Tip of the Week: Don’t be in a hurry to be done

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A very smart friend of mine gave me a quotation that I’m trying to live by.  It’s attributed to Gandhi and goes something like this:

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Now, I don’t really know if Gandhi said it. And I might not even have the quote right. But that’s okay — that’s not really the point. The quote is a great reminder for me about how important it is to take life at its own pace. Not to rush forward just to get something  over with or to check it off your list (okay, strike that…I LOVE lists!) But really, it reminds me that the faster I go, the more the scenery begins to blur.

And now you’re saying, thanks for the words of wisdom but what’s that got to to do with creating a house and garden that reflects my authentic style? Okay, maybe you didn’t say that exactly. Maybe it was something more like, “Geeze, where’s the tip of the week, already?!”

Well, actually all this really does have a great deal to do with homes and gardens. I’m a big believer that a space has to evolve over time in order for it to truly reflect the people who live there. It has to be built from things that speak to you and reflect the way you want to live. The way you want to feel whenever you walk through your door.

I don’t think taking it slowly is all that easy, though. It’s hard to wait. It’s easier to go out and buy a “look” or get a room “done.” And sometimes that works out just fine. But I think the most authentic rooms are those that have depth, character and history layered one on top of the other. And that comes from choosing pieces one at a time as you find them. Or they find you.

But hey, I’m not immune to the “I want it now” syndrome either. Take for example my obsession with wanting an old column somewhere in the house.  Anywhere in the house.  I am so attracted to lonely, battered and peeling columns that serve no purpose.  I just am.  So I’ve known that one would make it’s way into the house someday (surprise, honey!) and it was sooo hard not to rush over to a salvage yard and plunk my money down.  But, I didn’t.  I waited.  And oh my was I rewarded for that hard-won patience!  I was at a salvage yard several weeks ago looking for old shutters.  And where do you think the shutters are stored?  Why, right beside the columns! And what do you think was peeking out from the column crowd?  An incredible, peeling, periwinkle-painted column. Oh Joy!  I never, ever, thought I’d see that color on a column.  Never even imagined it.  I’d assumed white.  But there was this beauty. And it was perfectly proportioned for our living room. It found me.  And it makes the room.

So finally! Here’s the tip:  To make the space you’re working on reflect who you truly are, give yourself time to explore and discover.  Sit in the room awhile.  Eat lunch out in the yard. Whatever it takes to start to know how you want the space to feel.  Then hold that feeling in the highest regard as you look for things to fill the space. Don’t decide that anything will do because you’re in a hurry to be done.  Be more concerned with it being true.

till next time,


One Comment

  1. So, Jennifer, we need to see a photo of this wonderful find!

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