Such a pleasure, those welcome, long sought after moments to dial back the speed, close the front door, turn off the phone, and sometimes even the music, just to have some sacred moments strolling from room to room in your own house. Room traveling or perhaps less philosophically— let’s just call it plain old fashioned puttering has just been legitimized by our current state of affairs.
If ever there was a time to master the art of puttering, the time is now.
How many times have you walked passed a table where the contents and the arrangements have bugged you, time to edit. The pillows in the library have needed redoing, time to make your maintenance list. The vases on the mantel need a change up, time to shop your closet. The arrangement of furniture in the living room needs addressing, it never works as well as it should when entertaining, time to rearrange – enlist your partner or the kids.. The linen closet needs purging, take it all out and start all over again. And then, there are the books. You can actually have too many IF they are unattended, unloved and in piles on the floor, unread and forgotten. Time to donate to the local thrift shop.
Now is the time to master ‘room traveling’ by walking, perhaps stalking about in your own home, puttering around.
Walking allows you to focus on everything around you including, and no less importantly, yourself. More often than we care to acknowledge, our fast paced over stimulated lives afford little time for us to hit the brakes, take a deep breath and silently converse with our home, and ourselves. Now is the time.
Everyone has their weakness, one of mine is tablecloths, having them all visible eases the selection
The linen closet is a frequent target of my household rambles
I don’t know about you but walking helps me think. By virtue of the pace, the slowest we can actually move, one foot in front of the other, what could be easier. Just give yourself permission. Socrates, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Kant, and Thoreau all believed that we should walk alone, to find our own rhythm. We continue to study them today, so they must have gotten a few things right.
I am constantly reminding myself to slow down and be present. One of my greatest ‘eureka moments’ on this subject came walking through a historic house years ago. I wanted to savor every decorating detail, scrutinize every personal object, and to imagine, the life in that room and in that house. Being behind a camera further slowed my gait as I tried to capture those details for later enjoyment. My camera made me focus: literally and figuratively. The positive aftershock of being behind a lens then was the realization that this very same act of slowing the pace, scrutinizing and studying, was waiting for me at home.
Reviewing the drawers, counting, taking stock. What stays, what goes.
So goes the china cupboard….taking stock.
Years of buying, editing, moving about and styling for others sometimes put my own home in “hold” mode as other designers might also confess. Story of life. After all, who wants to get quizzed about why they’re puttering, fiddling around, when there may be a deadline looming, or whatever the perceived higher priority might be.
Why is it that something so basic, comforting, nurturing, and liberating as walking, fiddling around, and puttering at home escapes us? Now is the time. Seize it. I guarantee you’ll find puttering like a tonic. And why not take it a step further, do a little day dreaming while you’re at it.