Blasts from the past have something to tell us, even when that something is embarrassing.
I stumbled across at a photo taken at a party of mine from a few years ago. After bypassing the outrageous costumes we all were wearing, my current self cringed at the decorating choices of my past self as I studied the backdrop of the photo. To be fair, this particular picture documented a Twilight-themed party and we girls were all dressed as vampires and making ghastly grimaces at the camera. (If you’d like to judge me, now would be an excellent time.) Perhaps the house had been laid out in some party-inspired way. Regardless, I cringed.
I used to think dark wood and intense colors were my thing—whether on the walls of my house, or on the clothes I wore. Then I realized just how much light and brightness the color white brings to everything. There are moments when I feel I’m becoming a different being entirely, as evidenced by my house’s décor.
We braved IKEA recently. I was accompanied by a few close comrades (my mother and my son). George decided to skip his morning nap, but was cheerful the entire day in the store. My favorite antic of his was asking strangers for help freeing him from his high chair, after I refused to immediately remove him when he’d finished his lunch. He signed “all done” (we’ve taught him some sign language) to people as they passed him, hoping they would listen to his demands, even if his mother was a blind idiot.
IKEA activities: I supped on delicious Swedish meatballs, I danced with a paper IKEA measuring tape around my neck singing “Wonder of Wonders” from Fiddler on the Roof, I ran through the store hunting for the shortcuts to the exit after backtracking to check the size of something…all in a typical day, right?
I brought back a lovely black-and-white print of a bridge over waterway in Amsterdam. The sole color of the piece is a red bicycle leaning against the bridge railing. The print now hangs in front of our television and hides it.
Why is IKEA special to me? Because whoever designs all those cute rooms is demonstrating to me a reality that I could happily recreate. I’m able to see something and cry, “I love it!” without immediately then whimpering, “And I can’t afford it!”
Design, as a whole, usually strikes me as a state of mind where homes are beautiful sanctuaries and children are the unwanted tornadoes who eventually replace all gleaming order with scuffed chaos (See my post on interior design for the mildly depressed).
But IKEA knows you have kids. And they’re welcome.
Maybe my mom let me jump on too many IKEA beds in too many IKEA dream bedrooms when I was little. (And I always wanted to sleep in one. Too bad I don’t live in Sydney, or I’d have a chance at this…)
I just love this place. Not quite as much as Disneyland, but somewhere in that part of the brain. It awakens possibility in me. It encourages me to think big, to dream in a practical way that enhances, organizes, and simplifies my life.
I’m grateful for that.