My mom could decorate on a dime. She antiqued tables, sewed throw pillows, and framed her own art for the walls. I remember kitchen curtains from natural muslin which she decorated with bold red and black Xs and Os. She rearranged furniture regularly. Chairs waltzed in and out of rooms. The sofa would give us a view of our wooded back yard, and the next month offer us a seat across from the paneled wall featuring my aunt’s original paintings. The dining room might be converted into a T.V. room, the dining table repurposed as a lamp stand. Without excess funds to buy new furniture, rearranging gave our house a facelift. A fresh look at no cost.
My husband, Paul, and I have lived in our home nearly five years, and the furniture has remained in place. With excess time spent viewing the same walls this past year, I am ready for change. I need a fresh look.
When the pandemic began, I retrieved a worn dusty drop-leaf table from the garage. That table became my desk. I used it for Zooming. I held Facetime calls with the grand girls. I wrote letters and blogs on its maple surface. A table that was one truckload away from the thrift store became an asset for stay-at-home life. Regrettably, a cherished antique plate rack that no longer fit behind the newfangled desk went into storage.
My wall upgrade would start by resurrecting the plate rack. I carried it into every room in the house hoping that like a divining rod, it would lead me to its rightful place. It kept drawing me to a wall near our kitchen that was already utilized with four black and white photos of the grand girls. From my tour of rooms, I realized that the girls’ pictures would enhance the family photo gallery in our bedroom. Pictures down, holes filled and painted, I anchored the rack into place.
Rather than plates, I previously used the piece to display children’s books, Pinkalicious, Purplicious, Goldilicious, and Silverlicious. With the grand girls confined in Canada, the display was ineffectual. I cast around for an idea. In a basket on the floor, I spotted my collection of Thousand Islands publications. They slid willingly into place, boasting history and geography.
The momentum continued. We gathered Paul’s colorful New York hunting licenses from the nineties, arranged them on black matting, and hung the collection. Paul reevaluated his hoard of mounted deer antlers. Some cherished trophies we already have on display. Others from annual hunting trips in Pennsylvania and New York still await their fate. I selected mounted horns from Townsend Hollow, New York. They found a home in our laundry room. Next, we dismantled half a dozen family picture collages from the 80s and 90s. We sorted the photographs into picture boxes, discarded the wooden frames, glass, and faded mats.
Every room in our house enjoyed an upgrade. We made insignificant changes at no cost with little effort. But the results satisfied. My attitude improved and my outlook shifted. My mom clearly understood the principle of physics behind furniture rearrangement:
“Nothing happens until something moves. When something vibrates, the electrons of the entire universe resonate with it. Everything is connected.” -Albert Einstein
Need a pick-me-up? Ready for an attitude adjustment? Yearn for a fresh perspective, but lack the enthusiasm to make big changes? Move something.