Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Grain of Sand

It's not the mountain to be climbed that wears you down, but the grain of sand in your shoe.  Late winter into early spring is a great time for releasing, repairing, and restoring, in preparation for new beginnings, new adventures.  Now is a great time to clear out the grains of sand in your home, to make your trek through life more enjoyable.  I'm not saying get out the broom and sweep, though of course, when I'm not riding mine, I do find it comes in handy for maintaining clean floors.  I'm saying now is the time to take stock of the little dysfunctions in every room of your home, and fix them, because they are affecting your quality of life more than you realize. 

If your home isn't functioning optimally, it may be wearing you down, before you even get out the door in the morning.  Your home can be like a silent partner, nurturing you, supporting your dreams, keeping life flowing smoothly, or it can be one more needy dependant, draining your joy and energy.  It usually takes me an hour to give this presentation live, but it's already after midnight, so I'll stick to the essentials.

Sometimes when people call me to decorate their home, they are hoping I can make it feel happier, friendlier, just somehow better, and of course, the perfect color, beautiful murals, or meaningful hand lettered quotes can do that, but if the house is out of whack on the physical level, nothing I do to change the vibration or appearance is going to have a lasting effect.  Grab a clipboard (or a notebook, if you haven't yet discovered the joys of clipboards), and lets walk through each room...

This is where I could get specific and take all night, but I won't.  You walk through each room. I'm gonna stay right here, and give you a list of things to watch for:

Lights - are the bulbs good, the switches functioning properly, the globes free of last summer's dead bugs?
Rugs - are they laying flat, stain-free, skid-proofed?
Seating - is every chair comfortable, solid, clean?
Doors - are the hinges squeak-free, the knobs tight, the locks functioning smoothly?
Table tops - Are they placed to be useful, are they free of clutter, and, if not, do the things cluttering them need places to be that make sense for the way you live? Sometimes just a handful of file folders, and an upright mail-sorter to hold them solves 90% of this universal problem.
Drawers - Are they the right size for what they hold, and do they move smoothly?  Wooden drawer glides can be waxed with a candle stub, and if you have the metal kind that sometimes eat the wood part they slide over, they can be replaced very easily with hardwood glides from Rockler Woodworking.   rockler.com
Plumbing - Any leaks, drips or problems?  A basic home repair book will tell you how to fix almost anything, and most require about as much skill as building something out of tinker-toys.  My apologies to the plumbers out there, but it really isn't rocket science, so you can save your money to buy pretty paint, if you fix the leaky toilet valve yourself.
Windows - Are they clean, do they open properly (if not, bring back the candle stub), do the curtains and curtain hardware function properly?  I'm assuming you have curtains, and aren't still living with the beach towel you tacked up there six years ago, when you moved in.
Miscellaneous - As you stand in the doorway of each room, is there something about the room that just doesn't work, that aggravates you, and do you have rooms that no one seems to want to use?

How many things did you list?  How many of these affect you first thing in the morning, slowing you down, grating on your nerves, causing mild (or not-so-mild) frustration, before you even get out your door?  These are the grains of sand.  Now imagine for a moment that they are all fixed. 
A nutritious breakfast is a great way to start the day.  An organized kitchen, with staples easy to see, is a great place to start the day.

Envision how smooth the morning would go, if the silverware drawer didn't do that catty-wampus thing when you pull it out to get a cereal spoon, so that it jams on the diagonal when you try to push it in, causing you to have to do the wiggle and bounce trick to get it closed.  How lovely to open the cupboard without the screech of the hinges waking the neighbor's yapping chihuahua, and once it's closed, having it stay closed, instead of slowly swinging back open to catch you as you stand up from wiping the juice spill off of the floor.  The juice spill that wouldn't happen if you replaced that stupid, cheap, dollar store pitcher with the non-functioning spout.  And what if your car keys weren't buried under the mail, a load of clean socks, and somebody's homework, but instead were waiting for you on the silver tray on the tidy table top, next to the back door?  Then envision stepping out the back door into a clean garage, and having the light not only turn on, but be bright enough to actually see the back steps clearly.  Doesn't that feel great?

You can only give your best to the world when you're living the best you possibly can.  There are lots of big issues to tackle under that concept that I'm not even going to go near, but don't let the grains of sand sabotage the adventure of living beautifully.  And don't feel bad if your list is a mile long.  I've been so focused on running the business and working on the book, I didn't realize until just now how many little things have slipped around here.  I'll deal with them in the morning.  For tonight, it's late, so I'm gonna park my broom, hang up my hat, and call it a day.

 I wish you a beautiful, joy-full, smoothly efficient week

If you've got the grains of sand under control, and want some pretty paint for those drab walls, click on over to the website theartofthehome.com, for information on how to hire me, and oodles of ideas for every room.

As always, if you are doing your own decorating, and run into a hitch, do feel free to ask questions.  If I know the answer, I'll be glad to share.  dawnmariedelara@gmail.com

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