Compliments of ginparis2002 via Flickr

Creating a home that you love involves a level of artistry. I’ve lived in my current house for eleven years, and I’m just now beginning to feel like things are in order.

When I moved in (bringing only a few items with me), the task of decorating an entire house was overwhelming. It has taken this long to realize exactly what I need, to purge the excess, and to purchase the rest.

Along the way I’ve made some mistakes – in my opinion, hiring a decorator is more expedient than buying in error. The fun of it though is not purchasing everything in one fell swoop (or having someone else select these items for you), but like a treasure hunt, stumbling upon unanticipated finds during trips, vacations, or by simply sauntering through your favorite store.

My study is now full of keepsakes from the various cities and countries I’ve visited. After using broad brush strokes, I’ve filled in the crevices using smaller utensils. I seek to provide meaning and consistency through the provision of order.

Each week I rummage through a different drawer, always on the lookout for what to root out (or rearrange). Decluttering serves a dual purpose: (1) clearing out the unnecessary, and (2) helping to discover hidden treasures. I’ve found it takes several passes of sorting to achieve homeostasis.

The garden in bloom

Continual activity (a domestic excavation of sorts), keeps my space fresh, and always has me on the lookout for ways to improve my habitat.

Although you can’t control the actions of others, you can make your own property as beautiful as possible – a boon to those who see it. Your house is a large canvas on which to paint, center stage viewing for the general public. This type of mindset has transformed my courtyard into a veritable garden. I ensure that all shrubs are pruned, all plants are watered, and everything is in tip top shape.

Your exhibition to the outer world is one that should reflect pride (not only on yourself), but on the community at large. Think of your house as a portrait in a larger collection, one which you continue crafting until it’s close to perfection. Regular maintenance, plantings, routine sprayings, and spring cleaning are all part of the process.  

Decorating my house has become a hobby. It’s a productive use of my time that provides a win-win – for me, and for everyone who sees my property.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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