It seems that the ever growing demand for self help tools and strategies has resulted in a movement toward “living with less” in the home design and décor world. Store shelves are overflowing with books detailing strategies for decluttering or minimalizing the contents in your home, all with the ultimate goal of a better/happier/healthier life. This is even spilling over into the fictional world; imagine my surprise, while catching up with my favorite literary heroine, Becky Bloomwood, to learn that even she was curbing her shopaholic ways, asking herself with each potential purchase “does this bring me joy?”.
While travelling in France and England over the last couple of weeks, my family and I were quite struck by how much smaller the homes were, and how much less “stuff” they had in them! Now, we have always steered clear from clutter and keepsakes in both our homes, even before being a minimalist became trendy. Having been three humans and two pets in a small condo, this was not just our sense of style but also a necessity! That said, when we moved into our current home (strategically chosen after a long search for its open concept, smaller footprint, and lack of unnecessary extra rooms), we maintained this way of living and it’s a key element in every design I work on. What needs to be in the room, what purpose will it serve (bonus marks for multiple purposes), and what should it look like in order to suit personal style?
With this in mind, I took a lot of photos over the last few weeks with the intent of doing a blog post on living with less, using some of the fantastic examples from the homes we stayed in and visited for how to make use of every bit of space. That all changed when I got home and received a text from a friend with photos of her latest crafty creation – a sweet gray pompom wreath.
You see, this isn’t just an ordinary wreath. Nor is it your usual DIY décor for your home. It is handcrafted by a very special woman, for a very special cause.
In 2008, Adele lost her mother, a passionate knitter, to cancer. She dealt with her grief by teaching herself how to knit, allowing her to continue to feel close to her mother by doing something that her mother had loved to do. At the time, she had not anticipated how much knitting would become a part of her life. Not long after the loss of her mother, Adele received her own diagnosis of cervical cancer and once again, knitting served to bring her close to her mother and to help her through the healing process.
Today, as the owner of Louve de Laine, Adele creates beautifully handcrafted pieces that she sells on her Etsy store (found here), with proceeds from her sales going toward a range of cancer-related charitable organizations. While her shop boasts gorgeous photos of cozy winter accessories, she has recently started making pompom wreaths and let me tell you, if yarn wall hangings were one of the top ten home décor trends on Pinterest for 2016, these wreaths are definitely waiting in the wings to steal their place on the 2017 list!
This got me thinking; instead of focusing on living with less, shouldn’t we instead focus on filling our homes with only those pieces that hold meaning for us? Taking a page out of Becky’s book (pun intended), asking ourselves with each purchase “does this bring me joy”? Keeping with the personal development theme, this is likely to be accompanied with a need to be patient. This couldn’t be more apparent than in our living room, which we renovated last summer (you can read about that project here). I still haven’t properly accessorized the space beyond a painting my husband fell in love with and some days it pains me to look at the bare shelves and space behind the couch, but I am determined to gradually add to the room with pieces that we truly fall in love with.
So take a look around the rooms in your home. Are there items that neither serve a tangible purpose or hold meaning for you? Would you be willing to donate them in an effort to “live with less”? If the answer is yes, then maybe you will end up with some extra space in your home for your own meaningful décor!