Thoughts on Home Improvements
Thursday May 26, 2016
I think this has been the longest break from blogging ever for me. And after making a post about how long my blog has been active!
I didn’t mindfully take a break; it just happened. I spent March painting, installing appliances, and just overall spending every moment working on the house. Then in April relatives came to visit and family occupied a lot of my time. May has been dealing with my health. A flare-up had me feeling mostly miserable lately and trying to get into the headspace of dealing with chronic illness.
So that brings me to here. I wanted to talk about my home improvements and also the Minimalism documentary I caught earlier this month.
A few months ago I got into listening to The Minimalists podcasts. It was good timing as I was beginning my home improvements. I ended up getting tickets to a screening of their documentary which was very good as well as the Q&A afterwards.
A lot of it built off my whole Marie Kondo experience from before. Only taking it a step further. Discussing relationships. Discussing the societal influences of capitalism. And within that finding my own way for a life less complicated. I put more time into my relationships. Some of it paid off. Some of it was a disappointment (but nevertheless a lesson.) But I learned and moved on.
The home improvements were another great lesson. Doing the whole house clean-out back in September made it easier to pinpoint things I wanted changed. At first I did the usual thing of going online and comparing my home to that of specifically-designed-aesthetic-spaces… mistake. HUGE mistake.
“Comparison is the thief of joy!” I remind myself often. I thought I’d need to make big pricey changes. New cabinets, paint every room!? … but did I really need those things to be happy? And then I realized I was doing everything in my power to work against the space rather than with it. When I started appreciating the existing elements things became much easier.
I looked at inspiration that came to mind right away (magazines, sites.) I read in Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy that looking through inspiration should be done all at once en masse and across styles so you can swiftly see what you like, why you like it, and move forward. It worked really well in focusing my decisions. I found 1 major reference I referred to throughout the process.
This came from the first issue of Lee I ever picked up. I remember seeing these pictures and something just clicking for me. I realized the kitchen was dark like mine. My kitchen isn’t near any windows so there are shadows and what I liked about this kitchen was how the lighting worked with that fact. I liked the clean utilitarian surfaces. The magnetic knife strip especially. And just overall how simple, useful, and easy it seemed. It wasn’t trying too hard. It didn’t seem preoccupied with perfection. I didn’t need all new kitchen cabinets. I needed better lighting, more space over the stove, and my favorites at an arm’s length.
After all was said and done I ended up removing the above stove range and replacing it with a more powerful, quieter, ventilated hood that had two super bright LED lights. I ditched the wood block for a magnetic knife strip which made space for my 2 most used cooking pots. I added a few large counter-wide chopping boards that tied in the cabinets natural wood texture. I also put up a backsplash using adhesive glass tiles. No grout necessary! And they don’t budge trust me. We replaced the leaky faucet with one that’s also a spray hose. Beyond the kitchen we upgraded our TV, repainted the home office, hung new light fixtures and art work all over the house, took the guitars off their stands and hung them up, built a new TV cabinet, and took a lot of things to the recycling center. A LOT. And when I was done I came in way under budget.
I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the whole Konmari part earlier in the year. If I had clutter everywhere I wouldn’t have even considered new light fixtures. I would have felt “what’s the point, the place is still a mess.” Now I can do these upgrades and really feel they were worth the time and effort.
9 Responses to “Thoughts on Home Improvements”