The Elegance of Editing

Featured, Home-Keeping, Thoughtful Living

the blog:

Making the decision to create a beautiful life. 

I have spent the majority of my life collecting and creating. I love beautiful things. 

I would tell myself – I could add one more or I really need this! Or, one can’t have too many Ironstone pitchers…I might still believe this one. 

Then I’d have to find a place to put all these things. I’d create vignettes of the beautiful items I’d collected. Then store the rest away.  These treasures became stuff. This stuff.

Little did I know how stuffing my life would affect me.

I would forget at times where certain things were. 

My home, my life, my mind and my heart were filled to overflowing to the point where I was walking with blinders through my home – not seeing the piles of books here, the collection of shoes there, the things laid and left…

My collected home had become a place of clutter and it was time for a change. You know the phrase, ‘clutter begets clutter’.

When someone walks into your home, How do you want them to feel? What is the impression you want them to have?

This is the thought in my mind right now. 

It’s more than admiring the beautiful pieces collected, a home should be a sense of place and be comfortable and welcoming. Does it truly represent me? If it doesn’t it was showing me that I had more than I needed and I had more than I could handle. 

It is also a reflection.

Is this the way I want my home to reflect the person I am – cluttered here, out of place there? No! Not at all. I want my friends to find my home a welcoming, comfortable haven. I want this to be a reflection of me.

There needs to be some thoughtful choices made. I need to have clarity. As I go through each room in my house I need to take careful look at everything and make deliberate choices about what stays and what goes.

A cluttered life gets in the way of living a simple, elegant life.

Suelement l’exquis – only the exquisite

What I need to do is to edit my belongings. Everything that will remain needs to be as a result of careful thought, deliberate choice and fit the overall vision of what I want my home to look like.

Editing done properly includes selecting those items that have beauty and value – to me.

I need to prepare myself. These tasks need appropriate time for selecting those things that will remain.

Correcting – when you edit something you are making sure it makes sense. You take away that which doesn’t belong and add what might. You also make sure that the entire message or vision is the one that you want conveyed.

I’ve shared the necessity of white space in our time and in our life.

White space in your home is just as important. But white space can be used in the design of our lives as well, not just the design of magazines and websites and ads. By using white space in our lives, we create space, balance, emphasis on what’s important, and a feeling of peace that we cannot achieve with a more cramped life.

Thoughtful editing in fact, it can produce a fundamental shift in the way we think about our homes and our lives – it can bring on a sense of elegance.

The editing that you make need to result in a home that is manageable.

Unless you make changes that work with how you live, those changes won’t last and won’t fulfil you.

To edit your home and in some aspects your life in a way that is manageable and that will last you need to fully understand what you want and what you’re trying to achieve. That is where you begin.

Editing your home and your live leads to surroundings that are beautiful to you. Beauty is found in the details of how you live your life. We develop routines and habits. How we incorporate those things we’ve chosen to accentuate our lives into our routines and habits can enable us to treat our life as a piece of artwork.

This sounds fantastical, but when we combine the colors, textures, and variety of objects we’re creating art. I love the thought of our life as artwork that reflects our hearts and our souls.

When editing, there are a few things we need to consider. 

Quality. Quality is always better than quantity. Quality is worth taking the time to wait to obtain an object rather than settling for something of lesser value.

Savor. Add things that allow you to savor life, time and the seasons. One of the best ways to add beauty and quality to our lives is with live plants or floral arrangements. When we edit our lives, we make room for those things that add elegance to our lives. Nothing compares to the beauty of a plant or of a bloom.

Detail. When we have allowed for white space, we can better see the detail in objects. The curve and light to a beautiful vase. The aged patina on a beautiful piece of furniture. The softness and suppleness of fabrics. The details of the items we elect to remain definitely tell a story. Which leads to a question.

In all of the quality, savoring and detail, make sure that what your editing and adding answer the question, ‘is this true for me?’ Does this truly reflect my aesthetics?

In the end, editing is beautiful and it requires an amount of discipline. Editing causes you to ask those questions of yourself. Do I love it? Does it fulfill a need? Is it useful. 

This quote is profoundly useful when editing.

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  William Morris

The Editing process is so much more than clearing out the clutter in your life and in your home. It is about being intentional in the story your telling of yourself and your life. It is about what you allow in your life. Adding quality in what you select raises your personal standards. You are creating a space that is you – that is true of you. 

Editing is definitely elegant. And, isn’t that what we want our lives to be? Elegance is a choice. Elegance is a rich expression of a well chosen life.

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