Buying meaningfully can be hard when presented with all the fabulousness the shops have to offer. The bright plastic toys for the kids, the bronze and blue teapots (but they’re only $8 and I would use it ALL the time!), and who can go past the large array of ornaments that we definitely (don’t) need. There is SO MUCH on offer, so much at our fingertips, but this doesn’t mean it needs to be converted to our own collections.
What is your favourite item in your home? Does it have a story? Most of our favourite and treasured things have a story to them, whether it’s a plate from your trip to Morocco or even just a side table that you picked up from a garage sale. Things that make us feel are the best items to have around us.
1. The first question that needs to be asked is an obvious one – ‘Do I really need that?’, but let’s go one step further and say ‘What will this mean to me in two years’ time’. If you can’t answer, or if you think that your new-found treasure has a used-by date, take heed!
2. Another conundrum is expensive pieces of furniture or homewares. Buying meaningfully comes hand in hand with buying mindfully in this regard. The general rule is if it is expensive for a reason due to quality and not because it’s trendy (meaning it has a shelf life), it is a much better purchase as you know you will treasure it for years to come (this is the same with clothes amiright?). Look for materials used – choose proper leather if you can, quality fabrics, and natural materials in rugs. if you are doing something, do it well. If you are spending money, spend it well.
3. A favourite way to remember a beautiful day you had is through a memento – a leaf, a coaster (preferably not used!), a drawing, a shell… Frame it. Frame it! And write a quick note upon the back where it came from. If it’s too small and out of place to hang by itself, hang it with one or two other mementos to create a collection. A sketch can be put amongst photographs, a shell can be dated and placed on a shelf. And you know what – the right mounted frame can do wonders for your 2-year old’s scribble.
4. If you love something and it makes you feel good, put it on show! Your favourite necklace would go perfectly placed gently around a vase, and the dried flower Christmas wreath doesn’t need to hide away all year – keep it on your wall. Even if you have a favourite lipstick, write a little love note to yourself in it and yep, guess what – frame it!
5. Books are an interesting way to see into someone’s self – it tells us about their interests, and one’s interests are what makes you! Invest in a few coffee table books that you absolutely adore, ones that speak to your soul. If you love cooking, get a beautifully photographed cookbook. If you love Spanish architecture, purchase a fabulous one for your coffee table or shelf. What would your stack of three books be? Mine would be (are) 2 x interior design (I broke the rule and have four books to my stack, but I do love them so!), a beautifully illustrated version of The Hobbit, and a ‘Frankie’ magazine.
Obviously it's hard to have everything in your home as a special object, and minimalistic living isn’t for everyone. But if we start looking around us and surround ourselves with items that generate happy feelings, our house becomes our home. If we can point at things and say with a smile from whence it came, you’ve done an amazing job x