Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lighten Up

That's it.

My one and only, multi-purpose,
New Year's resolution.

Lighten up.

Allow me to elaborate: in 2010, I resolve to. . .

1) Lighten up my attitude. 2009 was a very serious year. Serious lifestyle changes took place that I wasn't entirely happy about—although it all worked out well in the end. Serious news about our bad economy was on the air and in the newspapers every day. Ugh. Some seriously dull work was done—not design work, but the other work I do that gets my bills paid til the decor biz gets "bizzier"—but it's my own fault that I didn't balance it better. In this new year, I resolve to have more fun. Live life lightly. Look on the bright side (which I really am pretty good at). Play more music. Eat pancakes for dinner. Or maybe a banana split! Make and paint and build and craft things just because I can. Reacquaint myself with my garden. I have a ping pong table. What's more fun than ping pong?

2) Lighten my load. (No, I don't mean lose weight. #4 will take care of that.) What I mean is clear out the clutter that's been weighing down the progress of my projects whether personal, professional or home related. After fifteen years in this house, there is just too much accumulated, unnecessary "stuff". My College Girl was happy to benefit from some of our redundancies and we have plans to continue in that vein—starting with a big ol' yard sale at her house with the cast-offs from mine. She does all the grunt work and gets to keep the proceeds; I get de-cluttered. Win-win.

3) Light up my interiors. Literally. I have plans for new, much needed lighting in both the kitchen and living room. The colored walls that I've loved for so long are crying out to be white. Art in dark frames wants to be replaced with glinting, gilt-y frames or none at all... as in unframed canvases or found objects. And... anything that's begun to look more like clutter and less like decor, no matter how sentimentally attached I am, is being retired or repurposed (or yard-saled, see #2) in favor of light and space. My home wants to breeeathe.

4) Get light on my feet. Move more, sit less. (Easier said than done with both a job and a hobby that require hours at a time in front of a computer.) Take a walk, with or without the dog—but mostly with. I know he'd appreciate it. Do some actual heavy lifting (as opposed to the existential kind—there was enough of that nonsense in 2009). Garden. Hammer. Install. Paint. Move. Improve myself as I improve my home. Even an impromptu living room dance party does wonders for my attitude and, done more often, would surely work those same wonders on my waistline.

5) Bring more light to the blog. Were you wondering why it looks better—brighter— today? (please say yes) No more yellow background. Crisp, clean, light and bright white. Took a little more effort than you'd imagine as some of my sidebar images had drop shadows on a yellow ground blah, blah, whatever. It looks better and I'm happy with it. I hope my lighter attitude comes through in my posts too—not that I've ever been morose or dark here—what's dark about decorating? (well, yes, I know there's a trend toward black walls and dark rooms, but that's for another post—and, no, I'm obviously not embracing that trend). It's just that, if I'm writing this blog because it's fun for me, well, then, shouldn't it be fun for you too?

The rooms pictured here are some that have inspired me toward my decision to whiten the rest of my walls. I painted out the golden yellow accent wall in my living room about a year ago and have been very happy with all white. Next to go will be the yellow in my dining room, which opens onto my already-white kitchen. I'll continue to use my favorite bright, happy colors and patterned fabrics as accents, as did the designers of these rooms—Kathryn Ireland in the top three photos and Windsor Smith in this last one, above. (The four in between were not identified in my photo files. Irresponsible, I know, but still inspirational.) And I promise, any of my own lighter, brighter work deemed "blog-worthy", will appear here for your perusal.

Do you have a resolution (or several) for yourself
or your home?
Whatever they may be, I wish you luck and light and love.
Happy New Year!


the gardeners cottage said...

Hi Tracy,

Oh I just love this post. Here's to a lighter, brighter new year. I agree with every single word you said. Isn't that wonderful! Great minds thinking alike.


p.s. I did just paint our office black though. Go figure.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I agree ~ lightening up in more ways than one makes for a happier person. I've got some plans for this myself ~ in various areas of my life ~ that can only be for the better. Less stress, less "stuff", less drama. More time doing things I enjoy with the people I love. I'm easing up the pressure on myself {amazing how we provide the most stress on ourselves} and taking things as they come. I'm also learning how to say "No" without feeling bad about it afterward.

Averill said...

