The Chicago Tribune has a great piece today on Nate Berkus and what he did to help his brother turn a small rental apartment into a “refuge” for his family, without spending a lot of money or buying a lot of fancy stuff. You should really read it, as it gives great advice.
A little of Berkus tends to go a long way…and like any of the style mavens out there, Martha herself included…you should listen to what they say and take away the best tips and most salient points that apply to your own life. You do not have to follow these things to the letter, but instead lift ideas that give you inspiration of your own.
For us, it’s like going to the Art Institute and finding that kind of inspiration in a painting or sculpture collection, then coming home and creating something of your own with that same “feel”.
One of Berkus’ best tips in that article is about the photo wall he’s created.
This is something, shockingly, we don’t see enough people do. So many of the people we know have very beautiful, but very soulless homes…with rarely a photo or memento in site. True, we know people are probably reacting to the cluttered and kitschy homes they may have grown up in, but there’s a big difference between eliminating the garden gnomes and porcelain clowns your mother and grandmother crammed onto every flat surface and leaving your house as spartan and generic as something in a catalog.
Fill your home with positive energy by putting your favorite photos into interesting, tasteful frams and creating a photo or memory wall the way Berkus suggests.
One of our friends has a gorgeous apartment with all the bells and whistles everyone craves in catalogs…but as soon as you walk into his place, you are greeted with wonderful family photos of him and all his relatives and friends, with some spectacular shots of him off on many adventures as well. When we complimented him on this wall, he told us it’s one of the sources of strength in his world…on bad days, he comes home from work and is greeted by all these people who love him and all these wonderful adventures he had when he was on top of the world. That wall is the first thing he sees when he comes home each day, and the last thing he sees before leaving his condo in the morning. When he entertains, it is what greets guests…serving not just as a warm, personal welcome but also as a conversation starter where guests ask who the different people are or start talking about one of the exotic places they, too, have been.
Somehow, having a bunch of generic prints you bought at World Market or Pottery Barn just doesn’t have the same impact.
At Black Tie Cleaning, we’re firm believers in a holistic approach to order and peace in people’s lives. Your house can be spotlessly clean but that won’t necessarily make you happy…and it won’t make your house a home either. You can still live in a clutter-free showplace that’s personal, warm, inviting, and empowering to your spirit…but you have to see the space you live in as your HOME, not as your condo, not as your apartment, not as your house.
A home is not just walls and furniture and Kenmore appliances or Viking ranges.
A home is filled with love…even if you’re single, petless, and far away from family back in Wisconsin or Oregon or Ohio or wherever.
All the people you love can occupy a small place in your home, but making an appearance on your memory/photo wall.
Now, if you could only just get them to pay their share of the rent.
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