I have always admired those homes in the magazines that looks so perfect. I wondered if I could achieve that same look but still keep a part of myself in my venture. Here is what I learned. There are steps you can take to achieve this “magazine ready” look. This does not need to cause a lot of anxiety or be difficult, but you do need to be proactive and take the steps to make it happen.
Step One: Purge your “Stuff”
I found that after my mother passed away, I brought so much of my parents things back to my home and became somewhat of a hoarder of emotions and "Stuff;" a lot of stuff. But instead of enjoying my things, I couldn’t because there was so much that everything became cluttered. Her 25 perfume bottles that were now collecting dust could not be enjoyed BUT by picking out 2 or three that could be displayed perfectly, they became a beautiful setting that created a more cherished moment.
At first I felt like I was disrespecting my mother’s memory of all the bottles she collected, I realized that I was honoring her memory more by displaying a collection of my favorite bottles. The rest could go to an antique store or a young girl that might enjoy starting a collection herself. I put them out into the world for them to be shared.
If you have to, hire someone to come help you. Don't look back, be strong. Someone once told me that in a few months, I would not miss the "Stuff" but would so much enjoy the new freedom.
All of a sudden you have room to SEE your things, to breath, and you feel so good.
Step Two: Clean up and incorporate the “Tidy Habit”
I read somewhere that if your space is 10 minutes from being “guest ready” your life just becomes easier. So here are a few tips beyond the purging. Add in “tidy” habits into your morning. Make your bed every day. It only takes a moment. Fold your blankets on your couch and fluff the cushions before you go to bed. Collect all the dishes around from your movie time and put them in the dishwasher. Ask every member of your house to wipe crumbs and cup rings from the coffee table when they leave each time. It only take a moment to tidy as you go and not have to do all these little chores at one time. Habits take just a bit of effort to incorporate, but once incorporated, making your home "guest ready" is so easy.
Step Three: Invest in and surround yourself with “Original Art” You Love
You might ask me why this last step is important. Well, as an artist, I personally have experienced the feeling of art that makes me feel good. Art is a personal thing. But it is also a treasure that is something you can relate to and cherish. By having a piece of art that you personally collected from an artist you had sign the painting adds such character into your lifestyle. When you walk into your room and you see a painting that speaks to you, the day seem brighter. I think it makes the "guest ready" step easier as you want to make the room look good. I have a future blog started about “why collecting original art is important”, but one thing to remember is you can mix art from different movements or different artists. The point is to surround yourself with what YOU love. Mixing a large colorful abstract with colors that remind you of the beach a black and white pencil drawing from your trip to Rome can add such interest in your room. It is actually exciting to mixed different styles. How art fits into your home is up to YOU. Again, let your art speak to YOU.
I have learned so much from my clients. Instead of them going to the high end galleries, they look for emerging artists. It has actually replaced the flea market frenzy in many couples. They pop into art studios and pop up galleries hosting emerging artists to find artists that fit their style that might not be well known. They love finding an artist they can actually claim as “their find” and collect art they love. Again, collect art YOU love and speaks to you. If you want a more personal touch, ask the artist to create a piece in their style to fit YOUR environment. Many artists will do commissions.
Of course, as an artist, I hope you will check out my art and incorporate an original piece of my art into your collection. k here to edit.