The other day I asked my sister who lives in Washington State to send some photos of her house etc. She has been there for 13 years or so – and yet – I know so little about where she is. This did not seem right.
In a couple of days I received a few photos – taken in 2009 – nice photos. I must admit that I laughed at the age of those photos – here thinking digital cameras, instant processing (faster than a speeding Polaroid) etc. and yet 5-6 year old photos to keep me up-to-date. No disrespect to my sister who I love dearly – but now a visit is eminent.
On that note – here is a very recent photo of my office/work-space. Anita more less dared me to post such a mess (she above all should know I am not to be dared!).
I think anyone can see this is a serviceable space – music, computers, photo gear, books and Kindle and notebook nearby – it works or rather I work there comfortably.
Lately we have been adding some touches to our beach casita.
A home of your own that works is deeply restorative and can even instill energy and inspire. It is not just a physical space to put our stuff or a shelter to protect them and us from the elements. It can be a place so steeped in who we are, the beauty of that, that it has the capacity to transform us – which in turn creates a home of even deeper meaning and purpose.
When does a house become a home as they say, how do we create this? How do we design from within our soul?
There is no specific formula, no rule book. In fact, the path (by definition) is going to be different for each of us.
So our surroundings can have a profound effect on our minds, bodies, and spirits. We recently added a piece of folk art that for me sort of transformed our living space, even though it in and of itself is a relatively minor addition. It was as if you just added a key piece to a jigsaw puzzle – suddenly it is all making sense!
Perhaps not by coincidence this is an angel – a rough wood carving picked up on El Adoquin here in Puerto.
El Adoquin, which means “the cobble.” Don’t even ask for Perez Gasga street (the official name), as no one will know it. Right in the middle of town where the large statue of Benito Juarez stands tall is the entry point to El Adoquin. The roadway is open to cars during the day, it becomes a pedestrian-only street at night and a mecca for nightlife that goes into the wee hours. For this reason, you might chose to book a hotel some blocks away if you want peace and quiet.
My amigo Steve Cotton arriving in town, never asked; ending up at a hotel on the edge of The Adoquin. We suspect he did not have a restful sleep there?
On the Adoquin many, many shops are fronted by rows and rows of tables set-up each night to tempt you with affordable hand-made jewelry, pottery, masks, t-shirts to Mexican guayabers, hammocks, and toys. There are mescal shops, ice cream shops and a variety of restaurants and watering holes. I am here to tell you the place is addictive and you will not go home without buying something – even when you live here.
We have been collecting Mexican masks. They add color to our gray walls in the casa and are terrific examples of Mexican folk-art. There are a few vendors that sell the masks along the Adoquin – we have connected with one. He manages to sell us yet another mask nearly each time we stop to say hello – he always has a special deal for us .
The other night we came home with yet another carved mask or wall hanging – this time we found a rather plain angel – but she spoke to us – OK not in the touchy feel y way, more in a decorating way.
Let us begin by understanding and accepting the idea of creating a home for ourselves, as part of our personal space. This while we have been taught or encouraged to see our homes as showpieces – to think that this table or that mask “says” something about me. We need to be able to say, “This piece touches me, moves me, inspires
Our New Angel
Decorating for show can surely provide a sense of gratification. But it can be a fleeting, superficial gratification. One that needs to be continually reinforced with newer, bigger, “better” items. Are you ready to tear out your granite kitchen counters and replace them? Because they are out of style I have been reading. Ouch!
Seeing your home as a source of inspiration means filling it with things that you want to keep for, well maybe even a lifetime. And you do not necessarily need a lot of money to acquire these pieces. In fact, limited resources often inspire the most beautiful, clever and creative interior design: every item is chosen with care and from the heart. We have bought nothing because it fits a certain color scheme or adding something that is bordering kitsch.
We can play with color and textures, sizes and shapes; we can be artists and use our homes as our canvas; especially as owners rather than renters. We will save the pluses and minuses of home ownership versus renting for another day. Stay Tuned!