True confession: I am not the world's greatest cook. The best thing I make is reservations. Over the years dear friends have encouraged me by giving me cookbooks, sending me to cooking classes, and so forth. In fact, one year several women got together and made me a book of all their favorite recipes. They’re so thoughtful – but I still really didn’t enjoy the process of cooking. Then one year I was throwing a baby shower, and the caterer fell through at the last minute. That morning I knew enough to put together the basic food that tasted good, but I was stressing out over it. A friend helping me said, “You’re creative. Don’t think of cooking – think of creating.” In that moment a light bulb went on – suddenly I looked at this process of putting together the food with new eyes. I actually enjoyed placing the food on the platters and arranging them just ‘so’.
The very same principle applies when decorating your home.
For me, it's cooking. For you it may be decorating.
Sometimes when I go into a home for a color consultation and pull out my paint decks, I see fear in people’s eyes. Or if I’m accompanying a client when they’re choosing their sofa fabric, they have the same panicked look I used to get when thinking about cooking.
But if you think of CREATING a beautiful space – color, accessories, fabrics – then it becomes a truly enjoyable experience. Enjoy the pleasure of choosing a fabric that speaks to your heart. If your favorite place on earth is France, then choose a throw pillow that evokes those memories. If you are a sensual person, get high thread count sheets so every morning you’re greeted with the luxurious feeling that delights you. Enjoy the creative process of setting the table with colorful dishes that delight your eye, and have fun with mixing and matching the table linens. Now that's really fun.
Alexandra Stoddard is a contemporary philosopher, author and interior designer. She is the author of several of my favorite books, such as Living a Beautiful Life. She wisely said, “Don’t think of decorating. Think of Creating.” So true! Just as some of you love the creative process of cooking a fabulous meal, you can enjoy the creative process of pulling together your home's decor.
You'll have to excuse me. We have dinner reservations.