Friday, December 2, 2016

Living with a blank canvas

After Thanksgiving, I cleared everything off the mantle, dining table, the shelf behind the table, and the coffee table. I moved my pottery collection temporarily to a corner of the kitchen. I'm living with a blank canvas (by default, Ed is too). Not forever – in fact, just for 10 days or so. I needed a break from "stuff," the chance to move around in a clean, uncluttered environment.

It looks terribly bare. But that's okay. There is something calming about it. It affords me a sense of clarity, quietness, and peace.

I can stand back and think about what I want to place back in the space. I can be selective. I can choose belongings that I haven't tried putting together before. My old stuff can look new.

In my previous life as a graphic designer, I would often subtract elements one by one from a crowded page. The elements that were left, surrounded by lots of white space, were somehow stronger. I think the same is true for interior design. Instead of white space, it is called negative space – and in those spaces I often find positive energy.

I read somewhere that introverts thrive in negative spaces – in fact they need them. I know that is true for me. In rooms with too much fullness – too much going on – I get overwhelmed. The same is true for overly stimulating stores or restaurants.

If you think my experiment sounds weird, I challenge you to try it on a small scale. Clear a table, or a shelf. Live with it for an afternoon. Embrace the negative space. Then, when you are ready, be mindful about what you put back. See if you don't feel the positive energy from the exercise. Let me know.

Wishing you clarity. quietness. peace.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. Thank you for sharing. As I've been thinking, lately, about the next space I move into and what I want it to be like and I have to say, the idea of living with less, always, and mostly, just making space, is just a lovely one! Someday, I will make a visit to Farm Dover so see this wonderful place in real life.