Rearrangements – When Things Need to Move

My Living Room Insight Board, by Cheryl

 

Creating an Insight Board for Your Home Projects

 

Hello! I’m writing this late today because I am all wrapped up in a project that has taken my energy and time, but also given me great pleasure! I don’t know if it’s the Virgo Full Moon yesterday, or just because I get this way, but I felt a strong need to move things around in my home. It’s been growing on me over the last couple of weeks and plans have been formulating in my mind’s eye and in my dreams too. (Do you move furniture in your dreams? If so you are my Soul Sister!) It’s great to let things percolate until you’re really ready – because let’s face it, when you move furniture (and all that goes with that) – it’s going to get messier before it bets better.

So, when I get the very firm urge to tackle moving things all over (and deep clean and clear while I do) my first step is a space plan. I sketch things out on paper and play around with the ideas that have been coming up. Before I move anything though I like to get clearer about what is motivating me. Sometimes there is something specific bothering me. Other times I’m just ready for a fresh outlook or function for a space. So, I create an Insight Board. (I’ve written about Insight Boards more right here.) This is actually an intuitive collage process that helps you discover more about what you really want, and why you really want to make changes. You can see my board at the top of this post. It probably looks like a few photos cut from magazines to you, but to me I see that I want some fairly specific outcomes, and using what I learn from this board will help me to stay on track as I tear things up!

My Insight Board tells me that I want cozy and layered, but I also want light and space. I want to do a really good clean – getting behind and around everything. I want to reassess the way I’m using the furniture pieces I have, and I want to store some pieces of furniture and also pull a couple out of storage to use. I want to brighten up my relationship area of my house, and make my kitchen function better and look fresh. I’m actually moving things in my Kitchen, Living Room, and Dining Room in this project – it’s pretty major!! But it feels so good to get things really clean and to see my home in new ways too. It’s almost like having a new house!

Kitchen Refresh, by Cheryl

If you have a hankering to move things around and clean and clear you might want to try an insight board to help you tap into your deeper needs and desires about your home. After all, your home is your Self – an expanded physical Self that holds your things – but is also your place to rest, be motivated, to dream, to nurture yourself and loved ones, to tend to your spirit, to play and much more. Tending to the Spirit of your Home is a sacred prospect. If you have any questions about this, contact me at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com. I also offer Interior Design and Organizing services (and, yes, we can do those via internet and phone if you aren’t local) just write me and we can set a free 20 minute session to see how I can help you.

Lots of Love, and Happy House Tending!

Cheryl xoxo

 

My Design Manifesto

Home love, (at my previous house) by Cheryl

Note: SO, you get sick on Day 4 of your 30 Day Blogging Love challenge – what do you do? Here is a re-post from 2015 about interior design and my personal Design Manifesto. Enjoy!

When you tell someone you’re an interior designer, they have an idea of what that means. There are plenty of design shows, and blogs, and magazines, after all. We all know what a designer does, right?

Hmmm…not so much, maybe. Because we’re all different, we designers, and we mostly don’t design for cable TV programs. 🙂 Also, “good” design is a bit subjective. What’s “good” to me could be “bad” to someone else – and that is actually what I love about design! It’s personal. And it should be personal, whether it’s for a business or your home. The point of design, of any kind, is to create personalized solutions for people.

Interior design isn’t about a space being pretty, or “cool”, or “in-style” or striking – though it may be one, or several, of those things. Design is about creating an environment that feels like something to you, something you want to experience. It could be passion, peace, comfort, excitement, warmth, belonging, relaxation, harmony, etc. As an interior designer I don’t sell furniture, or window treatments, or tell you how your home should look. I enable you to love the places you spend your time in by helping you to access the deep longings you have, and fulfill those needs and wants in your environment.

For those who wonder…..Here’s my Design Manifesto:

  • If you really LOVE it (really love it, as in you chose it, or if you didn’t, you adore it anyway) then I love it for you too (even if my aesthetic is very different than yours).
  • Good design feels good to you.
  • Good design functions well for your needs and life.
  • Good design supports you in your best life and expression of yourself.
  • It doesn’t need to cost a lot or be a certain brand name.
  • Good design is adaptable and flexible.
  • Good design showcases your life – what you love, do, feel, desire.
  • It also enhances your life.
  • You are the ultimate designer – it’s about your innate ability to make the best choices for you. Yes, you may want help to interpret it all, but it is your home, office, family, etc.
  • There are no real rules. Or, if you like, rules are meant to be broken when they don’t serve your design inspiration.
  • Ceilings absolutely deserve love too! Let’s stop ignoring them!
  • Color, texture, light, and other design elements, are also elements of healing.
  • “Every room needs some black” just means that contrast and depth are important considerations in an environment, just as in life.

