rearranging our lives

Okay, I know, this looks like a decorating post, but stick with me, the lesson translates to much more than just artwork.

These chevron paintings might look familiar since they came from my old studio. Before I moved in September, I had “decorated” this new apartment from top to bottom in my head. I automatically knew that these chevron paintings were destined to grace my new living room’s wall. They were going to be perfect.

But they aren’t.

In reality these puppies are a bit too small, too spread apart, and clash with other items in the living room. They look a little bit pathetic in such a large space and lower the room’s overall appeal.

But you know what? I kept them on that wall for a really long time. I knew that they had potential, I knew that they had value. And so I left them there, reminding myself of their potential and value, all the while feeling slightly disappointed with the living room’s overall look.

Eventually I finally stopped making excuses for the paintings and thought of new ways to fill the focal wall in the living room. I got excited about a really awesome wallpaper project I wanted to make with Oh Joy’s new gold and white wallpaper (I know, I’ve got a gold and white problem obsession). But the project was going to cost a pretty penny.

During all of the living room decorating drama, I made some delightful gold and white flower paintings for my bedroom. They were big, bold, and made a great statement. But the were so big and bold that they overwhelmed the space above my bed. However, I kept them up because they were big and bold – just like I settled with the value and potential of the chevron paintings in the living room.

(I’m guessing you are starting to sense the point to this story…)

Yes, ladies and gents, it took me six weeks far too long to realize the two sets of artwork simply needed to switched! By making one more gold and floral canvas, I had the perfect art work for each room. The big and bold floral canvases balance out the living room perfectly. While the chevron canvases add some much needed graphic punch to the more traditional bedroom.

I wonder how often we design our lives the same way I started decorating my apartment. It seems completely possible that we get so attached to the idea, potential, and value of things, that we forget to ask whether this career, relationship, home, friendship, or freaking piece of artwork is in the right place to begin with. Just because it worked before doesn’t mean it’s still working now. And it also doesn’t mean that we need to get a brand new piece of expensive artwork (or career, relationship, home, or friendship), maybe we just need to do some rearranging.

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  1. Kathryn

    I moved into a new place almost 5 months ago, and I’m still agonizing about what to hang on my bedroom walls. I may steal your chevron strip idea for a big blank spot above the dressers. Great post!

  2. Marguerite/@chicspace

    Uh…..could I get a copy of those gold/white flower paintings? They are gorgeous!

  3. What a nice reminder! I’m good about finding decorating potential in my apartment and my clients’, but I don’t always recognize things in my life that need rearranging.

  4. kitty

    i read this and then said that audibly. so true.
    and reminds me that i need to decorate the space above my fireplace. 🙂

  5. Kelly

    I love how you can translate everything into real life. I used to be the queen of holding onto things that had “potential” (both human and material). However, as I have gotten older I have gotten much better at editing both my home and my life!

  6. i really identified with this post, jess! i absolutely get too attached to certain things and ideas, and they run the gambit from the material to the meaningful. i love how you connected it all here!

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