Your Favorite Things

I wrote about the topic of favorite things this morning over at Real Simple in case you'd like to check it out. Also, I have a few favorite things to share of my own in the future, I'm just waiting for my boxes to arrive which will be around three more weeks! Once I have everything out and in place, I can photograph a few of my favorite things because I would really enjoy sharing them with you.


And good news! I also plan to bring "Favorite Things" back as a regular once weekly column on decor8, especially since I still have a few in queue from some blogger friends who are waiting to share them with you, and I have many others whom I'd like to ask to participate. I believe the topic is a good one because it's important to reflect on the memories behind the items in our home, of course not all have deep emotional attachment or value of any kind, like a towel from Target, but there are those things that you just adore and cannot imagine leaving behind in a fire or losing somehow. Pets and husbands and children are not the things that will be highlighted in this column as those are not really things, but people (or fur kids) and it's pretty obvious that you adore and cherish your family members.

This column will explore the items in the home that mean something personal to the owner, why, how acquired, and anything else they're willing to share. It's important to value what we have and to also stop and think about our possessions and why we really have this or that in the home. We often get stuck and keep the table or bookshelf looking the same, and then realize that the space has been neglected. This is when you can move things around, or switch them out from room to room, or perhaps grab new things from corners where you've tucked away goodies for another season pulling something out of a drawer to replace it for instance. We tend to go shopping when our homes look boring... first try shopping from another room or from beneath your bed... More on under the bed in a moment, because I'm guessing you're like, "What IS she talking about?".

I believe that decorating the home is never "finished" and interior design is not something you "complete". It's an organic process of collecting and putting away and of recycling, upcycling, or selling. It's a process of enjoying what you have today but if it no longer interests you tomorrow, that it's okay to tuck it away and replace it with something that does. I've tucked away a lot in my lifetime, then retrieved it at a later date and felt first love feelings for it all over again. It just needed to rest for awhile in a closet for a renewed appreciation to occur. Often it's this way.

Some are so quick to sell things they tire of, and of course this is fine to do, but have you ever rid yourself of something only to pine for it a week later wishing you had not? I have. That's why I came up with a solution that works for me to end such regrets. And this is where "under the bed" comes in. It's my version of playing some adult hide and seek game, where you hide something or place it away and then go back to it a month or two later to see if you have new ideas for the object or if perhaps you really have grown tired of it and that old spark cannot be renewed. A bed can be helpful for this if you lack space elsewhere (like I do, because apartments in Germany consist of rooms and no closet space whatsoever, you need to buy your closets here). Simply slide a storage container beneath your bed (cloth or plastic will do) and tuck away, or "hide",  those things you aren't keen on today. Then on your calender, 2-4 months out, mark a return date when you will "seek" for them -- return to the container to retrieve what you'd hidden months prior. Look over everything, see if you can repurpose them or perhaps use them again, and if you are convinced that this or that item no longer feels right for your taste, home, etc. then you can give yourself the permission to get rid of it. I donate things on an annual basis (in the Summer) and I once had "tag sales" common in the states, though here in Germany less common -- in fact, rare here in the city -- so I'm planning to either take my things to the local flea market and rent a table for the day once in the Summer OR put things on eBay or perhaps bring them to a few shops that I know accepts second hand homewares. I find that by having a spot to place things that you can return to later to reevaluate and by having somewhat of a system to get rid of things (donations, selling, etc.) then you're less likely to have a space cluttered with things you don't really enjoy. Oh and another idea for getting rid of your goods -- have a decorating party! I've done this in the past where girlfriends come over with clothes and we swap, or they arrive with home things and we swap, and it's been great fun. You should be surrounded by things you consider favorites. Your home will feel better and more authentic if you have items that reflect your current taste and style.

So... with all that said, I will be introducing Favorite Things as a column sometime soon... stay tuned!

(images: holly becker)