I could, of course, go on! But mostly what I believe is that design isn’t magic, it isn’t tricky, or only found in those “to the trade only” showrooms. It’s about you – your family, your life, your work, your loves and desires. Simple.

Lots of Love,

Cheryl

The Sacred Art of Puttering

Pink lilies, post puttering

“Putter, verb: “To occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner doing a number of small tasks, not concentrating on anything in particular; to move or go in a casual, unhurried way: to loiter”.

The grace of a day of puttering – really, can anything beat it? It’s one of my favorite ways to attend to life. And I especially like to putter around my home. You might wonder what the heck I’m talking about – or you may get it completely! But read on, I’d like to share with you The Sacred Art of Puttering.

Setting aside a day to tend to your life is such a blessing in our hurried and full of distractions world. You can focus, go slowly, attend to the details with pleasure. Puttering as a practice allows you to comfort your home – and receive comfort from it in return. It is grounding in a profound way. Grounding into your life, the people you love, the environment that supports you, and the small rituals that delight and assuage. It is a luxury to not be goal-oriented, but to still be focused and attentive, loving.

Today, I really enjoyed a day to tend my home and home life, which has been neglected lately. I also needed to ground myself in what is true and what matters to me, and puttering around the house is the perfect way to do that! Tending to your life is such a pleasure when you just slow down and take your time. Below you’ll find some ideas for puttering – but of course it’s a very personal practice and it’s always best to putter from the heart!

  • I like to set a bit of atmosphere for my puttering. It’s very easy to default to get-it-done mode and become efficient and rushed – that is really anti-puttering! We are loitering here! And I find the right props help me loiter and be desultory in a pleasant manner with greater ease. Some ideas: Music is my favorite tool. I play a bit of Blossom Dearie or Madeleine Peyroux to get me in the mood! Light some candles or the fireplace. Or fill a diffuser with a favorite, peaceful scent.
  • You could choose a surface that has been bothering you and just take everything off. Clean it, revel in it, and then replace the items as feels good to you. This is not about decluttering (though you may indeed get rid of a few things, or put them away), it’s about the enjoyment of creating a space that supports you functionally and delights you visually. Really it’s just play! No thinking too hard, or worrying what others will think, no stress. Clear, clean, replace with love.
  • You could do laundry like it’s delicious. If you hate laundry then, of course, skip this one! But I find I hate laundry mostly because I try to cram it in between 20 other things, so I don’t do it with care and attention. But let’s say you took time sorting and handling your things, attending to stains and tears. After you put in a load, you might sit down and read a magazine, or have a quiet cup of coffee in your favorite chair, dance to music, or take a stroll. And when the timer goes off you calmly, slowly, with pleasure, change the load to the dryer, or hang things up, or take the next step – whatever that is – with care and love. Enjoy the scent of warm clothes straight from the dryer, the softness as you fold them, and the simple steps of putting them away in ways that make choosing clothing, or towels, or sheets a joy. You may find a new appreciation for your things – or find they no longer work for you and need to be replaced. The point is not to get it done (laundry, as you know, is never done!), but to enjoy it as a practice.
  • One of my favorite puttering practices is to move things around. This could simply be changing things out seasonally. Today I took great pleasure in hanging my Valentines’ wreath on the front door! And over the next week I’ll be making things to decorate and add romance and color to our home. I also like to consider what I want at this time of year – soft velvet pillows, cozy and sensual throws, pretty tablecloths, lots of candles, and room to work on inside projects. In the summer I like clean surfaces, less rugs about, shiny windows, crisp cotton pillows in bright colors, etc. You might put some of your lovely objects away and bring others out. I keep a cabinet with favorite things to rotate in and out as I like. You can even move furniture (oh, how I love to move furniture!) and create a more beautiful and/or functional layout for your home. OK, this gets a bit more involved…but still is very satisfying puttering.
  • I also putter with things like papers and financial projects. These of course have more of a real process and goal, but I like to keep the spirit of puttering. Basically – I act like this is the most delightful thing I have to do, and that I want to offer it all of the time and attention it needs. Not being a numbers or detail girl, I have much of my life felt stressed about and put off these types of tasks. I can’t tell you how much it changes when you decide to do something from a place of peace and openness, vs lack and strain!! Go figure…

The truth is puttering doesn’t require anything but a willingness to spend some time enjoyably engaged with small tasks of any kind. You can putter in the garden, at the library, in the grocery store. It’s like a vacation from being “on task” and efficient. It feels good, it lets your mind wander to lovely things, to what you want, and changes you’d like to make. It is creative and open-ended. It is a release. I’ve written about puttering before – so you know it’s good! :). You can read that post right here.

