I am home from work today sick with flu, annoyed with every little thing, and ever restless. I hate being sick and I am a terrible patient therefore I am generally left to tough it out and in my own episode of ‘Alone’. I get frustrated with having to rest and with no one to strap me down I therefore ‘restfully’ do the vacuuming, laundry, dishes and whatever other not-so-relaxing diversions I can find as I ache, cough, sneeze, wheeze and zombie my way around the house.
Today was no different, I had made a snug bed on the couch in front of the tv, fetched my breakfast, a tub of coffee on the table beside me then I not so convincingly hunkered down to wait for the flu storm to pass.
Sitting there in my sick bed, already annoyed at the inconvenience of being sick, I was looking around me at the cluttered lounge and it loomed like a giant slumbering beast making me even angrier. I tried to ignore it by watching tv and playing on my ipad, but I could feel it’s heaviness all about me. Tick, tick, tick, tisssssssssk like a time bomb.
Why the time bomb? Well we moved in to this itty bitty tiny house we didn’t edit out our things, instead we opted for a let’s wait and see approach (Big mistake). Like when we moved the time before, again downsizing from a 5 bedroom to a 3 – we waited and saw, and did nothing…. So now we have the equivalent of a 5 bedroom house shoved into a 2 bedroom house. Mathematics was never my strength but I don’t feel like that works.
We also didn’t design a look, or set up the rooms how we wanted after we moved. In reality it is fair to say that our wonderful-and-to-whom-we-are-forever-grateful-friends-and-family who helped us move, broke their backs lugging all of our shit into our house and working in a frenzy put it down wherever, resulting in sooooo much stuff crammed into soooooo little space that everything has pretty much stayed put where it was dumped.
So, I thought about it. I started by sketching out shadow designs of what I want in my perfect (working with what we have) ‘lounge’, driven on by a heady mixture of delusional madness and defiant sickness.
I had a couple of panoramic pics I took a few weeks ago with my phone and using a free app design called Morpholio Trace* I imported the photos and started building up my layers. Scrubbing away the clutter and creating a more comfortable, airy and useable space.
We don’t have a log burner but it is on the list of future investments, especially after the icy cold winter and soaring power bills we’ve just endured. So in the sketch I added in a log burner and a big mirror to reflect the gorgeous greenery outside the window. I removed the rug and repositioned the furniture to create space, symmetry and comfort. Now in reality we won’t be able to fully achieve this look until my office cabin is built and some of the bulky furniture, like the desk and bookshelf are put in their rightful home.
Boooooooo…….. just annoying.
So in the meantime we have to make do with the shambles we have and in the best way we can. I found through this exercise, by being just a little cunning and repositioning the existing furniture to break up the visual horizontal line I could create space without getting rid of anything except the floor rug under the table and a couple of pictures off the wall.
See below I drew this image up in ‘Inkflow’*.. ‘the before’ has a definite horizontal line, looking like an offensive dirty tideline in an empty bathtub. A clumsy attempt at trying to create height with pictures above the tv only pulls the visual equivalent of a dark swampy midden line upwards to form the prow of a boat. That’s my assessment of my surroundings – which I am responsible for. FULL RESPONSIBILITY TAKEN -right here!!!! Me, I did this terrible, terrible thing!! I need buckets to bale out this trash filled boat…
And, ‘the After’ based on what I can do today..
The visual effect and feeling of the room is so different, it is hard to believe I only took the rug and some wall hangings out. What I did do was pull back the couches into the centre of the room by a little over a metre and reordered the tv space and the far wall. Now that ‘itty bitty tv’ is there because we were unlucky and blew up our big one a month or so ago, so it’s not supposed to be a permanent feature (unless we get used to it? Which I am surprisingly OK with) and I am thinking about hanging it…. hmm. We also have a large mirror that was part of a sideboard languishing in the garage. I am thinking about painting the frame white (same as the walls and window frames) and hanging it on the opposite wall to the large window to reflect light and add symmetry to the room…….. and imagine that fireplace in the corner replacing the bookshelf. Oh how glorious would that be…
I did a little mock up in a free app called ‘Paper’ which is a beautiful little app that you can let your creative mind run wild in. In the app you can create journals for different things I currently have about 10 journals on the go. It’s all about being creative, freestyle drawing and painting. A nifty feature they developers have recently added is an import function but only one photo can be imported. At the moment I like to redraw and redesign my interior rooms. I have also used it for product design, brain dumping ideas for future projects and fashion pattern design.
And, there below – that is the room I want, and I want to be in it right now! Although, dreams are free, I am now back in my sick bed on the couch, hot water bottle, sleeping bag, lunch ready and a new bucket of coffee. But feeling much more optimistic about my immediate surroundings.
A quick check back in inkflow and the visual symmetry and flow will work so much better in this design. In Art and design everything has a visual weight and you can use this to your advantage by affecting balance and symmetry in design to adjust the visual stability of the work, or environment you are in. Symmetry can be best used to create a calm and restful space where as Asymmetrical spaces are purposeful and visually uneven they can be used to create points of focus and are commonly used in graphic design and web pages.
We will have to see how we go with this setting as we also plan to push a deck with french doors out the left side of the room into the green space and hubby is not a fan of my much loved Chesterfield sofas so they may shrink in shape and size. However all of that is a long, long way off and another post. In the near future to stay sane we probably need to stick to this bag of tricks and work with what we have to accumulate more air in our abode. This is a good start.
one day we may become minimalists – hahahaha, ok sure.
*Design apps used*