Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but in my experience, it also makes the design eye grow sharper. I've been away from home for a few weeks, and when I returned this weekend, I immediately saw changes that need to be made. Though I am generally happy with how my house is shaping up after almost a year here, it took that extended absence to highlight problem areas that my eye had somehow been skimming over before I left.
None of the issues I now need to address are particularly overwhelming (breaking up the monotonous brown of the furniture with colorful throw pillows, adding to the gallery wall, moving some lamps around, switching out some carpets, etc) but taken all together, they add up to a surprisingly long to-do list for a house I thought was almost finished in terms of design and decor. Since most of the actual furniture isn't mine (it comes with the house), I'm focusing on accent pieces, art, and furniture placement as I try to make my home even homier.
I confess I was a little disheartened to walk in my front door and immediately think "why haven't we done something about those pillows?" but after a couple of days of making lists of other why-haven't-wes, I am feeling reinvigorated by the challenge. I am rediscovering the joy of setting up a home, even though most of the heavy lifting has already been done, and looking forward to small changes that will have a big impact on my happiness at home.
Though it isn't practical for most people to be away from home for such extended periods of time, it is still possible to reassess your space to see if there are changes that you don't yet know you want to make. In my experience, looking at photos of your home rather than at your home itself can really help highlight problem areas. Photos can help you assess your space in smaller, more manageable chunks, and can help add a necessary level of remove for an honest look at your home.
No matter how long you have been living in your space, looking at it with a new critical eye may reveal new areas for improvement or change that can help you better utilize and enjoy your home.
Image: Colleen Quinn.