March 2020 Designer’s Corner

The Magic of Letting Go

It’s astonishing how difficult it can be to make decisions about remodeling our own homes. When we want the kitchen or bath to turn out juuuuust right, we fret, we analyze, we look at hundreds of possible options, and things never seem to be quite perfect enough. It makes it sooo hard to get started, to get the moment going and take the first steps.

Want an interior designer’s tip that will rescue you from yourself? Just let go!

When I’m designing someone else’s space, everything flows easily and effortlessly, yet when it comes to my own kitchen remodel, yikes! So many things that need to be perfect, so many choices, so much pressure to get it all right. And then I remember to just let go and imagine it’s not really for me, or that I’m remodeling the place for sale and moving to another lovely home very soon.

When the kitchen, bath, or any room is going to be for someone else, some other homeowner, I suddenly become freed up and allow the ideas to flow again. Things don’t need to be perfect. Sure, they should function well and look good too, make a great first impression and be quite desirable for “the new buyer,” but I’ll be living somewhere else soon I say to myself. Gosh darn it if all kinds of great ideas, answers and solutions don’t start appearing in front of me all over the place. Soon I start calling painters and contractors. I select some really good materials that will work just fine, and I begin to make it all happen.

“We’ve got to get this place on the market and make it look good, so let’s go,” I tell myself.

Quick as a wink, I’m unstuck from my “have-to’s” and “musts,” and the project moves along swimmingly. Far sooner than I thought possible, there’s suddenly a pretty terrific looking kitchen staring me in the face, and I can’t quite believe how it all came together.

So many people prep their homes for sale, only to realize what a great home they had all along! So, take some advice, and trick yourself into believing you’re doing the job for somebody else, and you’ll be amazed at how wonderful it feels to let yourself off the hook you’ve been on.

Step into the effortless magic of just letting go.

Joel A. Barnes, Interior Designer, Greenspace