Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

Baby steps, Beauty, Embrace true self, enge, Fear, Follow own path, Good enough, Growth, Interior design, Life, Light, Organisation, Patience, Small steps, Uncategorized, Unique, Write

Hi all, I wanted to write today about the importance and effectiveness of baby steps and slowly chipping away at a job/project. I have been working on our home since we moved in over three years ago. I remember having so many creative ideas, my creative juices were not just flowing they were overflowing. I knew, or thought I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to be done. I also fell foul to my impatience. A heady mix of enthusiasm, passion and excitement rolled up in a large blanket of impatience. The truth is, we are all impatient at times. Some people decide they want to lose weight and are disillusioned when they don’t lose what they want to by a given time. Others decide to take on a project and wonder what is wrong with them when they don’t achieve certain results in a timely manner. We are all guilty of wanting quick results, a faster turnaround or set ourselves unrealistic goals which all inevitably fail. People like to see what they want and with this they only see the end result and how to get there in the least amount of time. This method, although may work in some areas temporarily, only serve to end in disappointment as it doesn’t have long standing sustainability.

People are lazy. I don’t mean to sound harsh but it is true. People like instant gratification. When it doesn’t happen the result is blame. We blame ourselves and judge ourselves harshly or we blame someone else for our lack of progress. The truth is, long lasting results can only be achieved with a long standing method. Sounds simple. In theory yes so why do so many people still do it. Why do we set ourselves up for a fall. Why do we think getting something quick is the best way, a good way. Do we think we are more intelligent if we do it quicker or are we trying to prove something to someone else. If we get there before others, does this mean we are better, more worthy. No. If you want to be quicker, there will always be someone before you that has already done it quicker. It follows the same lines of there will always be someone smarter, thinner, taller, than you. If you think of it in this context you will never win. In this way, there is always someone else involved and when we try and compete, be better we are basically saying that we alone are not good enough. I am not saying do not have goals or strive to be more, just use yourself as the goal and build your own scale of progress.

Despite living in the same world, we were born with unique skills and capabilities. We need to use these and learn to understand that life was not created to follow a path. You were given life. You are unique and as such you need to learn that your life is also unique. Society tells us that we go to school then college, university, get a great job, get married, have a child and all in that order. When life doesn’t go exactly this way people wonder what is wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with you. You may be just following the wrong path. Your path may not go in that order or even have those aspects within it. People like to know what they are doing and where they are going. They do not like the unknown. People fear the unknown, it creates uncomfortable feelings which people want to run from. Anything unknown will always have an element of fear this is natural. The only way to get past this is to try. Once you have done it once fear loses its power as it is no longer an unknown. Each time you do it becomes less of an unknown and more of a known. This is when you have the power. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, we need fear to guide us and to challenge us in our thinking and doing. As scary as this may sound to some, there is no plan or rule book to life and what you have heard is from fairytales or from black and white thinking. The world is not black and white. The world is full of colour, accents, shades and tones and the only way to see the amazing variations in colour is to start looking at yourself and understanding that you have a unique path which only you know. It is up to you to start looking at what feels right to you, what fits with you and how that can fit into your life/path. There is no life path, only your path.

Sophie Marie

When you start to do this, you learn to understand the beauty in small steps. When I started decorating and designing our home I decided in my head that I would complete the whole house in a few months. As I write this now I laugh. My creativity was there, my passion and excitement however what I failed to do was to look at achievability. Was this achievable? I was passionate, would this not help? I was capable, did this not count for something? Yes, of course these all help to achieve but were my goals achievable? No, of course not. I thought I could because it is what I wanted. Pure and simple. I wanted it done quick and I thought that was enough. How funny. Quite ridiculous to write and read this. We all do it. It doesn’t make us bad people or stupid, it makes us human. What is so powerful is when you learn the beauty in seeing your own progress.

I regularly have to stop and reflect on how different our home is compared to how it was when we bought it. I sometimes get impatient and beat myself up for not yet having a finished home. This is when I have to stop and look around. Simply look at the beautiful, opulent colour on our walls. The stunning lamp that sits beautifully in an alcove next to a yellow photo frame. This is one of my favourite areas and I created it. It was bare, then I painted it. I then spent time looking for the perfect piece (perfect to me) and patiently waited until the right piece presented itself to me. I did it. It took time, there was no quick process and I was very patient at times.

