We’ve just moved for the first time in eleven years. So we’ve spent the last month re-acquainting ourselves with the contents of our home. First: sorting, recycling, donating, shredding, selling, and packing. Then: unpacking, sorting, recycling, inheriting, purchasing, and placing. Granted, most find step two a lot more fun than step one. But a rigorous edit of your belongings in step one, can be nearly as satisfying. The real payoff is more room to breathe in your next home.
To me, the space in the photo above, taken in our new place during the home inspection, is ripe with possibility. The few pieces of furniture in the shot belong to the previous owner. This southwest-facing corner is washed with daylight on sunny days. The challenge is to outfit it so as to maximize its intrinsic appeal – daylight from two directions through paired, generous, two-over-one lite, double-hung windows; warm hardwood floors; a relatively tall ceiling; a pleasing neutral paint palette, and well-crafted trim. To do such a space justice, while personalizing it, every piece of furniture, every furnishing and fixture within it needs to be carefully considered. A good editor (of a text or a home) knows when to cut, when to re-arrange, and when to augment.
As I outfit this space to reflect the lives we aspire to live in it, it helps me to look back at this photo of it (nearly) empty, to remind myself of its essence. Alain de Botton wrote in The Architecture of Happiness, “We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced.” Same goes for our interiors: we owe it to our houses that our interiors will not be the inferiors of the bare spaces they have replaced.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast