Tidy: chapter 3 – interiors and exteriors

February 4, 2016 at 4:37 pm 2 comments

monochromatic-cottage-in-sweden-kitchen1-via-smallhousebliss

Monochromatic White Ceramic Tile

(Continued…) They say if you don’t feel your grief, you won’t be able to feel all the other feelings that want to arise.  Good feelings like joy, empathy, or passion. It’s like having a house decorated with only one color – but the color is grey. Margaret had been living in a grey house emotionally, and the grey was her grief. The grief was like a hand pressing down on her; she could barely breathe. And when Sam left, another hand descended.

light in window

But now it’s spring and Margaret, still residing in her bed-cave, is becoming aware of the light streaming in through the window.  She notices the birds singing outside. The thought of a bird feeder floats through her mind. She feels the slight, oh-so-slight flutter of something stirring deep down inside.

Margaret props herself up on pillows and surfs the internet for pictures to add to her “vision” Pinterest board (set to “private”) and comes upon a DIY blog featuring before-and-after pictures of home remodels and design. Homes with drafty windows replaced by energy-efficient skylights ; Old mildewy bathrooms revitalized by moisture and stain-resistant grout (who knew grout could be so sexy!); drab kitchens remade with lime-green spacious counters and tile.

1x4-cloud-kitch-collage

Modwalls Lush 1×4 Cloud tile and lime green counter tops

And then her eyes fell upon a blog post talking about grief.

Why is a design blog talking about grief?

It was on a site for sustainable living which featured pictures of homes with recycled rain-water systems, solar-paneled tree-houses, and affordable micro-dwellings. The post was by a trendy psychotherapist who did interior design. As in interior interior. The psychological interior. He believed that the interior was reflected by the exterior. Or “our outer world is but a mirror to our inner. Knock a wall down and let the sun in. Pull out the 70’s shag carpeting (old beliefs) and install new birch wood floors.” Margaret wasn’t sure what exactly birch floors represented (new beliefs? yoga studios?) but she liked it.

colour-wheel(1)

She liked it enough to get out of bed. To finally crack open the book about tidying that her mother gave her. But then the tidy book had to ruin it by admonishing her to “KEEP YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER.” The hostility of it! A gong reverberates throughout the room. It’s her phone alarm telling her it’s time to stop meditating. Oh right, I’m meditating. She breathes. I am not my thoughts. I am not my stuff. I am….  What am I again? 

I-Am-Identity-620x330

Tile design is only limited by your imagination

 

Margaret’s friend Toni once told her that you have to ask the universe good questions. The universe loves answering questions but if you ask, ‘what’s wrong with me?’ it will delight in showing you. “And that,” says Toni, “is a rough road. But if you ask ‘what’s right with me?’ you’re gonna take a much better trip.’hearts of color

Margaret sits quietly. She listens for her question. Her arm itches. A dog barks. “Will the universe answer her? Is the universe friendly? Who or what is the universe anyway? Should she give up gluten and dairy?” She giggles. Toni would not approve. Then a voice interrupts her. “What are the blessings all around me?” Say wha? “Blessings?” That. is. not. a. word. Margaret. uses.

Her breath stops for a moment. Her mother’s blue eyes flash open, then shut eternally. The smell of honeysuckle. Silence. Margaret realizes she has been sitting quietly for a good part of the afternoon. Maybe a good part of her life. She feels unsettled. Or is it calm?  The sun is beginning to set outside the kitchen window. It used to be her mother’s window and now it’s hers.

kitchen window sunset

Her eyes land on the opened box of Entenmann’s donuts next to the sink full of dishes. In remaking her home, what will she discard and what will she keep? And who will she become? A Rolling Stones song drifts through her mind, “I used to love her, but it’s all over now…” She grabs the donut box and throws it in the trash.  Time to put her house in order.Micheline

This is the third installment in a weekly series about aspirational living.  Micheline Auger is a New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.

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Tidy – chapter 2: keeping order Renovating? We’ve Got Your Tile

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Rebecca Lonergan


Founder and Creative Director of Modwalls Tile Company. Since 2005 Rebecca has been designing Fresh Tile in Colors You Crave. Shop Online at Modwalls.com.

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