I am not interested in buying for the sake of it or doing a rush buy. I am only interested in buying what is right for our home. All the pieces match my personality which is paramount to me. We live in our home, not a home. There is a huge difference. A friend came to mine Saturday and I was able to show her a few new things that we have invested in since she was last here. It gave me another chance to show the progress and for my friend to see where the house is now. They also get a chance to share in the beauty of my process. Saturday was a big day for me as it was the first day in a while that I could see the accumulation of all my/our hard work. I am including my daughter here as she does help me and spends time helping to organise her bedroom so that she knows where everything is and all her belongings have a place. She puts up with me when impatience kicks in and I get overexcited and embarrassing about storage.

It is hard to explain how it felt. It was a deep feeling, one that hit me hard in a nice way. I was in the kitchen and it just came over me. I realised how most places in the house are organised now. All the baby steps have taken form. Each drawer I tidied out, each item I found a home for and countless bags I gave to charity. The baby steps are the beauty steps. You can not always see the benefit of each small task however it is the accumulation of tiny steps that has led me here. Led me to this warm, touching feeling. This feeling of immense pride and shock. Shock that I can see what a difference there is. It feels like it has just happened but it hasn’t. The baby steps have added up and there is now a massive clearing. The overriding feeling has stayed with me, I can feel it strongly as I write. It feels light. It feels clear, ethereal. It is a beautiful feeling. The beauty of light.

Go and take your first baby step. Where will it take you?

With hope and love

Sophie Marie

Is your home a reflection of ‘you’ or a copy of the latest trends

Art, Inspire, Interior Decoration, Interior design

Here is my most loved piece of furniture standing proud against the depth of the purple wall, my gallery wall. In order to show the piece in its glory I have chosen a few personal items to bring it to life. The colour of the green in the plants looks stunning with the purple and picks up the green in this original, abstract piece above. The striking orange sits beautifully with the other items, the real treasure being how none of the items are lost. You can see each piece separately and the effect of the whole story.

Photo frames are of different design, all bringing to the table something different, something unique, me. Try not to be afraid of mixing styles up, this is what creates visual impact. I do not normally use more than one of the same item however in this example a standalone plant of this size would not have created the same impact.

I do not believe in matching in the basic sense of the word, this makes a home look ‘uniform’. This vintage bear I found at a car boot sale, at only a few pounds looks perfect stood next to the photo frame. My answer to a lot of my interiors and to my life in general is “why not”.

Interiors should be about personality and all of the areas of your home should show yours. I think a truly beautiful, inspiring home is one where you walk in and you immediately know who the home belongs to. You can see that person or those people in it.

Your home should not be a ‘show’ home, it should be ‘your’ home. Sophie Marie

If you walk around your home, do you see things or do you see people? Things being used to describe items that are ‘in vogue’ or the latest colour. It is apparent when this has happened as you will see lots of that type of item and lots of items in that particular colour, overkill.

Less is always more and although there are a few items on this sideboard, the items are carefully chosen to create a feeling of oneness, happiness and in keeping with me. The people in a home should always be at the forefront of how and what you decorate or design not just material things for the sake of decoration. If you only have one or two items of decoration that you love, just use those. You do not have to ‘fill’ a room, doing so will lose character and this is the essence of what you are looking to create.

I believe that is when you go from a house to a home. A home is filled with you, the people that you love and all of your personalities echoing in each room.

Next time you buy something for your home ask yourself “do I like it or is it me?”. I guarantee if it is you it will be cherished and kept for a long time and not updated with the next season.

The world is not throw away so why should your home be. Sophie Marie

Original, abstract piece available for sale (see Gallery)

‘Somewhere’  Acrylic on canvas 30 x 24.5″ £75

 

With inspiration

 

Sophie Marie

 

Intimate Interiors

Art, Colour, Interior design

I have often been at a loss as to how to decorate this intimate space under my stairs and it was only after I moved some furniture around at Christmas time that I uncovered the beauty that is this area.

