This week we are spending time at a quiet little holiday village two hours south of Sydney, Australia. This is the first time in almost 3 years with the agenda being rest and relax (every other time we have spent most of the time catching up with relatives and friends… running around can be tiring!) and basically on our own time table. We have loved this village and I look forward to coming back each time.
With another family with two young boys, our two young girls have been having fun at the beach and playing games. We rented out a sweet little townhouse only 3 mins’ walk to a quiet, sweet beach with super gentle waves. Jasmine, now 22 months old, has been having the best time sitting on the beach and have the waves come up to her. Her “wheeee”s have been so heart warming. It has been so good to see my little family have a good, relaxing time. My darling husband has been very busy and we have been drained… so this respite has been soon much needed.
This little townhouse with its bright rooms, white walls, uncluttered walls, furniture… has made me re-align myself to what truly is home. When we walked into this little townhouse for the first time, I remember thinking, “ah, now this is so lovely”. And I have since, while staring out at the rhythmic waves, been thinking about that initial reaction.
It struck me, the first thing I noticed was the artwork. I found it interesting how specific art pieces instantly make me feel a certain way. So I now know what I’ve known without a shadow of doubt that how fussy I am about what hangs on the walls in my home is not ‘trendy’.
The lady who rents this townhouse out has filled it with very select and as-original-as-she-can art. She is also a talented artist and features her own watercolours, which I adore and want to own! I love also that her subjects are happy things… not watercolours of skulls or dark subjects.
After painting our living room and dining room, I have begun to be extremely selective about what I hang. So far as to sell most of what I ‘liked’ before and treasured. Suddenly, the home and my state of heart and mind begin to dictate the art.
At my own home, I have a large wall cabinet in the living room and a dresser in the dining room. They house various collections: teapots, cups, figurines, books, jugs, plates… I am a collector by nature, I think. I love surrounding myself with what attracts me.
Here, however, there are almost no doo-dads. No collection. The white walls are adorned with few art pieces. E, who rents the place out, has a beautiful Parker midcentury sideboard to house her TV and entertainment system. On it is the TV, a vase with red peonies (fake), a metal horse and a large piece of driftwood. That’s it. And that seems enough of doo-dads. The lustre of metal is echoed in a metal fan, metal stand lamp and metal frame on a very large, round mirror.
I have to decrease my doo-dads. I have to decrease my collections. Maybe cull furniture.
Speaking of, the less furniture, the less clutter. Obvious, yes? Actually, no! I’m sure you know someone in your family, who fill every available wall space with furniture.
I don’t have a lot of furniture filling the entire house. I love empty walls, but somehow, our family’s needs dictate chairs here and there… tables, toy boxes, bookcases, shelving etc! But maybe we need to cull the toys our girls have access to, severely curb my chair-obsession…
I know a few people who have filled their houses with furniture… every inch of wall space is jammed with something. One decorates his home with all things Asian, apparently Orientals love clutter (actually, we don’t!). Another cannot go past a side table or lounge, so her home is filled with side tables and lounges! Yet another buys little cupboards and dressers to fill her home for this and that… rather than to buy a large dresser to house different all things…
This little holiday townhouse has reinforced in me the need to cull. To simply life.
People you love
Walking into the little townhouse we are calling home for another 5 days, it was clearly waiting for us. The house was lifeless till we walked in.
It was clean, pristine, neat, tidy.
Half a day later, it was way more cluttered. We brought little Jasmine three toys to wile away time spent indoors. We brought three pairs of shoes per person. We bought food. Our friends bought LEGO for their boys, a PS3 and gazillion games. I brought one book. My Hannah who is 9 came with three books, a colouring kit… suddenly our teacups and water bottles and hats little the space.
But I have to remember, I’m no longer alone. I have a husband who loves me dearly and is my best friend. I have two girls who bring me laughter and joy. I have friends who are willing to be cooped up with us for a week!
So I guess, in the midst of wanting a simple life, I have to remember that I would not trade my family-life for anything else!