I hope you have a delicious day and spend some time puttering. Please let me know if you did!! I We fellow putterers must support each other! You could set up a time to tell me all about it here, or email me at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com.

Happy Sacred Puttering!

Cheryl

 

A Decor Story (Or the Magic of a Deadline)

I love my "new" bathroom

I love my “new” bathroom

Have you ever planned something, invested in it, thought about it, wanted it – and then just never took the time to do it? Because, well, there were other things to do – ones that were more vital (to other people), ones that were easier (reading that book), ones that you “should” do first. I’m here to tell you this can go on for a long time, in this decor story…about 5 years.

But I’m not going to beat myself up, much. I just try to allow myself to be aware of the choices I make and why. I find it ironic that suddenly, in one weekend, I got a project done (with my sweetie’s help, of course) that I put off for years. It’s hilarious really! But that is the magic of a deadline. I just came up with reasons to put off the joy of redecorating a room and enjoying the outcome until I needed to do it for someone else. (Hey, it’s super helpful to know what motivates you, yes?) I’m moving soon and selling my house so my upgrade now is in the hope of pleasing a buyer.

But, what if I considered allowing myself to be more motivated by my own desires and enjoyment. What if I scheduled the work, and planned it, and then actually did it? What if I put my desire for a beautiful home first (and didn’t live with an ugly, outdated bathroom for 5 years…)? Sounds decadent – right?

I think this is a lesson many of us could learn – despite all of the beautiful homes on Pinterest, in design magazines, and on cable shows – do you have the home of your dreams? And just so you understand – I think the home you’re in now can be the home of your dreams – it doesn’t have to be a mansion or a villa in Italy (though, go for it, if that’s what you truly desire!). I think you can have a version of what you want now – regardless. The main thing is that it feels like you, feels like home, feels the way you want it to feel, and supports the life you want to live.

My bath redecoration took two of us most of one day and part of another – a totally worth it expenditure of time. It was also inexpensive financially. I painted, bought a new cabinet, 2 towel racks, and a light fixture. The rest of what I used were things I already had around the house. That small investment yielded a room I enjoy so much more! It also gave me incentive to get rid of toiletries and things I never really use to streamline my bathroom storage. And I really hope the new owners of this house enjoy the pretty, updated space as much as I do!

I’m definitely keeping this lesson in mind as I move into my new home. In fact, I’m visiting there today to line up some help and take measurements so I can plan, and invest, and give myself a deadline to make this the space I want to live in, and love my life in, for the next phase of my journey.

Do you have a space you’ve put off making yours, making lovely, making useful? How can you remedy that and create a dream come true? I hope you’re inspired to do something important, create a deadline –  just for you!

Love, Cheryl

Here are before and after pictures:

Before-ish, at the beginning of the process

Before-ish, at the beginning of the process

 

A very messy work in progress

A very messy work in progress

 

I removed the old cabinet over the toilet and added a picture from another room instead. Pretty and much less clutter!

I removed the old cabinet over the toilet and added a picture from another room instead. Pretty and much less clutter!

The sink area with a new light and medicine cabinet/mirror unit.

The sink area with a new light and medicine cabinet/mirror unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fun of Un-decorating!

Cheryl's Holiday Decor 2016

Cheryl’s Holiday Decor 2016

I used to really hate putting my holiday decor away. It’s not nearly as fun to un-decorate as it is to decorate, right? It’s a chore, and a sad one at times, the excitement of the big winter holidays are over, and there’s a lot of winter weather still. January can be a long and cold, dark month in Iowa, so I need some fun ideas to spruce it up. And because I see myself as creator of my personal world (or at least a co-creator) I like to challenge myself to try and enhance less than fabulous experiences too. Hey, sometimes it even works!!

