Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Last week, my kids were away and I had this glorious notion that I would cross everything off my home decorating list.  I have been working on my own house for three years, and since I have been doing so much of the work myself (making all the curtain and headboards, painting, searching for cheaper options, etc.) and on a fairly tight budget, it has been a slow labor of love.  And the love is running out.

I share this because blogs have a way of making it all look easy, and pushing us to strive for a level or perfection that is probably silly.  I loved reading this post last week about letting it go.  For me, my house is THIS close, and it is really pretty good, and I WILL finish.  The problem for me is not in letting go, but in not letting it do me in.

In my business, I make a million decisions, big and small, every day.  They are decisions that affect people's homes and their wallets, and I take that very seriously.  Sometimes it feels like there is little energy left to make decisions for my own place.

I'm going to make an analogy.  It is probably a bad one, but I expect you will forgive me.

When I was pregnant with my older daughter, I worked right up to my due date.  In fact, I was in the office until midnight trying to wrap everything up, and then took the subway home, and waddled slowly the 6 blocks from my stop to my front door carrying a box of my stuff.  The next morning I woke, expecting to go in to labor.  My body had other ideas and I waited for 11 more days.

With many creative endeavors, we enlist the gestation analogy.  Author's books are "born."  In fact, the gestation/ birth analogy is so embedded in our language around creativity, I didn't even notice that in the first paragraph of this post I refereed to my home design as "a labor of love."  Design has gestation, too.  Ideas percolate.  This is not news.  What I bumped up against last week is the realization that there is a transition from idea to execution that requires its own work.  (After 9 or so months of gestating, their is a phase in labor that is actually called "transition," a phase to go through between laboring and birth.)

I raced in to last week knowing what I wanted to do.  The ideas had gestated.  And I woke up expecting to do some labor and birth my hallway art installation.  But even after you have decided that you will install a group of frames like this:

Breaking up one large abstract work,something  like this:

Artist Angela Brennan

There are still a bunch of decisions to make.  What color frame?  How wide a profile?  Matted or not?  What kind of wall spacing?  Acrylic, water color, or collage?  What weight of water color paper?  And other, compositional things to think about: does the piece "read" from downstairs?  From each vantage point?  Should it "point" down the hall?  Does it matter that you can't see the whole thing from any vantage point?

A lot of the decisions I make in design are made instinctively and without stress about them BEING decisions, but they are decisions nonetheless.  And when you go to buy the materials--to execute an idea-- it raises each and every one of the questions above, and then some.  Which is how you end up getting to the mock-up phase, using supplies on hand, and then lose focus and energy.

Here's something to keep it in perspective, though, in keeping with this post:  When my kids came home, my 7-year-old went up stairs, saw the mock up, and shouted for all to hear:


Which is great, because a week later, that's still the state of the hall.


  1. Very interesting thanks. I believe there's even more that could be on there! keep it up into a link

  2. This post was such a delightful read, Heather. Honestly, I'm not a professional but I definitely know the feeling of poring all of yourself into a project and then running out of steam for the next one. Creativity and ideas ebb and flow, and I'm really glad you were inspired to make your gallery wall. I think it will look great!

    Have you thought about framing your art (whatever you decide it to be) in lucite box frames? That would look super cool! Just a thought!

    1. Ashley, yes! Love the idea of lucite boxes. I've been trying to decide how much I want the frames to create architecture, versus just having the artwork (whatever that ends up being) making the wall.
      As always, thanks for reading!


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