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  • I Love/Hate My Stuff

    April 29, 2015 | 4 Comments »

    The subtitle of this post is: how a random spill plus seasonal allergies is transforming me into a minimalist, sort of.

    Anyone who knows me is aware of my great love for prints, colors and collections. I have spent the better part of a decade amassing so many of them: animal brooches, small hats, paper ephemera, things with birds on them, and now I am spending the better part of wondering why I have such a hunger for all this stuff. I have spent a lot of time telling myself that I work best surrounded by piles of things I love and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve been telling myself a big fat lie.

    It’s a horrible paradox that a woman who loves old musty things can be so horribly allergic to them. I dutifully go to my allergist weekly to get shots for all the molds and mildews that make me sneeze and then head home to dust off my piles of carefully displayed stuff. Though it pains me to purge anything, it’s also possible that my collections are literally killing me. And of course, there’s the obvious, but much more terrifying question: what gaping void is in my soul that needs to be filled with material things?

    So, a tiny funny things happened yesterday that helped me understand just how much I am starting to (gasp) appreciate less. As one might imagine, when one has a home overflowing with stuff, one learns to work around said stuff, placing one’s water glasses, for instance at the very edge of surfaces, just begging to be spilled. And spill, I did. I was already late to a meeting for work and dramatically knocked a full water glass over onto my bureau. Hastily, I tossed almost everything from the bureau to the bed, contents including a collection of Ladurée boxes, a basket of bangles, and a stack of vintage German sheet music, and left the mess for later.

    When I returned that evening, I looked at the top of the bureau and thought, “huh, emptiness feels kind of nice. There’s more space to breathe and think and work, and…holy crap, I can’t be defined by the number of Ladurée boxes I own!”

    So this is what I will say to the wacky, whimsical ladies out there like me: embracing a bit minimalism doesn’t have to mean a life of linen smocks, polished concrete and glass topped coffee tables. You can still have your style, just have less of it. You can still have cool wall decor, but sometimes, just sometimes, let those white walls breathe. A little bit more empty space is my house has meant a little extra room for me to fit into it.

    All images, from the top, via The Design Files
    1. The home of Kate Stokes and Haslett Grounds
    2. The home of Amber and Andy Bell
    3. The home of Marni Kornhauser
    4. The home of Dominique Brammah and Ashley Ryan

    4 Responses to “I Love/Hate My Stuff”

    1. meighan says:

      YES! After having moved 4x cross country I thought I was cured of amassing things. But ironically enough the apartment I am now in is the first apartment I have gone all out with and fully decorated (ie: I need this, and this, and this). I just dusted over the weekend…and thought…hmmm. Sometimes I go through periods where I get rid of stuff, and then months later I regret it. I guess it’s all a process for me.

      • this is loveforever says:

        Yeah, for me it is definitely a process of deciding what I really need, what I really want and what I am just holding onto for some indescribable reason!

    2. Kristen says:

      This is my first time to comment on your blog and want to say, thank you for sharing and writing a delightful blog. Second, I am right there with you fighting the need to consume – it has been bred into us from our formative years on through adulthood, it’s part of our culture. So many things now are made to expire quickly so that we are enabled to buy new again to replace them. It’s a conditioning, it’s an addiction and it’s everywhere around us. I take ownership of my consumerism, but society and culture are not innocent bystanders. You are fighting the good fight. And,I wonder, maybe you are being too hard on yourself…? :)

      • this is loveforever says:

        Hi Kristen! Thanks for the blog love. Oh yes, I am for sure being too hard on myself, some of it for a little self-deprecating humor but also some of it because I am usually quite hard on myself. It really is a thoughtful struggle every day right? If you just go with the flow, I think you just start mindlessly consuming again.

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