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Part 2: Beauty for the Ravaged Soul

I have admittedly been neglecting my blog in favor of my sewing machine as the Artisan Market grows nearer but I wanted to take the time to finish my thoughts on the upcoming project I spoke of in my last post (ie. Part 1).

Some may think this project sounds trite. We won’t be saving people from genocide, fixing broken bodies or feeding the hungry, all the things I spent my teen years dreaming of doing. However, I believe that beauty can help bring some peace to these women and their children during a turbulent time in their lives.

Imagine yourself in these shoes: Your husband has come home in a drunken stupor and threatened to kill you if you make a wrong move. Knowing he will be true to his word, you patiently bide your time until he has drunk himself to sleep, then pick up your baby and quietly flee the house with only the clothes on your back. These are the kinds of situation that these women are coming from.

Now imagine the police bring you and your child to a safe house in the middle of the night and when you walk through the door this is what you see:


Chaos! As if you need your life to be any more chaotic at the moment.

Now picture yourself walking into a space like this:


It’s nothing too fancy but it has a calm appearance to it. It is clean, uncluttered, inviting, and homey. Your problems are still a far cry from solved but at least you haven’t just moved from one mad house to another.

At this point in time the home that we will be working on has good bones but lots of broken, ugly, outdated furniture and copious amounts of clutter. I cringe to think of women, in such a fragile state of mind, walking into such a place.

I found this wonderful write-up called “Why Design Matters” written by a woman who owns a design company called Dehn Bloom Design. She writes: “We’ve all had the experience of walking into a room which feels welcoming and lovely, or one that feels unpleasant or awkward: there is a physical reaction to beauty (or lack thereof) in the spaces around us. ¬†Our surroundings can elevate or depress our mood, health and cognition.” She goes on to state that “exposure to beauty is a basic human need”.

The women who are entering into this home need to be blessed with every opportunity possible to experience beauty in life. Ugly things have happened to them and this home is supposed to be a place to begin healing. Enhancing the appearance of their surroundings during this delicate time in their lives is one small way of contributing to their comfort and mental health.

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by | November 13, 2013 · 6:25 pm

Straight up (and down): Can Vertical Blinds be Stylish?

I’m currently taking a night class on window coverings. To be honest, I signed up to take the class this semester because it is a requirement for my diploma and I wanted to get it over with. For me it was one of those, “do I have to?” classes. However, I’m amazed at how much there is to learn and how, and as in every interior decorating class I take, my preconceptions are challenged.

My first class the dreaded “vertical blinds” were mentioned. I only expected to hear above these in association with the words, “don’t do it!”. I certainly have never seen them in a decorating magazine; though come to think of it, you don’t see a lot of pleated shades and I think they’re pretty great.

I admit that putting window coverings on sliding doors is a challenge but vertical blinds? Can they really look good? My instructor, a very sage decorator, insists they can.

As part of my homework this week I had to find pictures of different “hard” window coverings, and I was determined to give vertical blinds a fair chance during my search.

Are you skeptical like me? Maybe the following pictures will change your mind.

(For the sake of comparison, this first picture is an example of an ugly metal vertical blind.)


And onto the surprisingly pretty…






vertical blinds modern

Are you convinced? I’ve got to admit, deep down I still cringe at the idea of having them in my own home. However, what my search has shown me is that vertical blinds can be used in a stylish way in a variety of settings, and sometimes they are simply the most practical option. When one must, it doesn’t have to be a bust! (oh dear, I spend way too much time reading children’s books.)

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by | September 26, 2013 · 9:41 pm