Tip #182: There’s not a before or an after, only an in-between.
For the most part, when we get peeks into the places that other people live, we’re given at least the impression of seeing a finished space. When we look at a beautiful gallery of so-and-so’s renovated East Village apartment or so-and-so’s Provincetown Cape, we’re seeing the styled end result of countless hours of choice and decision making and professional opinion—to say nothing of the heavy lifting and physical labor—wrapped into one well-appointed and beautifully lit package.
Despite knowing that the route from before to after is anything but straight, we’re so rarely given a look at the slow, lumbering, decidedly quirky in-between that it’s easy to believe that for someone else it might be.
Of course things take time, life gets in the way, budgets are tight, choices are many, there’s most often not a professional opinion to be had, just one or two sleep-deprived adults who can’t decide on what to make for dinner, let alone what kind of light they might want to hang over the table.
In case I haven’t revealed enough of my personal quirks over the past ten years, here’s one more: When I’m in the midst of a particularly self-indulgent design query, I like to mock things up. Sometimes I fiddle around with Photoshop, virtually cutting and pasting elements onto pictures of our apartment to see if I might want to make a change. Sometimes I go a decidedly more low-tech route. Right this minute, as you see, there’s a bit of cotton cord and a folded piece of paper pretending to be a hanging pendant above our table.
As I putter around online trying to find the perfect lamp to hang above the table, this cotton and paper version is hanging out instead. I like to ease into new things, to try things out before I take a big leap or make an investment. And in case it’s helpful for anyone else to remember that there’s a whole twisty road between before and after, I thought I’d show you what’s on mine: two tables pushed together to make one, some paper, some string, a bit of tape, and plenty of imagination.
For the curious: