• design_for_mankind 2011-02-13 at 6.47.25 PM

    design_for_mankind 2011-02-13 at 6.47.25 PM

  • A

    loving my “things.”

    02.14.2011 / ARCHIVES

    As most of you know, I’m nearing the end of a 15 month renovation and couldn’t be more thrilled. After months of tear-sheets, inspiration images and dream shopping, it’s almost time to decorate the space. And decorating? Decorating gives me chills.

    A few weeks ago, I mentally took stock of everything Ken and I had packed up and moved with us from Los Angeles to Indiana. Surprisingly, the only furniture that I truly missed were two rickety chairs I’d found on the side of the road while biking from my local coffee shop on a Tuesday afternoon. I remember peddling home, running up our wooden stairs and bursting open the bedroom door, screaming at Ken to help me carry these junk chairs home.

    He did, and they sat in our garage for two years, begging to be sanded, painted and re-upholstered. Life got in the way, of course, but I knew I wanted these two chairs for the long haul.

    And now, those tossed-out and long-forgotten chairs are pieces that I treasure more than anything else. I could care less about the dining room table we scored on Craig’sList for cheap, or the mid-century rockers I purchased on eBay. Those items don’t tell stories (although my credit card bill did!). Our IKEA dressers have no heritage and the Anthropologie curtains I lovingly folded and tucked away into boxes mean nothing now.

    Today, Ken and I are going on a thrifting adventure to make memories. We want our furniture to tell stories, to make us smile. We want to build coffee tables that remind us of splinters, Saturday afternoons and work gloves. We want to sit on overstuffed sofas and remember the stories our grandparents told while curled up eating tomato soup.

    We want to dine in two rickety chairs that remind us of sunnier days, salty air and busy streets.

    And although not every item in our home will tell a story, I want it all to be meaningful in some way. Whether I pick up a new notebook at Target while with a girlfriend or reward myself with a new mug for a job well done, I want to remember my purchases and reflect on those moments.

    I want to collect, not hoard.
    I want to acquire, not buy.

    I want to be frugal, mindful and reflective.

    What about you? How do you view the things around you? Any rules you stick to in order to keep the clutter away and invest in pieces you truly love?


    • oh dear: i’m also in the middle of this! only our house renovation is going on 4 years with a gutted first floor. (we finished the upstairs and now we live up there.) Anyway: Yes. We brought nothing but our bed and two dressers to our house. i’ve tossed almost everything and every month, I toss more. I’ve gotten good at not buying ANYTHING I don’t absolutely love. we still don’t have a couch. but i’d rather find one we love than buy something we want to give away in a year!
      good luck!

    • that is SO smart! wow! living w/out a couch is a serious commitment — congrats to you!

    • LOVE this, Erin! xo

    • thanks, janette!

    • I’m having deja vu of our conversation last month!


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