For me the nitty gritty, planning, coordinating and pulling things together of interior design was really fun. It was something of a shock to discover that most of my clients did not find it fun, but instead really stressful. I found that many, many people become so anxious about making decisions about colors and furnishings that they become paralyzed with indecisiveness. They have the belief that there is only ONE perfect solution to the problem they are trying to solve and an imperfect solution will mean only that they will never be happy with their choice. And, geez, people get whiny and demanding and obnoxious about stupid, insignificant details. What nonsense. I'm not patient with that. There are, as they say, a lot of ways to skin a cat. Pleasant surroundings and a beautiful environment are worthy goals and, I believe, enrich our lives, but they are only a superficial part of what makes us whole and happy. And creating a personal space should be fun, in my opinion, so I learned a long time ago not to stress about decisions, by keeping it in perspective and not allowing things to be too precious. I think I was a pretty good interior designer, but I couldn't deal with the people.
What I learned that I could apply to my own surroundings was:
- to observe daily what I like and what makes me feel good, then it's easy to choose what to add to my life.
- travel has been a passion for us, and the things that remind us of our travels make us happy.
- things that belonged to our families and people we love hold meaning and value to us and are nice to live with
- things are only new and perfect for a day, so I've learned to love things that are old and imperfect.
- the art, and other flotsam,that we accumulate seems to lead us right to a lot of the other choices.
I try to have fun with design and decorating and I try to keep it personal and I love, love, love a bargain and I am delighted when I can come up with something kind of clever and crafty that solves a problem.
On another note, entirely, Del asked me about my comment that I have been painting my little fabric birds with acrylic medium.
" How do you apply acrylic medium? Brush? Spray? Doesn't it soak in?"
I apply it, undiluted, with a brush to the completed bird. Because it is undiluted and pretty thick, it doesn't soak very far into the bird. It penetrates the fabric, but nothing more. When it is painted on it is white-ish, milky. When it dries it is clear and hardly changes the appearance of the fabric, though it does make it noticeably stiffer. I used gloss medium because it was what I had on hand. One coat doesn't make it noticeably glossy. I think a second coat would sit on the surface and probably make it more shiny, which I don't think I would like. When I buy more medium I think I will buy matte medium instead and see if there is a difference.