Makeover Magic

This time of year Mother Nature shows us what she’s got. Seemingly without effort, she manages to coerce intense beauty and energy from a landscape that was bland and barren not all that long ago. This transformation acts like a magic wand, re-infusing us all with vitality and optimism. But what if Mother Nature ignored her duty year after year, choosing complacency over the action needed to bring forth beauty and renewal? Imagine how uninspired we’d be seeing the same old monotony, day in and day out. Imagine how lethargic we’d feel without an infusion of vital new energy. Fortunately, Mother Nature does take her job seriously and provides a great reminder that without action there is no change. Without change, life becomes a bland and barren landscape.

This same principle applies to our homes. Many of us underestimate the impact that our habitats have on every aspect of our lives. Left without occasional infusions of effort and energy, both home and occupant can go dormant and risk staying that way.

But these infusions don’t always require a major overhaul unless the problems are architectural in nature, like poor flow or inadequate storage. Knocking down walls and replacing all the furniture may be the plan of action for some projects, but most homes don’t require that level of shift – or expense. In fact, over the years I’ve talked many clients off the ledge of unnecessary renovation by showing them that they already have what they need right under their own roofs. Most times a little shake up and a good spit shine is all that is needed.

My absolute favorite quick fix is the one-day makeover. I love being able to implement such transformation in a short amount of time. Typically, I arrive to find a home that’s been ignored, or maintained without change, and a homeowner who can no longer see any redeeming qualities or possibilities. My visit is met with both anticipation and dread as clients nervously anticipate not being able to use their existing furnishings and dread getting a laundry list of expensive new items to buy.

But I am looking at their homes through an objective lens. That lens is free from the emotional or ego attachments they have with their possessions and free from the belief that things should look a certain way. If something is just wrong, it goes. But more times than not, I see possibility in things that have been written off as awkward or old or unneeded. I begin by making a mental note of the inventory I’ve got to work with and my mind starts the process of mentally rearranging possibilities. And then we’re ready to roll…

As we work, furniture is pried from predictable layouts and rearranged. Perhaps it finds new identity as it is re-purposed to another room in the house. Artwork that seemed unrelated before is re-hung in new groupings that appear to visually change the dimensions of a wall or punctuate a space. Organization emerges from chaos as things are put where they most make sense, all the while, editing out what is deemed unnecessary. At the end of the day, the homeowner is left both exhausted and energized as they walk through what feels like a new house. But most satisfying to me is their understanding that transformation is something they can manifest with intent and a little action. This experience helps them gain the confidence to explore a makeover in other realms of their world.

Sometimes rearranging is just what we need to help us see things differently or make way for something new to emerge. Physical shifts like moving furnishings or visual shifts, like new paint or pattern, translates into palpable energetic ones that can have great impact on our moods, our outlooks and even our health. So if you’re looking to shake things up in your life, consider shaking up the very place you live that life.

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