When the SIXTH client told me about Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I knew I had to read it.
I’m a believer in the deep clean. And this book has been sweeping the country, no pun intended.
It’s not about cleaning, though: it’s about tidying.
There’s a little woo-woo going on here — thank your socks for holding you up all day, greet your house when you get home, I know, I know — but I love the premise: have nothing in your house that doesn’t “spark joy.”
Hm. Spark joy. Kondo’s not so far from William Morris: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
But Kondo suggests skipping the “useful” and focusing on the “beautiful”-slash-joyful. She believes in assessing your belongings by category: clothes, books, papers, Komono (small miscellaneous things), and sentimental items.
But what about the big stuff? What about furnishings — furniture, lamps, rugs, artwork?
I’m sure every one of us owns a piece or two that we actively dislike. Right? The sofa you bought on sale? The almost-new rug that was perfect in your old house but looks puny in your new one? The ancestral portrait Aunt Selma willed to you?
I’ve realized that there are at least 3 things in my home that nag at me every single day. So as soon as I get back from vacation, out they go.
1. Our bedroom rug.
Well, our Flokati rug is tired. It’s served us well — it started out in our Living Room, as a matter of fact — but now it bums me out. All the more so because every time it’s vacuumed it gets pushed farther off its rug pad, so I have to re-stretch the rug or (worse) keep cutting the pad.
I would rather NOT HAVE a rug in our bedroom than live with this for one more day. Goodbye.
2. The coffee table in our Family Room.
I can’t believe I’m admitting this to you, but it’s IKEA. Do I need to say anything else? We have side tables; let’s try living without a coffee table for a while.
3. The lamp on our Foyer table.
It’s mercury glass and has a dark green shade. I loved it…for about 3 months. I’m done. It’s gone. I’ll steal a lamp from another room in the house, or I’ll fumble for the light switch when I come home late.
The whole reason I’m IN the interior design business is to make people happy. Truly. I believe that when your home reflects who you are — your passions, your interests, your priorities — you are invincible. Invincible. I’m due for a little dose of practicing what I preach.
Let the life-changing magic begin.
Bossy color | Annie Elliott interior design is based in Washington, D.C. We create outrageously beautiful homes for fascinating people — starting with color.