What I learned from taking a decorating class

What I learned from taking a decorating class

Quiet the Space

I recently took an online decorating course called Cozy Minimalism from Myquillin Smith. The first principle of her course is quieting the space.* To quiet a space, take everything out except for your big foundational pieces, like your sofa, chairs, or tables. When you quiet the space you leave only what you must have in the room, and then everything else is added back in thoughtfully and intentionally.  You must do this first so you can identify your room’s challenges and strengths, as well as play with your furniture arrangements. The process of taking everything out also forces you to rethink everything you have in the room.

It’s not sexy or fun to do this. The walls are bare. The room is echoey without the textures of curtains, rugs, nicknacks and pillows to absorb sound. Plus, you have to come to terms with those 3 or 4 pieces left in your room and really work with them to get them right. After you’ve quieted the space, you work methodically with curtains, rugs, and carefully chosen wall art and decor to artfully fill in the spaces that are left. When the process is over, you should be closer to the collected, calm space you hope to achieve.

image via thenester.

My life, more quiet

In my personal life I’ve been tacking up wall hangings and pictures, throwing pillows here and there, and buying lamps just to fill the space, before the big pieces were right. The last 2 months have been so busy unpacking, getting kids into school and activities, and doing a million other tiny to-dos that I have forgotten to first quiet the space before adding in all the things that make life so beautiful.

How do I quiet my life? By focusing on my foundational pieces:

  • Being a present, calm, grounded mom to my children.
  • Being a peaceful, loving wife to my husband.
  • Taking time for my inner life: spirituality, reading and writing
  • Taking time to live healthfully: exercise, rest, and good nutrition.

None of this is super fun to talk or think about. In fact, these foundational pieces of our lives are super boring. They’re the Sunday School answers, and the things we all know we should be doing. However, I’m often like my energetic springer spaniel, chasing shadows and light and birds instead of staying on the path that goes right where I want it to go. I’ve impatiently wanted all the answers of what my new life here in Texas will look like to  come to me NOW. I’ve chased future dreams without giving myself time for contentment in the present.

The human side

You guys, I’m so human. I’ve resented my toddler for whining, and doing annoying toddler-ish things, and my other kids for not picking up their things fast enough.  I’ve also let my eating habits and spiritual habits slide.  My prayer journal? Lost in the move, then found, and just not picked up again. How about my reading life? Does reading articles on facebook count? Actual reading has been  sparse.  These are some of the things that make me ME. My love for reading and great literature makes me feel alive and connected to the world around me. My prayer and gratitude journal is amazing and helps me cultivate a grateful heart. These foundational pieces are the ground work for the life I want to live. I want to remember snuggling with my toddler when she was sad, and making memories with my big kids after school, and to just fully enjoy the beautiful now that is right here in front of me.

Transitions need quiet time

Since going through a lot of transition this year, my life, just like a room, needs time in quiet. Quiet time to just be content in the present. The other things will come. The goals, the house organization, the volunteering, and the figuring out of what all the next things are in my life.  Just like curtains and pillows add depth and texture to a room, the future will bring opportunities that will add variety and growth to my life.  For now, I need more quiet. More focus on my foundations, time for introspection, and focus on my children and family. It’s hard to live and stay in quiet. It’s awkward and echoey.  I might need  quiet for a week, or a month or a year. But I’m resisting the urge to move haphazardly forward, flinging myself willy-nilly into too many directions. I’m trusting in myself to know that spending time in quiet will help me know what the next right things are in my life.

Do you need more time in quiet? What does a quieting your life look like for you?

I’d love to here from you! Leave me a comment below, or comment on Instagram or Facebook, or send me at email at gina@smarthappymom.com.


*I recommend her course! You can check it out here. It’s a great way to jump start your decorating journey if you’re in a rut, and has really awesome tips and advice to take a room from start to finish.

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