actually feel really settled and nested in our house. The issue is that I have never had a vision for how I’d like this house to be organized, furnished and decorated. We have made certain decisions about flooring, paint and furnishings during the 5 years that we’ve been here, but I’ve mostly removed myself from the process and allowed David and my parents to drive the aesthetic. I think this mostly comes from an acute insecurity about anything design-related. I just don’t have the kind of brain that visualizes how things go together or what will look good. When people start talking about colors, patterns and spatial relationships, I have trouble translating the words into anything meaningful. This makes me feel stupid and frustrated and I choose to withdraw. So I have a house that I like and I pretty much like most of the things in it, but it has never felt like an accurate reflection of me or my aesthetic (assuming I have one).
David and I were discussing this issue a few weeks ago and he suggested that I make a collage dedicated to house and design images. That way I could look through magazines and just tear out any image that struck my fancy without any practical or intellectual considerations getting in the way (Lindsey, I am pleased to introduce you to your right brain!). I LOVED making my last collage, so once he suggested this, it didn’t take me long to amass a huge stack of magazines and catalogs. Last Saturday afternoon, I made myself a cup of tea and then went to town tearing and gluing while my son looked on and encouraged me (and played “Devil Went Down to Georgia” over and over in a loop on my Ipod). It was really fun. When I actually looked at the photographs, I was easily able to distinguish between what I liked and what I didn’t like . . . what felt like me and what didn’t.
When the dust cleared and my collage was finished, I looked at it and saw something that resembled “MY AESTHETIC.” (Hooray!!!) The funny thing is that most of the images in my collage reflect a style that is pretty consistent with the eclectic and colorful style we already have in our home. The differences are in the details and in the specific ways the colors and textures are organized, combined and distributed. I suppose that those nuances probably make the difference between “I like it” into “I LOVE IT!
I don’t know when we will actually decide to take on redecorating as a project, but I am so glad that whenever those conversations arise, I now have a way of expressing what I like.