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Changes in space help changing perspectives in life

15 October 2018
Savoa table by Sakari Hartikainen for Swedese

The world consists of a vast variety of people with different perceptions about taste, style, believes and values. An army of style gurus set the music and many are intimidating in a variety of ways, leave them to themselves. What often is presented as the holy grail of style and good taste is not something superior in any way. Instead, let’s explore how to live without the interference of a third parties’ opinion on what it means to live well.

We live in a world too often dictating how we should live, breathe, vote, love and die. Question is, is that something one is willing to sign up to and if so, does it serve us? Is what we choose adding value to our everyday experience? What are the reasons for our choices and when choosing, are we true to ourselves? Are our choices reflecting who we are and in synergy with our believes and values, or are we looking to first and foremost be recognised by peers and family, seeking their approval?

Before making decisions, my recommendation is to step away, don’t let the cobwebs of the mind take over, instead follow the heart. True uplifting choices are always triggering the heart if right, which is the one and only way indicating happiness and that is what we should seek, but in the wilderness of a million options, how does one know what one truly wants?

creating change through colour

I’d say, as long as it makes you feel good, go for it. This applies to interiors as to all areas of life. It seems people now, more than ever, truly question what they are doing and why, which is a start. Give oneself a chance to breathe on one’s own terms, defining and expressing values, a vital aspect supporting self-trust, strength and dignity.

For society as a whole, I wonder, will we be willing to ‘step out of line’ since the system at large doesn’t function, with politicians and institutions having failed over decades, over centuries. A new melody needs to tune, namely, ‘I want space in life’. Not so much physical space but emotional space, where the freedom of choice and movement is wider than the usual boxed in structure which humanity has endured forever, being told what to do and when. Be brave to break that loop, small beginnings are good, every step counts.

What does this have to do with our home environment? I’d say a lot, because the home is the only place where we are free to express our preferences, so it all starts in the home. It’s going to be interesting to follow how our home environments will change from the traditional settings we have adapted for so long, to new innovative solutions.

recycle design

In times where wellbeing is at the forefront, a vast variety of ‘feel better’ modalities are available, each having their value depending on what fits the individual situation, but often they are elusive which is not helping to raise confidence easily. Each process needs time and time is a tricky factor. We are so used to living life by the click of a button, trained for instant gratification, but all true change has its process. Does time matter? It does if we believe certain stages in our life have to represent certain achievements and if not, self-doubt, self-criticism and a spiral of sabotaging thoughts and actions set in. So let things take time as long as focus on the matter at hand is clear and concise, perseverance brings results.

Want to make changes in life? Space is facilitating that brilliantly, it’s pragmatic, hands on, showing immediate results. Take space by the hand, it will well guide thought its maze, always revealing what it wants us to do; clear out, rearrange, paint, expressing what assistance it needs to be able to inspire at its best capacity.

Every action presents a dynamic which has an impact on our senses and life at large. If we follow our instinct looking to pursue wellbeing, we are in a good place. Homes are easy to understand as they are tangible, they show exactly what works and what doesn’t. All we need to do is look and listen to the signals around us and if they are off, correct them.

colour making space

If someone (like I) say, neutral colours tone in tone support an easy flow, ‘opening up’ small spaces, but one doesn’t want neutrals, then choose colour that inspires, no matter what. Why not paint all walls bold and strong, play. Or choose not to have a sofa but instead invest in a great rug with a pile of cushions and a selection of fabulous candle holders. We need much less than we think we do and if we give space room to breathe it lets us breathe and restart. Listen for a while, just listen to your space, it tells what it wants. In moments of stillness, we open up for new ideas to come alive, nurturing the best we can be.  As Iris Apfel, the great style guru says: “style is about self-expression and above all attitude”. Attitude, requires a state of mind, focus, willingness to be open by fearlessly moving on ones’ own terms.

Attitude signals confidence and self-recognition, something space will support if we let space in to tell us what it needs to be at its best, so follow the dames advise.

Iris Apfel