April 9, 2010

Hey There! Where Ya Goin'?

So you're at a street corner. A choice must be made- which way are you going next? The above pic (courtesy of Getty Images) is certainly a strong visual representation of choices we all make every day, and most of the time we give little to no thought about those choices- we "go with the gut," impulsively working our way a little at a time in one direction or another. This method is based upon an emotional response to the circumstances we're experiencing at that particular moment, or past experience has taught us which way (usually through much trial and error, and when I say error here, I mean ERROR!), we can rely on direction given to us by others- could be a parent or other older person who has shown us the right way to go at some time in the past based on their experience (there's that trial and error thing again), a friend who has been at the same corner, or even someone we just met, and for some reason we take a complete stranger's word at knowing which way we should go (men do not do this, because they have that unfortunate Y-chromosome thing which apparently makes it physically impossible for them to ask for directions). 

Now, logically speaking, we can look at the previous little statement (ok it's a pretty long sentence, but I'm getting to the point which you think you already know, but you don't, so keep reading!) and say this is all so obvious it doesn't even need to be spoken about, let alone spend this much time READING it. BUT let's look at this a bit closer: we choose to follow the route explained to us by other people most of the time, right? This statement begs the question, "Who ARE these people and WHY do I trust what they say to be true?" Let us analyze! The people we turn to for advice/direction depends greatly upon our age and emotional state at the time. When we're kids, our directional questioning is very simple, and the answer generally comes from our parents, is almost immediately accepted as true and without question, and we do what we're told. Pre-teens still ask and sometimes accept and act upon parental input, and then by teen years most kids never seek wise direction from parents and instead choose the less-experienced, but sounds oh-so-much-more-fun advice from other teens who by their very age and life experience have absolutely no idea what they're talking about, to say nothing of any long-term effects such things could have on the person who actually TAKES said advice (but I digress...). As we mature, though, sage advice thankfully becomes much more valuable to us and we once again revert to the wisdom of those both more "mature" (ok OLD) than we, or those with more experience and/or education than we have, for the given subject.

All of this is to say... when you are at the corner, confronted by CHOICES, how do you choose? If you have the option of seeking the advice/direction of someone who, say, has studied maps, geography, or has been around the corner(s) before, would you not, in wisdom, take the advice of the one who has been there? 

What in the world does this have to do with interior design, you ask? I'm so glad you asked! Well, it has a LOT to do with it. Because when we make purchase decisions for the things that are going into our homes, we are choosing one direction or another, and some of those choices can be pretty expensive. If we don't choose wisely, we can end up in an ugly part of town, or wake up one morning and think, "hmmm. I've managed to surround myself with a bunch of expensive things that have no cohesive direction."

THEN WHAT?! Well, my friends, I'm glad you asked (you are really asking good questions today!). THEN we can decide to continue on the same ol' path we've always been on, OR we can decide to seek wise counsel, tap into the wisdom and experience of those in-the-know, and refresh our every day lives; by not only using what we already have, but also adding simple ingredients and perhaps mixing things in a way that they haven't been before, and cooking up something fresh and new- reflecting the path we WANT to be on, that yields the results we are comfortable with, and leads us in the direction to where we want to be... HOME!

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