Turn Your Home Upside Down
I have been painting for a very long time. Painting, like every other creative discipline presents its own set of unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. There’s understanding color, dealing with the physical application of paint, deciding on your subject matter, and then there’s composition. Composition to me is the mac daddy of great painting and I think it’s the most difficult to master because, unlike other aspects of painting, it’s the hardest to teach. To me, it’s definitely more of a feeling and less of a formula. And it can be especially elusive when you’ve been working on a painting for a while and stop “seeing” it.
Well, guess what? The same thing applies to your home. I’ll bet, like most of us, you put your furniture in a certain configuration when you moved in and you haven’t touched it since. You could easily recall exactly where every piece of furniture is because you’ve been looking at it that way for years. And for many of us, this is fine and there’s no reason to believe that our sofas should be any place other than exactly where they are. But, what about those rooms that seem to elude us, that we just can’t seem to make work, or that for some reason just don’t feel right. What if you could see your home with fresh eyes and were suddenly inspired to move things around or, Heaven forbid, get rid of some stuff?
The truth is that when you’re struggling to “see” with fresh eyes you have to turn things upside down. This is an old painting trick that a beloved teacher of mine used to use when a painting wasn’t working and you couldn’t figure out what was wrong. You simply turned the canvas upside down and, lo and behold, the solution was obvious. I’m not sure exactly why this works except that it seems to unscramble your brain and free you from a former locked in perspective.
Anyway, since you can’t turn your house upside down, the next best thing is to remove everything from the naughty room that’s working you over. I usually dare you to leave everything out for a solid week and then very slowly start to reintroduce pieces. It’s amazing what happens. You’ll think more clearly and really “see” the space, you’ll be very deliberate about what goes back (and I implore you to only bring back what you truly love) and you’ll be amazed at what you leave out and maybe even want to get rid of.
In the true spirit of spring, the season of cleaning, think about changing up a room or two. Clear them out and sit in them while they’re naked (always an amazing thing to do), feel their light, and try putting your sofa on a different wall, or floating it in the room. I dare you to be brave and to see your home in a new way. In fact, I double dare you.