16 March, 2012

"And In This Corner . . . "


It was at least 20 years ago.  It might have even been from a magazine.  I still remember the first time I heard it used as one of life's rules.  And the more I thought about it . . . it kinda seemed true.  "There are three things in life.  A great home.  A great job.  A great relationship.  The only caveat is . . . you can only have 2 of the 3 at any given time."

Great houses, great jobs, and great relationships each take a great amount of focus and time.   And though I've never liked the idea of letting one 'slide' to focus on the other two, when I look back over the last 20 years . . . sometimes it felt like the saying might be sort of true.  But, sadly - I've let one of them slide too far.  And for too long.

Oddly, this post started out as something else all together.  You see, my house and I have been fighting the last few weeks.  After lavishing hours of attention . . . and a goodly pile of cash . . . on the house for a photo shoot last month, I started spending my time on other things.  Catching up at the office.  Spending time with Drew.  Well, like any other jealous lover, the house has not responded well to being ignored.  Instead of feeling its loving embrace each night when I get home . . . it's just been sitting there.  Glaring at me in the semi-darkness.  With everything but a, "and . . . where have you been?" lingering in the room.

Then I remember that old chestnut about not being able to have it all . . . . and then I decided that I was not going to hold myself to such a low standard . . .

Clara Bow

So . . . starting last night . . . my house and I made up.  Hell, after re-organizing half my closet and a good part of my kitchen, we practically made-out.

I can remember years ago . . . working on an installation for a large home.  We had been there for several days.  Placing all of the furniture.  Hanging all of the artwork.  Slowly and carefully placing all the accessories and decorative pillows throughout the house.  As my client walked into her living room - filled with fresh flowers . . . and still a few delivery people . . . and me . . . and my staff . . . and the cleaning service . . . she commented, "I never realized how much it was going to take for the house to look amazing!"  And I replied, almost without thinking, "Living a fabulous life is hard work.  Sometimes it even counts as cardio."

Barbara Standwick

Fight the good fight,

UPDATE : James, so are SO right.  It's a quote from Maupin's "Tales of the City."


Turling said...

I like it. Ranks right up there with "Good-Cheap-Fast". You can have two, not three.

And, agreed, once we've started keeping up with the house, oy vey, it is cardio!

debra @ 5th and state said...

great reminder scott. currently my gloves are on with business, like you said, there is always one

Jeannine520 said...

It's a bit like getting whopped in the jaw when one realizes there's a bit of undeniable truth to that statement. I've never want to fully believe it so I continue to bust my ass trying to prove it wrong. On the days I come out ahead I feel like a king.

Anonymous said...

Your insights just keep getting better! Thank you.

Karen T. said...

How true! Great post!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I so agree...homes are not to be neglected and if left alone too long assume the most dismal feeling. They really need people to be the most charming, warm and welcoming.

FairyFiligree said...

What a unique and insightful post. IT is quite true - at times when we disregard our home, it gets its back on us by just sitting with the clutter staring back at us. It is our own clutter and we better get it back in shape, otherwise, house and clutter just clutter us! And yes, it is good cardio and the feel good factor after everything is just so, is immense isn't it?

Kat Gordon said...

One of your best ever, Scot. To paraphrase your quote, I often tell the boys: "You have no idea how much work it takes to keep the house looking this bad."

Brillante Interiors said...

What a great post, all came together, images, text, ideas. You are so right in your quote, sometimes things are not easy but we need to fight for beauty and serenity.

Unknown said...

Our homes are living, breathing, spaces that react to being ignored. I have always felt a home come alive when Spring appears and everyone attends to home and garden needs.

Cleaning, repairing, updating, painting, restyling etc. our homes are so lucky to have us love having them. Once this plan is in place then the car start to have a jealous fit too...oh my... gotta share the love!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

ADG said...

Even though I love all of the design blogs I follow, I usually have very little to comment after enjoying the color/texture/shape/style fix that I get. But this one resonated with me.

1. I've come to accept, peacefully, that it doesn't mean failure if only two of those cyclinders ever fire in harmony together, while the third sputters and languishes. It's ok.

2. And the languishing-sputtering cylinder will suddenly one day, kick into full engagement...but usually in concert with the leading, most efficiently firing-preening cylinder's decision to sputter in response.

3. And finally, I'm in the midst of disassembling my nest-home-man cave that I've evolved over the last decade. And the idea of that particular cylinder, the one constant cylinder that hasn't sputtered for one moment amidst a decade where the other two have at times--gone completely dead--is huge.

Sorry. I think I just did a whole damned blog post on your site.

bedroom modern said...

"And In This Corner . . . "
Many thanks, fairly refreshing, I enjoyed reading your article, You are wonderful!
Thank you!

Denise said...

What great insight. So now I understand why the flood happened at the office. I have been neglecting it far too long. Sorry my friend....i will pay closer attention.

Anonymous said...

Like this, I'm off FB for the rest of Lent, can't wait to get back on it. Anyway, pic of cousin Barbara in her boxing mode looks great. Always happy to see a blog/pin from SMW. Adore your style....

shiree segerstrom said...

Completely brilliant Scot. Your writing and topics never cease to impress and amaze. I must disagree with the two outta three rule though. Not so says I. I beleive in having it all. Design the life you want and live it, that's my motto. Do keep challenging us though. We love it! Shiree'

Vickie H. said...

Oh my, Scot! You did a closet AND the kitchen?? YOU ARE A GOD!!!!! This was a wonderful post! You continue to encourage and inspire!!
I never miss a post from you and THIS is the very reason why!!! Kudos to you, and may God continue to bless you in EVERY way!!!

Susie said...

Scott, What I have found through my life...I took the beatings when I was young. True beating from my father, bully beatings at school, and in my young marriage. Then I put on my "gloves" stood my ground, only stricking out when needed. Now in my older life,the gloves are off, I can bob and weave with them best of them.LOL. I try to kill 'em with kindness. I enjoy your site . Smiles to you, xo, Susie(She Junks)

Unknown said...

That line you told your client...priceless!!!! I swear, my house and I are definitely at a stalemate right now. Window boxes being ripped down, waiting for the new ones to go up, once the house is painted. Buzzing of chain saws in the background. Me retreating to my bedroom for sanity. Landscaper waiting for contractor to paint the exterior so they don't trample the plants. Who knew it was this hard and this much work.

End is somewhat in sight...and this made me realize. It really does take work. And patience!

Fight on!
xo Elizabeth

mrs. V | Chez V said...

Great post. 'Living a fabulous life is hard work...' So true. You do it with the best of them - and make it look effortless.

And speaking of corners, great bobbing and weaving on Pinterest last week as well. I jumped in your corner and boxed for ya.


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