Winter hones my nesting instincts. It reconnects me to my domestic landscape and gets me thinking about how we live in it. This year we made some changes to our open plan living, dining and kitchen area. We parted with furniture that didn’t suit anymore and then rearranged the rest,editing and simplifying as we went. For me, there’s an aesthetic appeal to a simple layout and less furnishings but it’s just as much about taming the dust bunnies. I’d much rather be creating than cleaning! At one point almost all the artwork was down and everything else sat in clusters all over the house waiting for a new spot. A different seating arrangement created new vantage points and suddenly everything needed to shift. It took a few days but it was a brain teaser I enjoyed and I could feel the transformation with every move. It’s exciting to create with what you already have and make a space feel completely different. I find myself looking at our art and furnishings with new interest and appreciation. Just having a chair in a different place puts me in an afternoon sunbeam and has me purring like a cat. The house feels rejuvenated. It comforts and stimulates me anew. I feel rejuvenated!
To some degree we furnish our home environments like a puzzle and once we get things fitted and working it’s locked into place. It’s understandable,who has time to regularly do a wholesale switcharoo. We need our homes to provide a foundation of functionality as we go about our lives. Le Corbousier,a pioneer of modern architecture, believed houses are machines for living. I think both the structure and the interior furnishings should support our needs, interests and lifestyle. To me, it’s not about a particular style or precise order versus a scattering of possessions, our nests and arrangements express our individuality and ideally allow our homes to bring ease and joy into our daily lives. I want my home to feel like a nurturing hug when I walk through the door.
After a period of time with the most pleasing, practical set-up I still love to blow the puzzle apart to see what can be reconfigured. I believe different settings bring out different responses and interactions. I experienced a good lesson a few years ago at a week long wet felting workshop where we changed work tables and table mates every morning. Why would the instructor take time to daily dismantle a perfectly functional set up? Surprise, surprise, as the week progressed I noticed things.
Although they were subtle, there were a lot of variables depending on where I worked in the studio space and who I was paired up with: outdoor views, interior architectural details, extroverts,introverts, proximity to a gorgeous buffet of class supplies or the instructor’s station. My work, productivity and creativity were all influenced. That daily exercise attuned my awareness to the different kinds of energy and opportunities that come with even a small change in space and surroundings.
My new home set up has inspired me to make a few new functional rug hooked textiles to spruce things up-something I haven’t done in a long time. It will be a nice contemplative stint of hooking while this year’s plans germinate and unfurl. My home is both an anchor and a launching pad.
Once a shipment of backing arrives in the mail I have my hook revved up and ready to jump into 8’ hallway runner. In the meantime I’m using up my smaller pieces of backing to hook place mats. I like the cushy feel when I set down a plate or mug. To me,the most beautiful floor covering in the world is a hand hooked rug and I can’t wait to start mine. I hope the mailman is packin’ some backin’ tomorrow.