Great resolution! You're so right that 2009 was an incredibly heavy, difficult year for most of us and I, too, am resolved to lighten up a bit!

soodie :: said...

hum, you and I seem to have had very similar 2009s. I love your resolutions for 2010. I wish you all the best for the coming year. After all, the pendulum has to swing back some time. (Not knowing when is just so irritating.) But it seems like you are off to a good start.

To Tracy and a prosperous, joyous year to come!

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

This is a great list and a fun post to read. And great photos too btw. I have just started thinking about what to put on my list. I am looking forward to good things in 2010!

Love Where You Live said...

Can I take your resolution as mine? (smile) Love it! It feels good just to hear the words, lighten up. And I enjoyed a good memory at your suggestion of enjoying a banana split for dinner. Have a wonderful New Year! cheers, -susan

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Good post, Tracy, I don't usually make resolutions, but I like your list. I too could paint my whole house Antique White and be quite happy with it. But, it would really give my hubby the jitters if I tried that, since we painted everything 4 years ago when we moved in. I have lighted up several rooms and love them too. Thanks for being a friend this year, it has been great getting to know you!

Oh, and the yellow orange color that was supposed to be this year's hot color. Hate it! I could never embrace a color like that.

TheCluelessCrafter said...

Purge the weight! I am crazy when it comes to clutter. It can be so suffocating, dragging you back into the past rather than allowing you to spring forward. I do hope you feel lighter when you clean house. I'm glad you're regifting and not sending it all to the landfill!

Anonymous said...

Wow! There must be something in the water. Went to the paint store yesterday! Throwing out the Chestertown Buff (mustardy), bringing in the Crisp Khaki.

Khaki, cream, black, moss. That's my 2010 first project!


niartist said...

I second all of your resolutions! Love your lighter brighter look, too, AND that picture of the dining room with the slicovered arm chairs as captains chairs ... GORGEOUS! Thanks for always inspiring, looking forward to 2010.


"Lighten Up"

Just perfect.


Melanie said...

I love all the white rooms but I couldn't do it. I love color on the walls too. I don't really have any resolutions but I have some things that I want to do this new year. We moved about 6 weeks ago and we are a long way from home. We had a very stressful 6 months and I look forward to my first 'real' winter where I can read, cook, take a photography class, and keep decorating our new home. That is some of my goals for the upcoming year. I hope you have a great New Year. Look forward to more of your 'light' rooms:)

Melanie said...

I see where a previous poster said that she just painted her office black. I too am going to paint our double mantle black. I think it will be gorgeous. I will blog about it when I get it done.

Anonymous said...

I too want to lighten up my New Year. We are replacing our slip covers on our sofa's. I am trying to convince my husband white or cream will be the most versitile option and will stand up to washing without fading color. I need help though.....
Anyway, I love your blog. AK

SogniSorrisi said...

A great resolution and something I also aspire to. All the best in 2010!

Sarah said...

Wow, Tracy! What a great new mantra! Seems like you've really spent some time thinking about how the new year is a perfect time to make change. I will admit I have not given my life this much deep thought...but I'm liking all your ideas (and the new white blog background...yay! I just think everything looks so fresh and clean on it) you've inspired me!!! Can't wait to see some of these lighter changes in your home.

Ps. Hope you had a great holiday. Thanks for welcoming back:)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Tracy!

So sorry that its been ages since I visited you! December was a crazy month as I was balancing travel to Colorado for my grandson's first birthday, dealing with a stress fracture in my foot, and trying to get Christmas decorating and shopping done. Now on new year's eve I feel relieved that I have a new year to look forward to...all fresh possibilities to hope for!

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy and prosperous New Year! I have enjoyed your blog in '09 and I look forward to seeing more lightness here in 2010!

Best wishes, Pat

Struggler said...

Makes total sense to me. I wish you a wonderful light and airy 2010!

Now I guess I'd better sharpen my pencil and actually decide on some resolutions; I've been doing too much internal gazing and not enough forward planning :)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. I would like to lighten up in a lot of areas myself this year. Here's to success in sticking to it for both of us! :-)

Denise Burks said...

I too am going to whiten my walls. I currently have dark wainscoting and shelving in my family room. I'll share the before and after photographs later this spring!

Love your website.