The inherent beauty and functional design of an object is important to me. Does that mean that I am materialistic? I don't desire objects merely for the sake of possessing it; the utilitarian function of the object is as important as its aesthetic qualities. In some instances, the aesthetic value of an object, such as art, is the most important quality.
It's just stuff - I know. For me, it is more important to spend time with the ones you love, work on projects that are meaningful to you, and take care of your mental and physical being. Our home sets the tone for all of our pursuits.
My grandmother in large part raised me, and I remember how she held onto old jars, clothes, and bits of what was otherwise considered trash. She was born in South Korea prior to when the country was industrialized, and her tendency to keep everything was undoubtedly borne out of necessity. She was not a minimalist by any means, but she was a utilitarian to the core. She created new purposes for old things and never turned to the convenience of consumerism to fulfill our household needs. She cooked, she sewed, she gardened. In memory of her, I am still learning how to be a mindful person.
I write in this blog for many reasons, but mainly to capture the many, many thoughts and ideas that I have about interior design. Nothing here is intended to be prescriptive. Below are just a few things I try to do from time to time, and a somewhat public way of holding myself responsible.
Living With Less.
two years ago, you would be shocked that I have not purchased a single item from Sephora during 2014. Hashtag humblebrag here.
Reuse, repurpose, recycle. We have a large home for two people, which means that we lots of room to store old things that we hardly ever use. As we have been renovating our home, I "shop" my house for furnishings and decorations. Unused items find a new life elsewhere: the slightly chipped sake bottle set now holds our mouthwash, the metal mixing bowl and clothing line is transformed into a hanging planter, an old dresser into a vegetable planter. And although it is contrary to the notion of decluttering, I take a moment before immediately putting things into the trash or recycling bin to think of new ways to use what is otherwise refuse.
Give it away. If I can't figure out how to reuse something, and it's in good enough shape for somebody to use, I try to give it away to a friend, freecycle it, or take it to a donation drop off.
Nurturing skills. Learning new skills helps me appreciate what I already have. This year, I finally figured out how to use my sewing machine and made cloth napkins from unused fabric. Also, despite my black thumb, I successfully propagated a cutting from my pothos plant.
Making something out of nothing. It's not really a true statement, because you do need some raw materials and a little ingenuity to create something new. However, I am always thrilled to take a leftover scrap of food or material and turn it into something unexpectedly enjoyable.
More to come. Our bathroom is nearly complete (!)