By the beginning of a fresh, new year I’m really ready to lighten things up anyway, aren’t you? So instead of seeing un-decorating as a chore, I decided to have a little fun with it. Using a process of editing, removing, restyling, and releasing, I focus on the way the world outside gives me clues about how I want my inside world to look and feel at this time of year. That’s an energy I can use to help me enjoy what might be a boring chore. Here are the steps I use:

  • First I take photographs of my favorite display areas. It’s fun to record how I decorated this year! I might get all arty, and then save them in a file on my computer.
  • Next I go area by area, in short bits of time, removing the things that no longer feel right and are ready to be set away for another year. Santas go; a whimsical snowman might stay for a while. Trees are removed but their vintage ornaments are displayed in a bowl. The key is to take it slowly, make it fun, and do what feels good to you right now.
  • As you remove things consider if you really still want them. If not, let them go! Creating more space in your life is good for the soul! And it means you have less to pack away. I used to worry a lot about packing my holiday stuff in an organized manner, so all like things were together (and I still do that when it makes sense, like in special my ornament boxes), but now I just pack items in the holiday bins as I remove them. So much easier! And next year it will all work out just fine when I get things out to decorate again.
  • As I go along I create new vignettes on tables and bookcases. These are usually very fresh and spare, inspired by the New Year and the winter landscape. That space and light feels just right now for me. Having said that, there needs to be warmth too for those long winter nights, so I put out my velvet pillows, soft throws and lots and lots of candles! You can take pictures of your new vignettes too – it’s a great way to enjoy your home, to love and appreciate it.
  • This is a decorative and lifestyle transition, from Christmas to Winter, so I think about how I want to live in winter months and what I want to do. This encourages me to plan some fun things to do and consider how I want to be. I clear a place to set out a big puzzle, or find favorite books to read. I organize outings and plan soup dinners with friends. I also make sure to plan some quiet time at home alone for introspection and peace – because that is what winter is for.

This is a process you can do with many seemingly dull home chores. By considering why you do them, and the outcome you really want (why DO we clean toilets?), you can add more fun to the chore, and more pleasure and meaning to your life. Take the time to move things around or spruce them up as you go. Your home is where you spend a good deal of your time. It supports you, and is a stage you create to experience daily life. Investing time and thought into what you want it to be is always going to pay off well!

There are no rules about how (or when) to organize, arrange, or decorate your home that supersede what you want and need to have in it to bring you fulfilment and joy. Let the home chores you do be another way to express your fabulous self. And have fun!

Hugs!

Cheryl

Design & Me (A Manifesto)

home sweet home

When you tell someone you’re an interior designer, they have an idea of what that means. There are plenty of design shows, and blogs, and magazines, after all. We all know what a designer does, right?

Hmmm…not so much, maybe. Because we’re all different, we designers, and we mostly don’t design for cable TV programs. 🙂 Also, “good” design is a bit subjective. What’s “good” to me could be “bad” to someone else – and that is actually what I love about design! It’s personal. And it should be personal, whether it’s for a business or your home. The point of design, of any kind, is to create personalized solutions for people.

Interior design isn’t about a space being pretty, or “cool”, or “in-style” or striking – though it may be one, or several, of those things. Design is about creating an environment that feels like something to you, something you want to experience. It could be passion, peace, comfort, excitement, warmth, belonging, relaxation, harmony, etc. As an interior designer I don’t sell furniture, or window treatments, or tell you how your home should look. I enable you to love the places you spend your time in by helping you to access the deep longings you have, and express those needs and wants in your environment.

For those who wonder…..Here’s my Design Manifesto:

  • If you really LOVE it (really love it, as in you chose it, or if you didn’t, you adore it anyway) then I love it for you too (even if my aesthetic is very different than yours).
  • Good design feels GOOD.
  • Good design functions well for your needs and life.
  • It supports you in your best life and expression of yourself.
  • It doesn’t need to cost a lot or be a certain brand name.
  • It’s adaptable and flexible.
  • It showcases your life – what you love, do, feel, desire.
  • It also enhances your life.
  • You are the ultimate designer – it’s about your innate ability to make the best choices for you. Yes, you may want help to interpret it all, but it is your home, office, family, etc.
  • There are no real rules. Or, if you like, rules are meant to be broken when they don’t serve the design inspiration.
  • Ceilings absolutely deserve love too! Let’s stop ignoring them!
  • Color, texture, light, and other design elements, are also elements of healing.
  • “Every room needs some black” just means that contrast and depth are important considerations in an environment, just as in life.

I could, of course, go on! But mostly what I believe is that design isn’t magic, it isn’t tricky, or only found in those “to the trade only” showrooms. It’s about you – your family, your life, your work, your loves and desires. Simple.

Do you have a Design Manifesto? I’d love to see it!!