HOW TO LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH.
FIVE TIPS AND MINDFUL MUSINGS FROM INTERIOR DESIGNER LISA SHERRY ON LOVE, ROMANCE, HOME AND VALENTINE'S DAY.
FROM LISA WITH LOVE
Love. It's in the air, especially on the cusp of Valentine’s Day. Today, I’d like to start a conversation about what might be the most intimate and romantic relationship in our lives. With apologies to my partner Jonathan – step aside, babe – this "true love" is the romance we each should have with a place called home.
Home is love. As an interior designer, my real job isn’t simply to pick paint colors and position furniture. It’s to help clients fall in love – deeply in love – with their homes. Sometimes it’s a renovation. Renos are like an imperfect relationship. You decide to work on it and give it a go, rather than giving up. New builds? Searching for a brand new home is like dating. We recall past shortfalls and shop around with a punch list before making a commitment.
This love-of-home philosophy is not new to me. It’s not a short-lived crush, nor is it seasonal. My 9-5 is spent imagining homes for clients. My 5-9 is spent living life, most of it, at home.
As an homage to St. Valentine’s Day, I’ve compiled a shortlist of five ideas to romance the home. They’re a bit unconventional. Some are small, heartfelt and within reach this very moment. Others may be a bit more revelatory and far seeing, invitations to change a way of being. They’re all entirely sincere….
#1 BE PASSIONATELY NEUTRAL
Perhaps no surprise here for my friends and followers. For me, a neutral palette is like a peace sign. It opens up the sight lines in a space, plus the mind and the heart. Synergy is love. Bathing a space in a quiet color palette of whites, creams and taupes, has a unifying effect. And, black is a pure neutral too. In my world – saturated hues step aside – neutrals are the truest passion palette.
#2 LET THERE BE LIGHT
Daylight and candlelight are my two favorite light sources. During the daytime, keep your windows completely clear. Let the light shine through and connect with the natural world. I am a lover of art, but the view from the living room window is also a masterpiece.When the evening comes, dim the lights and strike a match. With scented candles love is in the air quite literally. Light is a source of energy and essential to seeing (on so many levels!). It's also the pathway to rest and meditation.
#3 SEE WITH EVERY SENSE
As an interior designer, I notice things, just about everything, in a space. Yet, seeing with all the senses is absolutely essential for a loving home. Texture, touch and music. A scented candle or something brewing on the stove. A dinner for two. Seeing with all the senses opens up an elusive sixth sense of being and knowing.
#4 COLLECT (AND EDIT)
Our things tell our stories. As a designer, I love helping clients edit art and accessory items collected over years. I’ve learned that not all keepsakes are worth keeping. The things we most esteem are truly appreciated when edited with care. They reveal themselves; they’re seen. In my own homes, as well as client projects, old and new make a lovely marriage. But beware of too much of a good thing! Thoughtful editing eliminates visual stress. Excess feels claustrophobic. Focus on layering in texture and sensual touches. I love brand-new finds with old souls that feel collected over time. It truly is all about the mix.
#5 BEAT THE CLOCK
Do you find yourself living life in the fast lane? I often do. We all need to rise to the exciting challenges and adventures of the day. But, sometimes it feels like there’s a modern-world conspiracy to continually accelerate the pace – and not the quality – of life. It’s good to remember we all have the power to put a stick in the spokes and s-l-o-w the wheel down. Home is absolutely the best place to practice slow and mindful living. I love creating spaces, whether for myself or others, that are an invitation to be present and engaged, surrounded by the people and things we love. We should all walk into our homes and say ahhhhhhh....