6.29.2011

Conran's Wisdom...





I tend to be pretty preoccupied with the general idea of "creating a home." (Those of you that regularly visit this space are probably {maybe painfully} aware of this fact, as I talk about it an awful lot.)

I'm guessing (I have a strong propensity toward self-diagnosis) that it probably has something to do with having moved so many times as a child. The constant sense of motion during my formidable years might have instilled in me a sort of amped-up nesting instinct, a driving desire to create a space that at once feels safe and welcoming and warm and cozy and decorated and so on...



image from The House Book via Pink Shirts and Carwrecks

Every once in a while I reprimand myself a bit for this obsession. It is just a house, I reason, maybe I shouldn't think so freakin' much about it... But then I stumbled upon this quote by Terence Conran over on Apartment Therapy:


Having a warm home that looks good and works well, and that you and your family and friends enjoy must be one of the most worthwhile things in life – the foundation of a good life…

Terence Conran’s “The House Book” (1977)


And after reading it, I got all "fist pumpy" (and maybe a little bit righteous) about my house obsession (or at minimum I felt less guilty about the whole enterprise)...

I especially appreciated just how uncomplicated Conran makes this act of creating a home feel -- "having a warm home that looks good and works well". So basic and yet monumental in its potential. And honestly, getting to that state is probably as much (if not more) about home-keeping as it is about wallpaper and vases and couches and art. There is something essential about respecting your home enough to tend to it every day*, so that, in a sense, acts like wiping down the counters, smoothing the sheets, cleaning a window, setting out a vase of flowers feel like little displays of affection toward the very space that's creating "the foundation for my good life."

I will remember this next time I'm facing a mountain of bath towels that need to be folded. I will.


* as a side note, I spotted Karen Maezen Miller's 10 Tips for a Mindful Home over on One Love Organics yesterday and had another little fist pump moment...So simple and basic but so totally right on.

18 comments:

Nomadic D. said...

I love this. I love the idea that home-keeping, as you call it (so much nicer than house-keeping), is an essential part to creating a foundation of happiness and security and grounding in our lives. Sometimes we forget that and the chores become chores and get put off as long as possible, but the reality is, when they are done, the house feels more like a loving home, and the doing of them too can be an act of love. I realize this sounds totally new-agey out there, but it really did hit me like an epiphany when I read your post. Thanks for helping me come to terms with that. Maybe tomorrow doing the laundry and cleaning the kitchen will actually bring me a bit of joy. Well, ok, maybe that's asking a bit much a bit quick...

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

Jo Harper said...

Oprah and Nate always say, "Whenever you come home, your home should rise up to meet you." I agree! I don't think nesting is a bad thing :)

http://thephilosopherscupcake.blogspot.com/

Torrie said...

As is so often the case, this post comes at a perfect time. A time in which I have piles of laundry, counters in need of wiping, and so on.

..."displays of affection" is so much more *positive than "mountains of misery." =)

Ana Degenaar said...

This is actually so gorg and so true. Love it.

PJ said...

Oh, i completely agree with you and Mr. Conran. I was obsessed with my mother's copy of "The House Book" even as a child. (My love of decor started early.) Home is a sanctuary, after all -- shouldn't it be cozy, comfortable, and beautiful? From your photos, it looks like you've accomplished just that!

Susannah said...

There is something essential about respecting your home enough to tend to it every day*, so that, in a sense, acts like wiping down the counters, smoothing the sheets, cleaning a window, setting out a little vase of flowers feel like little displays of affection toward the space that's creating "the foundation for my good life."

Wow, thanks...I needed that. I've been so tired and unhappy with the space we're in that I've found it so difficult recently to keep up with things. Maybe it's time I start respecting the space and in turn, maybe it might actually start to feel like home.

Chaucee said...

such a great space!

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

You know that I am so in line with you on this one! I love how simple and beautiful, Terence Conran's words are. Life's pleasures are about spending time with family and friends and a warm home is a big part of that. I don't think you can actually put into words how important it is.

Caterine said...

I will take that advice more often! I love my new home enough to tend to it everyday! :) nice words there.

Caterine
730design.blogspot.com

design inspiration for Foote cottage said...

I have also moved numerous times and share the same tendencies and desires. I am so obsessed I blog about my house, have a running notebook of projects, and a binder full of home decor ideas and resources. I ma not sit around much at my home, but that doesn't mean I do not enjoy it. Consider it a gift! Not many people can take their creativity and utilize it in their lives.

Heather Taylor said...

LOVE THIS. I'm totally with ya. xo

Kristen said...

Great Post! Makes me feel better and "normal". XO

*sarah berry design* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

Amen! I will recall this quote whenever I'm asking myself if it's worth it to buy fresh flowers for my entryway. If they make my house look and feel more inviting, and they make people happy when they see them, then yes they are worth it :)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for this quote and your articulate way of expressing this love of home and its keeping. Definitely resonated with me!

Camille said...

I too often feel a sense of guilt, or at the very least, a bit silly and superficial when it comes to my own obsession with 'home-keeping' and interior design. So, as with you, it is a relief to read these kinds of sentiments which corroborate the desire to make our spaces more beautiful.
Camille

theappletea said...

so cool :) Thank you for this post!

ParkerNicole said...

I will take that advice more often. This combination delights smile and happiness. Thank you for this quote and your articulate way of expressing this love of home and its keeping.
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