The depth of colour in the purple walls is a stunning backdrop to a couple of carefully chosen items displayed on a beautiful vintage writing bureau. My bureau has very special emotion attached to it as I always remembered one in my nanna and grandads house and a special feeling that it created in my memories.

The spotlight shines down on the front of the bureau, showing its true wood in all its brilliance. The copper colour radiates my being creating a warm, enveloping hug. To finish off this beautiful area a bespoke, abstract art piece hangs above, the dramatic yellow in the piece as echoed in the angel below jumps off the wall and transcends you into another world.

Original, abstract art piece created by Sophie Marie

Acrylic Resin on canvas 24″ x 18.5″ £100

Delivery costs dependent on location Paypal payments on home page.

The Art of Minimalism

Interior design, Minimalism, Uncategorized

I have learnt over the last few years the importance of less is more, in various contexts and I have found it to be my most effective way of living. Using art as a first example, the feeling of wanting to add a little bit more to a piece despite knowing deep down that you shouldn’t. You go with the surface feeling rather than the gut ‘no more’ and your painting no longer works.

Having moved from a much larger house to the house we live in now I have been through the process of reduction. Getting rid of old baby equipment, surplus tools, unused accessories. I love the process. At the time of our move two years ago I had to donate the majority of our possessions to my local Womens Refuge. I didn’t then have time to sell, however I was able to get rid of what we no longer needed and help support people that were struggling so a win win for me.

I watched something (I can’t recall the name) a few years ago where someone said “Only keep things in your home that you need and or love”. A need being a real need not a “well I need that in case …” It was quite a liberating watch for me as I truly believed and believe in this and have been living by this ever since.

If I don’t love something I do not want it in our home. I would rather have a few items of decor around the house than lots of stuff just for the sake of it.

I am not a total minimalist, I wouldn’t live in a shed (claustrophia not for me) however for me minimalism is about only being surrounded by what speaks to me, what excites us, what fits with our personality. Anything else feels stifling and unnecessary. I live by purpose and in depth. I am not comfortable in surface level, either general weather chit chat or anything that does not feel real or genuine.

I value freedom.

Freedom of speech. Freedom of choice. Freedom to live how I choose to live. Freedom to be surrounded by what I choose. Freedom to be me.

If you look around your home, ask yourself:-

Am I surrounded by ‘stuff’ or am I living free?

With freedom and hope

Sophie Marie x

Go with your décor (and self) not against

Colour, Darkness, Interior design, Vulnerability

Yesterday was another productive day however more challenging as I was tired. I saw it as a challenge in order to test my commitment to my own vision and I am pleased to say I passed. Finally, the wood cladding (hated it) on the sides of the stairs has been painted the same deep purple colour as the walls and wow it looks awesome. I did think that due to the darkness and depth of colour, that it would somehow hide the fact that it was cladding and it definitely has. In fact, it shows off the side of the stairs (still the other side left to do) in a new light and I now have a new appreciation for it.

What I have found in interiors, as in life, is not to cover up what you do not like or what you think does not work. My example here is our living room. It is a naturally dark room which is not always ideal, always having to put the light on. I decided that instead of doing what everyone suggested and painting the walls light as to make the room look bigger, I would utilise the darkness and extend the deep, opulent colour. This now brings out the beauty in the darkness and enhances the overall aesthetic and feel.

It is using what you have (even if at first you see it as a negative) and bringing out the true beauty in it. It is these so called negative aspects that once explored and accepted can be embraced and this is where the real magic happens. This is when new life is born. There is a vulnerability here, a delicate touch,  an almost sheer fabric. It is on the cusp of life and death. To see and feel at this level of emotion is a blessing, an almost out of body experience.

It is at this level that my writing shows more depth. I can feel it when it happens, my brain is not just spouting words but the words start to take on more body. The words take on emotion and come to life. This is relational depth however with myself not another and in turn with you, I hope you feel it too.

Sometimes I just have to write and the deeper part of me starts to emerge, the deeper part being my vulnerability. I embrace my vulnerability now, in contrast to when I first started my counselling diploma when I could not even say the words out loud. I connect with others vulnerability as it is in those parts that true life can emerge. True feeling is spoken and felt and encompassed, a real exchange.

If I show you my heart will you show me yours?

Yours

Sophie Marie x