White space

Last week I was at a friend's house. This friend is beyond talented at decorating on a dime—her home is beautiful and creative, and I really admire her skills.

As I was sitting and chatting with her, I realized that I was feeling—how do I describe it?—a bit suffocated.* Suddenly I had a flash of realization that I really value empty space—white space, as a graphic designer would call it.

In my home, I feel bogged down by clutter and even by a large amount of ornamentation. I like things plain and simple. I like a few things on my wall or counters or mantel, but I don't like them full. Perhaps this explains why decorating is not a high priority for me: I just like things mostly empty.

This explains why I feel so bogged down when the house is messy. Clutter all over the floors and counters really gets to me, and sometimes I find myself shutting down a little when it crosses my personal line. Funny, I didn't used to be that way. I rarely had a clean room when I was a kid, and I don't think it ever bothered me.

In any case, I am very happy to have made this discovery about myself. I am finally giving myself permission to embrace my minimalist approach to so many things. And now that I've realized that white space makes me happy, maybe that little bit of knowledge will give me one more reason to keep the house tidy—because why not keep myself happy?

*I don't want to imply that I don't like my friend's house (even though I don't think she even reads my blog). I love to go there and see its cuteness and her resourcefulness. I'm just trying to explain how I realized this particular thing about myself.

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