When things are more than things

As someone who eschews “things,” I often find myself in a bit of an uncomfortable place on this blog. So much of it is about the things of our house.

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I want to be a minimalist. (I’ve even participated in a big experiment with a minimalist wardrobe.) I want fewer things so I have more time and energy to create and just be. Things consume a lot of time and energy.

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And yet…

I care about the things that surround us. They matter.

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They affect how we feel and how we live.

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Leaving my marriage and creating my very first home all of my own (with my kids) helped me see how much the physical things of our surroundings impacted my sense of well-being. Getting my literal house in order was essential to getting the house of my life in order.

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I know true minimalists would say that things actually do matter, a lot.

Minimalism isn’t so much about having few things (although it is about having few things) as it is about having the right few things. The things you need.

We recently got something we didn’t exactly need.

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We had a perfectly adequate rug in our living room. It was nothing to write home about, but it did what a rug needs to do.

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I liked it all right. I liked that it was nice and neutral, so that we could go a little color-crazy with other things in the room.

But then Cane home one day and said he’d seen this rug at the Salvation Army.  A nice, big, braided wool rug.

The kind he really really likes.

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I said, “No.”

I said, “We already have a rug.”

But he’s talked about wanting this kind of rug since last August, so I said, “Let’s go look at it.”

After seeing it, I said, “It doesn’t have any blue. It’s the wrong colors.”

(I’ve been wanting blue in the room. Not so much orange and yellow and brown.)

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He didn’t say much. He rarely knows right away that he wants something, but I knew he wanted the rug.

That made me reconsider.

And on the half-off day, it would be a really good price. ($75.00)

I said, “Let’s go back on half-off day and see if it’s still there.”

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It was. So, even though we didn’t really need it and I wasn’t sure how (or if) it would work, I said, “OK.”

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And, I really love it.

I love the warm colors, even though it pretty much takes blue out of the living room palette.

I love the way it makes the old beat-up chest that’s been standing in for a coffee table look less like a stand-in.

I love the way I now know exactly what to do with the chair project I’ve been stalled on.

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I love the way it has reminded me that making a home is an ever-evolving process. And sometimes, it is the thing you never expected that makes it come together in just the way you never knew you wanted.

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I love the way it has helped me see that it is the few, small things that make a house feel like home.

An old footstool.

A funky glass pitcher filled with flowers from our garden.

A just-right rug.

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Mostly, I love the lesson that home is a creative project made richer when done together.

Sometimes I’ve got the vision and just know what we need next–like the lights that Cane was never excited about until we had them in the house.

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But this time, Cane had the vision I couldn’t see, and the evolving room is better than anything either of us would have created all by ourselves.

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Would love to hear what small things make your house feel like home.

Won’t you drop us a comment and let us know?

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Sharing today at Southern Hospitality’s Thrifty Treasures. (Because just about everything here was a thrift-store find:  the rug, the pitcher, the fondue pot, the footstool, the light, the trunk.)

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And with a new blog read, Her Library Adventures.

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And last (but the opposite of least), linking to one of my favorite places: Pancakes and French Fries’s William Morris Project. I’ve come to really love the projects and the community to be found through Jules’s blog. Hope you’ll check it out.

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