Tag Archives: neutral colours

Colouring In Books for Grown Ups? Really?

Just read an article in TheWeek.co.uk claiming half of the top ten best-selling books on Amazon are actually colouring in books for adults and this is the new craze for us grown ups.

It mentions groups of people getting together for coffee and a colouring session and how they are disconnected from technology whilst doing this, therefore they are relaxing, Yes? No! The next thing they talk about is how they are concentrating on staying within the lines and I can feel my adrenalin levels rising.

One of the better aspects for me about getting older is saying “bollocks” to staying inside any lines, on a page or anywhere else. I have this image of being back in school with the little boy beside me shoving my elbow because his picture was not as neat as mine. That was the end of a not so beautiful friendship!

Now, to each their own, but I can think loads of more stress relieving pastimes than revisiting that part of my childhood.

Teeny, Tiny Living

I watched a really interesting program ( well the idea behind it was interesting, the presenters could be a bit much) about people in America selling their normal sized houses of approx.1500 sq feet, and opting instead for a mere 172 sq ft of living space. Their reasons for doing this may vary, but I am fascinated to see how they all manage this.

Last week it was a young couple with a three-year old child; difficult. But this company are amazing at utilising every possible square inch and creating the illusion of space and light.

Part of my interest was in the journey the couple had to go on with their most treasured possessions when faced with basically three laundry baskets for all of the clothes and, I think, three much smaller baskets for everything else they were allowed to keep.

Now, that is the way to de-clutter!

It’s a bit like the “If your house was on fire, what would you think important enough to rescue (apart from your family)” kind of argument.

What I have noticed in all of the participants so far is their sense of freedom. Their new, tiny home is a place of function, a space that works for them, as opposed to being a financial or physically demanding drain on resources.

Of course this is an extreme, but, nevertheless, it raises interesting questions on just how much personal space we feel we all need, even behind our own front doors.

Money, Money, Money

I suppose this naturally follows on from last nights blog, but I have to wonder how, when I am happily de-cluttering and shedding a lot of the “brilliant buys” of my yester-years, I am still able to spend even more money on adjusting to the more minimal, no-fuss, modern look??

Now, for those of you that know me, you probably don’t wonder about that at all. You already know how easily I spend my own money, and have on occasion spent quite a bit of yours as well.(all in a good cause though)

But seriously, it is amazing just how expensive it is to have a house that looks as if it is almost empty! Your old country pine furniture just won’t do apparently ( according to all the best magazines) and you have to change to the super-sleek, high-gloss, no-visible-way-to-open-the-bloody-doors/drawers type of furniture. And the funny thing is, the more plastic-looking, basic, block type it is the higher the price. I think it’s another case of the Emporer’s new clothes and we are all afraid to call it for the racket it is.

Well, I am going to feel that fear!

Forget the “New Look” for my house; the “New Colours”, “New Fabrics”, “New” this, that and loads of the other. It’s my home, not a fashion accessory. Along with all the useless, unloved clutter, I am going to ditch a lot of the hype about how my home should look, and instead enjoy the feeling of warmth, safety and sanctuary.

And now, as more and more clutter disappears I can fall in love again with my country pine and wait for it to be the “New Look” again. I’ll be way ahead of you. Cutting edge; that’s me!

The White House – But not as you know it!

Chatting to a friend recently, she confided her coping mechanism for times of stress or unhappiness. She withdraws to her “White House,” a place of peace, calm and serenity, all shades of white and cream, and also all in her mind!  Now, this sounded wonderful, harmless and totally unthreatening, except for one thing…….this is MY house!!

I was staggered. It really was almost identical to a place I go to in my head when things just get too much on planet earth. That another had built herself a sanctuary in a mirror image of my own started me thinking. I asked other women about how they cope and find this is a common theme; a place of their own, pale, neutral colours, and above all peace and tranquillity.

In my “White House” the fabrics are soft, soothing, warm and comforting. The bedding is crisp, brilliant white and the fire is always glowing.  There is no president in my “White House”, just a first lady.

The colours (or lack of) have to be important. Okay, we are all bombarded with advice on selling our homes and to have a neutral, inoffensive pallet, but I think this is more significant. I believe our “White Houses” represent an emotionally neutral environment, allowing us time and space to decide how we feel about the different stressors in our hectic lives. All very harmless and a valuable breathing space. Yes……… and no.

What happens when our sanctuary becomes more than that? What happens when it becomes our alternative reality, and instead of allowing us some quiet time, mentally, it, in fact, allows us to emotionally to detach from our lives, our husbands/partners and children?  Where is the line the line in the sand?

I’m not trying to repossess any of your lovely, alternative homes here, merely that they come with a warning. Don’t overstay your welcome!