Letter: the value factor
July 29, 2017
February 1, 2015
So, it’s not spring yet, and we can no longer say ‘Happy New Year’; rather it’s that awkward gap between seasons, which I love! Why? Because it permits a moment to pause: time to properly consider all those pesky resolutions made in the heat of a hot toddy and a chance to decide which ones you’ll actually attempt to keep. After all, I’m pretty sure it’s practically scientific fact that pursuits begun in the immediate aftermath of ‘new year, new start’ enthusing are more likely to be doomed. Time taken to contemplate next steps is never wasted. Rather, it enables preparation and practice.
While you’re musing, consider this: historically, a time-honoured ritual as spring beckoned was the big household clean-up/clear-out – we explore the whys and wherefores on p92 [March 2015 edition]. Obsessed as I am with clutter-busting, I like the idea of an annual purge, a scheduled point in our collective calendars to jettison, dust and steam clean. But I also enjoy the potential that this offers to shake things up a little more. Why not move more than dirt – what about big bits of furniture, for instance? How about imagining your space with the subtraction of walls or the addition of extra built-in storage, or even an extension? Could furniture layouts be tweaked to become more ergonomic? Why not choose now as the time to change your kitchen cupboard fronts or update them with shiny new handles (for more exciting kitchen ideas, turn to p205)? Sometimes, a little refresh can make a huge difference. But again, it’s important to stop and think before any action plan is instigated. Your home needs to work well for the way that you actually use it, not some fictional dream. For starters, ask yourself the following…
1. When each family member gets home, what is the first thing that they do? This is about efficiency, hallways, storage and finding a place for dirty shoes and your keys.
2. Where do you really like to eat? This is about habits dictated by space; weekday routines versus weekend ones. Do you, in fact, tend to eat in the lounge because you like to watch TV at the same time? What would happen if you moved your dining table to respect this?
3. Do you use your lounge for lounging? What do you really do in your spare time? How do you unwind?
In short, does your home help or hinder your real life? Now is the moment to think about this and to consider trying something new. Promote healthier habits by changing your environment. Who knows where it might lead? Enjoy the pause and use it to plan ahead: spring will be here soon enough.
First published as my Editor’s Letter in the March 2015 edition of ELLE Decoration UK
Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.