A couple of years ago, in a fit of ‘clean mode‘ (as my beloved likes to call these episodes), I traded places with my office and our guest bedroom. You can read the whole story here, but the CliffsNotes version is that it was a highly therapeutic process that created some order (both in my house and in my head) during a very unsettled time in our life.
The very next weekend, I turned my attention to the Room of the Misfit Furniture (aka the junk room) to see what could be done to make it less of an eyesore. After tossing out all the actual junk and giving everything a good dusting, I stood in the doorway of that room and admired my hard work. In that moment I thought to myself, “Wow…with all this space, maybe I could use it for something.”
I ended up moving the big wooden board that I used for my still life photos to that space (it had previously sat in front of my dining room window). This then led me to get the rest of my photography backgrounds and bring them upstairs to this room as well. From there I gathered all of my little props that were usually scattered from one end of the kitchen to the other. And then I decided to dig out an old tiered stand from the basement to collect them on. Finally, I went into the basement closet and pulled out my favorite old vintage picture with its chippy frame that is held together with hot glue and prayers, and I hung it on the empty wall over our old dresser.
When I stood back and looked at this room I started to cry. Because just a week or two prior, all I saw was a mess of a room that reflected the mess in my head. But standing there, seeing all my little treasures gathered together, it reminded me that I was not completely powerless over our situation. And even though I didn’t know what the future held for us, what I DID KNOW is that I would most likely continue to grow flowers and collect little balls of string and take pictures of them. The thought of which made me really happy.
Since that time in January 2021, this room has remained a hot mess of mismatched furniture, but it still works. This space is still where I take most of my still life photos and it’s still where I keep all my little vintage treasures and photography props. And it continues to make me really happy.
I could have ended this post right here and it would have been a lovely little story and that would be the end of that.
But it’s not exactly the end…because last week I was scrolling on Pinterest for some still life inspiration when I came across this pin.
Books, botanicals, and butterflies?? All gathered together in this little space? All I could think was that I already have most of this stuff and — say it with me now! — I could do that! A couple hours down the Pinterest rabbit hole later, and I now have a whole board devoted to these delightful desks and creative spaces.https://www.pinterest.com/kellyishmael/creative-space-inspo/
Please. I know….don’t say it.
Anyway, armed with all my inspiration, I took a look around my space and gathered together all of my little treasures.
Then I went about arranging them on my dresser and on the wall behind it. I also found some fun botanical illustrations from Etsy to add to my collection.
Can you even??
I seriously love how it turned out so much.
Also…I share this space with the cat litter box…just wanted to keep it real.
I wanted to share this with you today, not because I think you need to collect old books and print out a bunch of butterfly pictures and tape them to the wall. I mean…if you want to do that, you 1000% should totally do that!
But no, the reason I am telling you about my charming vintage nook is because I think it’s such an important reminder that not everything in life has to have a master plan or grand vision. Whether it’s our homes or our lives, I think it’s totally OK sometimes for us to allow things the space and time to evolve organically.
In my experience, this in-between space is often an uncomfortable one. But it’s where all the lessons are learned. And all the Grace lives.