Life your best life – within reason!

Pretty white armoire with pink and white linens

I remember, in my teens, hanging out in a friend’s place. Her parents were wealthy and I remember loving my friend’s bedroom. She got to choose the colours for her room and it was a “bespoked” girl’s bedroom suite. Her very large desk-combo-bed-and-bunk was done in purples and pinks. But it was her big sister’s room that this post is somewhat about. I remember her very up-to-date built-in (and well stocked) wardrobe; the arrangement stunned me. I had no idea that there were people that arranged according to types AND colours! It was immaculate! Now, it reminds me of what Martha Stewart’s wardrobes must look like:

A Martha Stewart wardrobe system

A Martha Stewart wardrobe system

My own sparse wardrobe was arranged roughly by type. A lot of my clothes were hand me downs from aunts etc so they were more garishly patterned than I would have liked but it never occurred to me to arrange by colour!

What about linen closets? You know, the never-large-enough space we have to store our bedsheets (fitted AND flat), pillowcases, coverlets, towels, first aid supplies, bathroom supplies, toilet paper, washers, hand towels, etc. Are your’s worthy of phtoographing? Granted, while never like Martha Stewart’s who I’m sure is OCD, my mother in law continually puts me to shame.

Beautifully folded browns and whites linen and baskets, via Arianna Belle


My mother in law’s closet isn’t as expensively stocked as above, but she is also OCD and has everything in neat piles.

The problem is not having neat piles, it’s maintaining said neatness!


The other side of that OCD coin

I recently went to see a client’s home. Her recently-acquired house was a 70s glory of what never to do when decorating a home. Shaggy pile, garish tiling, wallpaper #1, wallpaper #2, ugly brickwork, lino, popcorn ceiling… you name it. All within a 10 ft2 space!!

But what stood out for me was the clothing situation. Piles on beds, floors, piles IN wardrobes. It wasn’t so much a lack of OCD-ness, but a total lack of intelligent storage in the space – typical of a cheaply built home in the 70s. One I understand and hate (we have them here too).

Linen closets and pantries that are too deep to be useful AT ALL. Wardrobes too shallow, low and stupidly built to be useful. Never any usable shelving…

I visited an old friend almost three years ago. She and her family moved from Singapore to Australia to pursue her Masters and provide her children with a better quality of living. When we went to visit her, she showed me around the pretty rental 3 bedder cottage. But she did not show me into one bedroom. I later asked if that space was closed for some reason. Matter of factly, Mrs M told me that that was the wardrobe. I blinked. She laughed and showed me the room. It was an furniture-less room, bar for an iron and ironing board. And then, four piles of clothes… like mountains. One mountain for each person of the family.

She didn’t see the point of spending so much time organising a beautiful clothing system for the family, when that time could be spent bike riding with her boys, or playing in the garden with them or being at the beach or the park with them. So when they needed clothes, they hunted for it. If it needed ironing, then it could be ironed there and then.

The point of this post

Almost thirty years on, I now have the ability to purchase brand new (every once a while!). I can freely select material, style and colour. And our new-to-us home has a walk in robe. So the ‘his’ and ‘hers’ wardobes and clothing system do have ample space. And they are arranged… by style (pants, in pants dept; tops, in tops rack etc).

But in colour? NOPE.

Is my linen closet Martha Stewart worthy? Certainly NOPE.

Does that make me less ‘living my best life’? NOPE.

I’ve come to conclude recently that, it’s OK to have a few things in your life that isn’t perfect so that you have the time to do what you value.

I have children that I love so very much; add flavour, richness and colour to my life. That means, bedsheets aren’t perfectly colour coordinated with towels and throws. That means doona covers are filled with elephants and fairies and rainbows. (At least, I don’t have boys and therefore don’t have Ben 10 or Spiderman or Buzz Lightyears themed bedding!) The towels have been gathered over 15 years of living abroad… so they’re not all white or some colour themed.

But that’s ok. They are folded. They are in their folded stacks. The stacks aren’t perfect; not all towels come in the same size. They might be rather randomly stacked in the poorly and thoughtlessly designed linen closet. They might also occupy space in the built-in in our guest room. (We have four beds; queen, single, cot and king.)

But the time I save while perfecting my linen closet and wardrobe organisation skills, I make cupcakes with my 9 year old. I sit and play Taboo with her. I garden. I walk with my husband. I play blocks with my toddler. I take my OCD mother in law out for a cuppa and cake.

Sometimes, living your best life means deciding what is worth your time. Maintaining beautiful closets, isn’t mine.

Live your version of ‘best life’.

And then, one day, we will be able to afford to get intelligent linen wardrobes built like this:

16 February 2015



The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Hearing from you

Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com