There is beauty in living alone.
I haven’t lived alone for nearly a decade, and everything feels like a discovery. The thing that sounds silliest, but is probably the most important, is I have learned to sit. After years of always having something to do—something to clean, something to cook, something to feel guilty about doing, something to feel guilty about not doing, something to put off for months on end until it becomes this anxious buzz in the back of my mind that I snooze daily—the quiet is a gift and I am learning to be still with my own thoughts.
Another thing I am learning is my own decorating style. In moving from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom condo, I have lost a great deal of space, but I’ve gained a place that is all about me, which is something I feel every woman needs in her life. Or at least, every introverted woman should have a place all of her own at some point in her life.
As I create my space, I’m finding that Marie Kondo’s advice is as good for decorating as it is for purging. When people talk about the KonMari method, they always talk about what sparks joy (which is very good advice) and then another group takes her advice on books completely out of context to villainize her. (It’s okay if more than 30 books spark joy. Marie will still be your friend.) But my favorite part of her book is where she urges us to really think about the lifestyle we want and how we can redesign our spaces to reflect that. I love the idea of articulating both my current and aspirational life through my home, rather than mindlessly collecting things.
I can find any number of cute decorating ideas on Pinterest and Instagram, but ultimately my space needs to reflect how I live my life: from where I put my keys coming in the door to the seating that I gravitate towards after work to how I cook or exercise or entertain guests. So in creating a place for just me (and my cat, Tim Gunn), I want for everything to have a place as I am prone to clutter. I want soft places for me and Tim to lounge. I want boho textiles and plant life. I want a place to write and a place to exercise. I want a place suited to entertaining because you need people when you live alone. I want to transform my concrete patio into my very own garden and outdoor dining area. My ideal home is a nest for the homebody in me, but also welcoming to visitors. A place that is elegant, but also creative and inspiring.
While my condo is a work in progress, I hope to share it here over the next few months. As I share my home, I hope it makes you think about your own home and how it reflects your own story and your plans for the future.