Happiness is Wanting What You’ve Got!

July 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Design Space

You know that old song from Cheryl Crow, “I’m gonna soak up the sun, I’m gonna tell everyone, To lighten up”? I love that song. It’s a happy song, and every time I hear it reminds me of what really matters. My beautiful family, my friends, my home and the wonderful memories I have made over the years. There is another line in that song that helps me put some things into perspective, especially when I see something in a magazine that I think I need, like a whole new kitchen. The line is, “it’s not having what you want, its wanting what you’ve got”. Isn’t that the truth? I often find myself dreaming of things I want, I forget I have everything I need.

Now is the perfect time to redecorate with the things we already have and cherish. Mixing things up a little at home gives a new and refreshing perspective on life. Reorganizing and de-cluttering is the greatest decorating trick. It opens up your space and creates serenity. The best part is that it’s free. It requires a bit of your time, and maybe a trip to mom’s house to find something you left behind. Here are a few ways to make the best of what you’ve got.

Rearrange furniture


Photo: House and Home

Rearranging furniture isn’t just about switching up the positions of the sofas and the loveseat, or moving the TV to another wall. Sometimes doing something completely unexpected can be so rewarding. Lately we have seen oversized Wing back chairs sitting at the head of the table, desks making their way into family rooms, bedside tables in living rooms, and end tables beside beds. It makes for a very interesting display of furnishings. Things don’t have to always match, and it’s great when you can highlight a few key pieces that you love. Just remember, to keep it simple. Cramming too many unmatched style in one room can make it confusing.

Show off your books


Photo: Style at Home

Taking the time to dress a bookshelf pays off. Displaying your favorite books, with a few decorative pieces can make a real statement about you. I love the idea of using interesting objects as book ends, stacking books as if you just placed them there an hour ago, and letting a few large books with artistic covers stand alone. There has to be a method to your madness. Take the time to highlight some of the feature books and objects you have, and try to balance the overall appearance. I also like to keep a few spots available on my shelves to stash a bunch of books that are lying around when I am tidying up.

Replace your pics


Photo: Stacey Brandford for Beautiful Homes (scanned)

This is perhaps the most time consuming of redecorating with things you love, but also very rewarding. Creating a wall of photos, prints, art, even old postcards that you sent yourself while on vacation years ago can add character and warmth. What could be better than coming home to a space that surrounds you in your fondest memories? The staircase above is an ambitious project. Creating a configuration on the floor before hand, is the best way to make sure you can create a balanced display.

Display your dishes


Photo: Country Living

This is one that I am longing to do. Of course, I am waiting for the perfect dining hutch to display them on to come along. When I finally get my hutch, I think I am going to go over to my mom’s house and take a few pieces out from her old china set. The one that we ate every Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving dinner on. She packed it away a few years ago because she was tired of it, but I think it’s ready for a comeback.

Fill them with Fruit


Photo: House and Home

This is one of my favorite decorating tips. Buying fresh flowers once a week can get pricey, but since you are buying and consuming fruit regularly, why not make a pretty arrangement with your favorite nourishing treats. Apples, peaches, pears, and plums, lemons and limes can add beautiful punches of colour. Use a glass bowl, a flower vase or even a serving platter and spread it out a little. A Bowl of apples by the front door or in the family room is also a great way to encourage healthy snacking.

Use your Fashion


Photo: Windsor Smith

You know you have too many purses, scarves and shoes anyway. Why not find a place to appreciate them other than on your body. It doesn’t have to be Hermes, it just has to be something you love. A vintage purse on a credenza, a silk scarf on a club chair, even a fancy pair of shoes sitting by a hall bench can add a little character and a lot of charm.

Repurpose your faves


This one takes a little creativity. Repurposing furniture is a great way to fill an empty pocket in a room with character and warmth. Head to the basement, the tool shed, the garage, or the attic. Find that old chest, ladder, table, chair, watering can, or anything that peaks your interest. Ladders can be used as shelves, Stools as plant stands, Chairs as end tables, even hanging objects on the wall as works of art.

You may not be able to have everything you want, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be truly enjoying everything you have.


10 Responses to “Happiness is Wanting What You’ve Got!”
  1. Bo Mackison says:

    This is a lovely piece. Wanting what you have, using what you have — surely a key to happiness! Thanks for sharing many sparkling ideas.

  2. Vitania, you have some wonderful ideas here! I especially love the idea of re-arranging what you already have, giving everything a new lease on life.

    After you find your display hutch and your mother sees that comeback you intend for her special occasions dinner set, she’ll probably want it back again! When my Welsh Dresser and I found each other and my stashed crockery finally had a place to show itself off, I hardly recognised some of the pieces when they were decoratively displayed! :)

  3. Vitania says:

    Thanks Bo and Joanna..

    Happiness for me is a choice. I can choose to be down about things I think I need, or I can be happy with all the the wonderful people and things that surround me.

    and Joanna – you are probably right…she may very well want them back.

  4. I really enjoyed the whole spirit of this post! It gives people such a lift to freshen up a space and the reminder that you don’t have to break the bank to do it is very timely. I like rotating my art. I have more than can be on my walls at once (not rich – I create my own paintings), so I put some away and put others out. It changes the whole feel & colors of my space. And on your tip about being imaginative with things you dig up around your home — it’s all in the presentation, isn’t it? The most humble objects can take center stage when displayed well. I’m tweeting this post & adding a link to it from my fb page. :-)

  5. I love these repurposing ideas. What a great way to have a new home again.

  6. Vitania says:

    thank you so much for your kind comments and sharing the article with all your readers. I can see that you really live the spirit of this article, and that is refreshing. Most Interior Deisgners prefer to start fresh, but you really understand that furniture and decorating isn’t about new trends and filling a space with items of envy.

    it really is a worthwhile project. You’ll love discovering new uses for old things..

  7. Walter says:

    You do have ways of appreciating what you have and I felt guilty about myself. I long for things that I don’t have and I take for granted the things that have made my life worthwhile. :-)

  8. Vitania says:

    Walter – we are all guilty.. It’s really easy to want more, expecially because things are so accessible these days. The article is a reminder to me as well, that all those things i think i need aren’t all that important..

  9. Anne Maybus says:

    I look forward to your articles each month. They are inspiring and always beautiful to look at, too.

  10. Vitania says:

    Thank you very much Anne, for always taking the time to read and for your kind comments…