About 5 years ago, I came home on a Friday night from a stressful work trip that lasted 3 weeks. I walked into my condo at the time, which had a gorgeous view of Maryland from the 19th floor, and, as I opened the door, a single thought materialized right before me: if I didn’t know who lived here, I wouldn’t be interested in knowing this person at all.
The walls were white– the same color they were when I moved in. The furniture was beige and/or black, and while each piece was well-made and lovely, everything was focused on functionality and nothing, or next to nothing, was visually stimulating. I had a few Eiffel towers scattered about, which I accumulated from various places and people since high school–when I first went to Paris and developed a profound fondness for it (the Mona Lisa poster I got from the Louvre on that trip and framed has hung in every home I’ve lived in since). Nothing in that condo stood out or called to me, nothing reflected who I was as a person, or, alternatively and even more frightening, the decor perfectly reflected who I was at the time: working 8-14 hours a day, molding my personality and interests to do well at work, and with very little drive to do anything else.
The next day, I went to Ikea and replaced everything in my home. Witnessing a single women in Ikea attempting to redecorate 3 rooms on one trip is like filing for divorce on December 26th: something very unpleasant occurred the day before and massive action was required, immediately. After Ikea, I hired someone to paint one wall in the condo orange, one red, and one hot pink (also, to put all that Ikea stuff together). Did I go overboard? As my 2 year old says, “Goodness No!”
There’s the theory that how you do one thing is how you do everything. And then there’s that theory (and handy self-reflection tool) that every single thing in your home, down to the towels in your closet, is a reflection of who you are and, even more interesting, your subconscious landscape. One way to play with this is to make a list using lots of adjectives of everything you love about your house and everything you dislike, down to the minute details. Start each bullet point with “I love my home because” or “I dislike my home because” and then, when your all finished, replace “my home” with “myself” and see if anything resonates.
Now, onto the show.
I promised to reveal our mint buddy bath last week, so here it is. The floor is marble, the shower is done with glass subway tiles, and, the hardware (think, make like a peacock!) is from Silk and Burlap.
On both of the showers in our home, we included recessed shower shelves for shampoo and soaps (during the design process, my husband actually measured the large-size Aveda shampoo and conditioner bottles I use to make sure they fit). Small details, such as this, although functional, are also more streamlined aesthetically. Shower caddies are clunky, they rust, and are never the size you need to fit everything. (Sidenote: I just went into the bathroom and noticed a shower caddy hanging in the shower–and also in the picture. Sigh.) I also love that this bathroom is not rectangular, but instead has a slightly recessed wall that the changing table fits against seamlessly. Now, there’s never a diaper smell in Judah’s room, and the whole changing process just feels more contained and sanitary in the bathroom. This was a happy accident, rather than a clever design feature, but an idea I will definitely be repeating in the future.
Finally, this last feature of our condo gets tons of compliments. The unique hardware we also got from Silk and Burlap and glamorizes the plain white built-in in the spare bedroom. The knobs come in bright pastel colors and have a “new vintage” look with a brass number on each. My eyes dart straight for these darling knobs each time I walk in the spare bedroom.
So, go ahead, make like a peacock and go for the wow factor: revisit your own hardware in the bathroom or other places in your home.