I moved from the midwest in the United States to the east end of Toronto about a year and a half ago, and like most professionals under the age of 30 moving to a big city, my living quarters went through a modern day shrink-a-dink bake. Add a husband and a dog to the mix, and let's just say it's been a Marie Kondo lifestyle change by pure necessity.
Urban Living and Minimalism
“The secret of happiness is not in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” --Socrates
Maybe it's my Scandinavian genes doing the pulling, but I can honestly say I am starting to enjoy the slow but steady shift to minimalism, which goes hand-in-hand with our current space. Even though me and my husband both possess a natural bent for nostalgia (those elementary projects are just special, ya know?), we haven't looked back.
So before I talk about dreams, and divider walls, here's a necessary side story. We run a photography business, and when the opportunity to be part of a boutique show came along, I was tasked with the design and planning for our booth. And for some reason, not that I endorse this show or anything, the intro to the Netflix show "Politician" kept coming to mind with it's individual compartments filled with objects that characterized the make-up of the show, which goes to prove you can find inspiration anywhere. Add to that my recent obsession with white archways and recessed shelving, I started dreaming up our ideal booth background, one that would encapsulate and communicate our style in approaching a wedding day as photographers. Something simple, timeless, and beautiful was the goal. And after creating a couple of moodboards, digging into some sculpture tutorials, and doing a little bit of sourcing for materials, I handed it off to my husband, Luke. He would execute the plan, and actually make it work. And even though we got all the strange looks driving home from Home Depot with huge sheets of styrofoam strapped to our Honda Accord, after spending a few late nights using the hot torch, sanding, and painting, it came together. Here's the first iteration:
To finish off the look, we pulled out the Silhouette cutter I had received for Christmas years ago, and completed it with a vinyl logo. Here's a couple of photos from the boutique show:
So we were happy with the aesthetic results for the show, but my long game was all about our home. Perhaps I've had too much time on my hands to dream, but we have definitely arranged and rearranged all of our things, purging and donating along the way, more than a dozen times (shrink-a-dink, remember?). My aim this time, however, was to separate our work and living space in a more effective way, and be able to shut the door to our office. So we moved all of our office things into the single bedroom space, and our bed went out in the main room, but then there's the issue of privacy, not to mention the blinding morning light, with only white curtains at our breakfast nook windows. That's where the divider wall comes in, and the vinyl logo peeled off easily and we can also use it now as a display case of sorts.
Look for the Potential in Your Space
It's been a game changer. What started out as an inkling of "maybe I really could have recessed shelving in my house RIGHT NOW", turned into a reality, and not just as a tool for a trade show, but a statement piece in our place that makes me happy on a daily basis. And not only that, but it has served as a reminder of a quote that I love from Christy Wright, from her podcast The Christy Wright Show that "the thoughts we have, the thoughts we hold, shape our behaviour and shape our life". These thoughts, the ideas that come to mind while watching a random Netflix show, for example, may just surprise us and make our lives better.
So maybe you have permanent walls that give your bedroom privacy, you know, the ones that are hooked to the ground and you don't push to the side to vacuum and mop the floor. But chances are, your space needs dreams too. I hope this wee project of mine inspires you to dream, and then give those dreams a try.