Okay, I admit it. I’ve fallen under the spell of Marie Kondo as much as anyone else.
I raced through her Netflix series, Tidying Up, which has been attracting crazy amounts of attention since it was released. And I’d already read her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.
Her quirky personality, her boundless enthusiasm, and her frankly child-like glee at the prospect of a big old pile of mess are bewitching and engaging. (I can definitely relate to the last bit: I was the slightly strange child who invited friends over so that we could tidy my room. Sshhhhh! Don’t tell anyone.)
It’s true: her folding technique is very clever. No longer am I confronted with a sea of wrestling garments when I open my drawers; instead it’s a Muji-like vision of order, as each item is standing obediently, reminding me of its presence.
But it’s not all this that draws me to Marie Kondo’s work. Nor is it a yearning for minimalism although, let’s face it, many of us would do well to streamline our lives – owning and doing less but living more.
No, her real insight is in recognising that our homes are far more than living spaces. They’re emotional spaces.
Our homes mirror our state of mind, and reflect back our values, beliefs and goals. When we are struggling, our homes bear witness to our procrastination, our self-neglect, or our insistence on perfection. They shout loudly when it’s clear that we really don’t want to be there. But our relationship to our living space is two-way. Change the space, and other things shift too.
That’s why, when I began working with some friends a few weeks ago on the redesign of their master bedroom, I started by asking ‘How do you want to feel when you’re in this room?’ Because ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what a room looks like, it’s about how it makes you feel and behave when you’re in it. For me, colour, layout and styling are all just a means to an end: creating a space in which we feel supported, nurtured and inspired.
And yes… it might just ‘spark joy’.
If you’d like my help in shaping your home, contact me for a chat.