By Bectoria Stafford Crandall
For this blog post I will attempt to escort you down the rabbit hole of my imagination. It is my hope that doing this will allow you a little understanding, however slight, of the method which is my madness. Many people who have encountered me in this great adventure that we call life have likened me to a whimsical character. I embrace this observation as an alter ego. I have found that adding a bit of wonderment and whimsy to any available circumstance makes the flowers of life bloom in different colors.
I can guess that by now you’re thinking “Okay. Princess crazy pants has sprinkled herself one too many times with the fairy dust today.” Before you dismiss me entirely, let me put it to you this way… Many people, me included, yearn for simpler times caked with nostalgia. Wouldn’t it be safe to say that the recipe for such nostalgia is made sweeter with just a pinch of wonderment and whimsy?
For this I say, let’s add that wonderment and whimsy to every aspect of our lives!
Take a good look at your home. Does it reflect your personality? Are your rooms full of all the things you love? Do the items in your home inspire you to do more of the activities that create your favorite memories? Adding touches of whimsy to one’s life should begin at home. When you look back on your life, what would you have liked it to have been filled with? If it’s travel, make it a point to visit interesting places and bring back one special thing to decorate your home with. Maybe you would like to one day look back on memories filled with times spent with family and friends. Why not start making those memories today by arranging your home in such a way that is welcoming to the different groups of people you want to fill your home with? These are just a couple of made-up examples. To better touch on the subject, allow me to draw on my own home. For me, at this stage of my life, I am all about my children having the best childhood possible. This, combined with the inescapable whimsy that comes straight from my heart and pours out into everything I touch provides for a very interesting home life.
As you may have guessed, my home is a little different than what you might find in your latest issue of “Better Homes and Gardens”. While my neat-freakiness prevents me from allowing it to look cluttered, I will say that my home is packed with books, toys and color. Not that it’s for everyone, but each room in my house is splashed with functional art that is often likened to what one might find in the illustrations of Alice in Wonderland. We do try to make guests and ourselves feel from taking the first step into our home, like we have walked in as a character to a children’s story. Why? Because it’s important to me that this time in my family’s life be reflective of all the nostalgia of a happy childhood.
Where some in a different phase of life might decorate with something else, our tchotchkes tend to be toys from our children’s favorite specialty toy shop. Where some basements have exercise equipment, bowling allies, foosball tables or instruments, our basement is a fully furnished playroom with built-in playhouse, ball pit, train table and bounce house.
We have arranged our house in a way that inspires activities that will create memories that our family will hold most dear. There are a number of seats in our kitchen, waiting for people to fill them as we prepare fun confections. Our family room furniture is arranged in such a way that will inspire conversation while children can run around us to their hearts content. We always have some activity ready for happy participants, whether that is paper ready for painting or dollhouses and instruments ready for playing.
I said it once, but I’ll say it again, I realize that my idealized life is not for everyone. However, it is 100% reflective of me. It is my hope that the above illustration of my happy home inspires you to make your piece of heaven reflective of yourself. The recipe for whimsy does not have to end with decorating choices. There are a number ways to add whimsy to your home life. To get your brainstorming wheels turning, try the following examples…
Do you like trying new recipes? Why not invite guests over once a month for a really fun dinner party themed to accompany whatever dish you’ve concocted? Invest in an elaborate apron that best reflects your personality not to reinforce any stereotype but to feel fabulous while in your food prepping frenzy! Now if you’re like me and sweet confections fit your fancy, do as I did and enact the simple rule to always have your house smelling like cookies. I always have ready-made dough in the fridge just on the off chance people stop by. For the days when the indulgent cookie aroma has dwindled quicker than your last batch, have some type of air freshener or other aroma therapy to step in and do the job. In my own home, I enlist the sweet scents of “Scensty”(www.scentsy.com) in providing my home with a little yummy wonderment.
Do you like to garden? Why not dress the part? Wear a hand painted apron and fancy gloves designed with lace and flowers just for this task. Work with a landscape architect or your local nursery to plant beds that will bloom continuously. This will assure you an entire season of outdoor enjoyment.
It is my hope that while reading this post, the waterfall of creativity has begun to spill over. When looking to add a little whimsy to everyday life, the list of possibilities is endless, as will be reflected in later posts. For now, I encourage you to take your home life out of the box and custom fit it with all the whimsy you can muster!