When we bough Chez Peckham Rye, I was super conscious of what we used (and how much) to renovate it. Not perfect but we tried. All the furniture was old, restored and recovered. Paint - no voc, floors hand sanded and waxed, no yucky polyurethane. Bench-tops - old school lab benches sanded and waxed. We won't be knocking down walls, slapping on extensions or pushing up into the loft, as this house is what it was meant to be and is big enough for us (although I wouldn't mind buying the disused garden next door).
But I could have done better - note to self - no more paint stripper... And this video, although a couple of years old and US based, is a cold reminder of what is happening where you and I live and how we live. E likes our relatively empty attic as full attics physically and mentally weigh him down. Having moved countries several times, I like very much that I have nothing that is extraneous but everything is loved. E left most things behind when he divorced (he kept his guitars, music and books though). His main purchases since have been books - and an Eames chair.
But how do you live with the stuff that you have, when trends come and go and you realise for example
"I need pink in my life".
I don't like the term 'make do an mend', because I don't think making something out of stuff you already have should be seen as making do. The quilts I make for people often bring tears of joy - all from scraps of fabric and clothes they have had for years. The classes I teach seem to invigorate people into making something beautiful. So paint a chair pink, or turn your husbands pink shirt into a cushion, but just don't think you're making do - you're not, you're ringing the changes whilst keeping familiar and loved things around you.
So perhaps we could come up with a more uplifting term that means we consume less but create more beauty from what we already have?
Oh - and if you think you have too much stuff, there is bound to be someone down the road who is a little short.
Labels: thoughts ·