Ordinary Beauty

A decluttered bedside table

If you look in magazines and blogs devoted to interior design and home decor you will see a lot of beautiful images and delightful objects. Large homes filled with light, infinity pools, stunning views, fabulous furniture and exquisite decor. These images can be a source of ideas and inspiration, but they can all be a source of discouragement and dissatisfaction.

I like to think about it this way. The homes featured in home styling magazines and blogs are like the supermodels featured in fashion magazines. They rare examples, chosen for their exceptional beauty in order to create an image that we can aspire to. They have been styled by experts and any blemishes, any signs of the wear and tear of living, are out of the picture. Their primary purpose is to sell, whether it be a magazine, a product or a lifestyle.

People are becoming more aware of the tricks of the trade used to make magazine models look more perfect than life. We have started to question the wisdom of creating unrealistic expectations by depicting exceptional slimness as a norm. Ordinary women of all shapes and sizes are re-claiming their beauty and their right to feel good about themselves.

We can apply this same attitude to our ordinary homes. Most of us don’t live in perfect designer homes, and many of us cannot afford to keep up-to-date with trends in furniture and decor. But maybe we don’t have to. You don’t need a lot of new things to have a happy and comfortable home, just as a person doesn’t need to be tall and skinny to be beautiful or worthwhile.

I would encourage a young woman to appreciate her own natural beauty and to feel comfortable in her own skin. In a similar way I would encourage you to feel comfortable in your own home and appreciate what it already has to offer. To me that means making good use of what you already own, and accentuating the beautiful aspects by taking away things that are detracting from it.

Too much stuff, the wrong stuff, and stuff in the wrong place can obscure the natural advantages that your home has to offer. You can make significant improvements in how your home feels, and in how you feel about your home, by identifying what you really love, want, and need and removing the surplus. Lets start there and see what ordinary beauty we can uncover.

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