Last weekend with the weather as gorgeous as it was and being able to have all the doors and windows open again for a couple of days I found myself grappling with a serious urge to Spring-clean. I wanted to take down all the heavy curtains and haul up the rugs and beat the winter out of them. I wanted to scrub all the floors and clean all the windows and get into all the nooks and crannies. I wanted to pull the heavy doona off the bed and throw on the summer linen. I was even thinking about repotting some of my plants . . .
Happily, common sense prevailed and I did nothing of the sort. (I went out sketching and then to the movies instead.) Spring is still (officially) a whole month away and the short burst of warm weather, although fabulous, was not quite enough to fool me into making any rash or impulsive cleaning decisions. (Just as well. The weather flipped overnight and the last two days have been non-stop torrential rain and howling winds. I would have been seriously pissed off if I had spent that whole precious weekend ‘de-winterfying’. As it turned out all I felt was a bit smug—like ‘I knew that was going to happen’ . . . )
The sudden bout of Spring Fever may not have lasted long enough to send me into a cleaning frenzy but it did get me thinking about how I was going to redecorate my house this year. Because I redecorate my house every year. Not by painting the walls, or resurfacing the floors or retiling the bathroom (I hear landlords can be a wee bit tetchy if you start doing these sorts of things to their properties) but by changing over winter curtains for lightweight floaty ones, rolling up and hiding away rugs, swapping dark cuddly cushions for summer brights—and just a little bit of general ‘titivation’.
I have always kept several (as in ‘more than two but fewer than many’) sets of curtains, ‘throws’ and cushion covers (not to mention doona covers, bed linens and towels) in varying colours, styles and patterns (the wannabe ‘minimalist’ in me is now banging her head silently on the wall) so changing over the whole look of my house can usually be done quickly and at minimal cost. All it takes is an afternoon of delving into cupboards and drawers, dragging out things that I had forgotten were even in there (so much fun) and then swapping things over and moving things about—with possibly only the tiniest little bit of shopping involved. (You know—just to fill in the gaps to pull a new look together . . . )
If I sound like a person who might like to watch the odd lifestyle or home renovation program on occasion, you’re absolutely right. I love them. Everything from the 60-minute-makeovers, all the way up to those shows where they spend weeks and weeks renovating and rebuilding properties. You can learn a lot from these shows—including a lot of what not to do. But although I love these programs I also struggle to understand why someone would willingly hand over the keys of their home to someone they barely know and say ‘Go ahead. Make over my house.’ The actual building or renovation work maybe—but the decoration? That I don’t get.
I am a homebody, I admit it. I like my home. I like spending time at home and I like having my own things around me. My things. Things that mean something to me. The furniture and furnishings that I chose (ever-present dog hair notwithstanding). The photos of people I know and the places I have been. The artwork on the walls. My books and ornaments. Harry and Frank’s old dog collars hanging on a hook . . .
I am sure somebody with more design flair and an eye (and credit card) for more hi-end furniture and decor might well be able to turn my humble little house into a much flashier abode. They could also probably (okay, for sure) make me appear much more interesting and exciting than I really am. But then it wouldn’t be my home would it? It would not be a true reflection of the person that I am.
And when it comes down to it, surely that is what your home should be—a reflection of you, your family, your friends and the things you love.
Who better to decide on its decoration than you yourself?