A house is just a structure filled with objects, but it is people that make it a well lived home. They are just possessions. It is our health that matters. It’s just furniture after all. These are the things we say, or hear, or tell ourselves.
As I ponder the passage of time and begin the process of sifting through our own four lives of stuff that has accumulated, I am slowly reminded that it is really so much more than that.
I have several clients who are doctors that are responsible for monitoring and preserving the lives of their patients. The critical importance of their occupation cannot be underestimated. I also have clients who manage large portfolios for high net worth individuals, and I can only imagine the pressure of those calculated decisions during periods of market turmoil. And there are still other clients who run mid-to-large size companies and are responsible for the livelihood of many others whom they employ.
So when I am hired to design and decorate a space within a house, I understand the relative impact my work makes in the larger picture of everyday life. This affords me the grace which I need to be humble, appreciative and understanding when my work is not a priority or considered critical.
Candidly, deciding whether an English roll or 4” track arm is the better option for your family’s comfort seems kind of trivial after deciding how you will operate on a patient to restore their health.
But here I am now – at my own crossroads in life, embracing with far less grace my new empty nest status and evaluating what stays and what goes as we transition out of the home that has rooted our hearts and minds for the last thirteen years. These disposable well lived objects that should not matter are seemingly more difficult to part with than I anticipated.
My mom worked at a DQ when she was a teenager where she served ice cream but never ate it. That is akin to the baker at the bakery who never bakes at home for him or herself. I am somewhat like that baker and more notably like my Mom.
For my profession, I tell people what they need to trade out and update in their homes but I still live with a fifteen year old 96” pillow back sofa with 8” arms and two optional slipcovers that I change out seasonally.
For years, I have complained about wanting to rid myself of this beloved fixture and yet that silly piece of furniture holds a treasure chest of memories that make up a good part of the story of our family.
All these memories… from the first day of school pics to our dearly departed pooch, Friday who was never allowed on, but always rested his head in attempt to snuggle as close to us as possible.
The far too many operations, concussions and broken limbs that recovered on it and where Ben learned to play the guitar during one of them. So many story-time books that were read together and where the four of us snuggled in to watch a movie together. All the times this sofa was jumped on during playoff game victories.
The many dog chases around the house ending in a triumph crash onto it by Reece and the Bernedoodle puppy… who wore down our strict “no dogs on furniture” policy!
From all birthday presents that were opened on it, to family meetings held, and where so many games were played. These are the memories that this well-worn, oversized, stylistically obsolete sofa holds.
There is an equally well lived and torn 22-year-old leather chair we lovingly named “Tony’s Chair” after our dear friend. It too holds similar value and a trove of people and moments that were shared on it.
All these happy, sad and intense moments that these objects hosted are sentiments woven into our collective familiarity. That shared history rests in our minds and hearts, but the physical, tangible object is what binds that collective together.
It is important, it is permanent, and it has value. It is home.
Understanding this makes me keenly aware of the significance and duty that is bestowed upon me when I enter the sanctity of a client’s home to affect transformation, even if that merit is not fully appreciated until long after I have finished the project.
As an Interior Designer, I am a shepherd, vector, fixer and deliverer of objects of sentiment that make a house a home where memories are formed, and lives are bound together.
All those little decorative decisions are each made with one collective mission: to synchronize a curated space that evokes emotion, solves functional issues, gathers people and harnesses comfort and peace for years to come.
As I peel away the outer layers of my own nucleus, I appreciate more now than ever how the intangibles of the tangibles are the story of family and home. They are your connection points to your history and the souls that journey alongside you on this passage of life.
As you celebrate this holiday season, may you find joy and comfort in your home and fill it with new memories and collective moments that tell your family’s forever story.
Happy Holidays with Love from My Home to Yours,