house (slowly) becoming home.

i spent most of the day yesterday cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, putting little things into place, and sorting more. little areas are starting to become settled, and just feel *right*. it’s as if the things in our house are finding the place that they want to live in, where they feel most at home. just like me, in some ways. the longer i am here, the better i am starting to feel about living here in san francisco. having a home, a little nest to feather and make my/our own, helps with this tremendously.

top o' the card catalog

shelf vignette one

shelf vignette two

cats, in their new home!

***

of course, there’s still much to do. after scrubbing both bathrooms in our tiny apartment (yes, inexplicably, we have TWO bathrooms in a one bedroom. it’s curious. but one is really for guests, i suppose), vacuuming, sweeping, and the like, i leaned over the kitchen counter, took out a diminutive green steno pad, grabbed the nearest ball-point pen, and started to jot down a list of the things we need and want for the apartment, until the page was nearly bursting with my chicken scratch. it was filled with everything from the mundane (“need more toilet bowl cleaner”) to the sorely needed (“coffee table!”) to the dreamy (“still want to get those eames chairs for the living room”). i barely have any room to add anything else to the page.

each item on that page is something i have been and intend to keep carefully considered. i want to keep thinking about how much i really want or need ANYTHING that comes into my home. after getting rid of so much junk in the past few weeks that we’ve accumulated over the years…it just seems like the right thing to do. sometimes i buy things, or have bought things, because they enamored or delighted some part of me at the time, but they were just *things* and they didn’t always REALLY suit me, the real me. the editing process is really so important. i feel that as an artist and creator, one needs to know themselves well, and be able to pick and choose and edit the RIGHT materials and objects in their world to say what they need and want to say, visually and emotionally. this is a skill that must be learned…and i believe that we all collect things, somewhat indiscriminately, at times. it’s so easy in western culture, it seems…in our product and THING-FILLED world. of course, the hunt is SO MUCH FUN, but often the booty can threaten to bury us if we don’t hone the skill of editing those finds. i admit that i have to force myself to edit when i need to edit (in my art, in my closet, in my home, in my LIFE), but in the end, when it’s all over, it feels so good to let go and let what remains really shine and make a statement.

and of course, confession time: i find it curious that the only part of my house that hasn’t been honestly, thoroughly scoured and arranged to a tee is my little desk and studio area. i keep meaning to do something about it, but it keeps taking lowest priority. i MUST organize that bit in the early days of this week, if not today! i suppose i am avoiding it because the task seems so daunting, and the list of projects i want to work on and dig into is so large at this point, it’s almost overwhelming. i almost don’t know what i want to do first, and part of me doesn’t want to choose at all (avoiding the editing process even here). alas, i must start somewhere, i suppose…. 🙂

8 comments

  1. Ashley

    I always admire when you post images of your home– it’s something I’ve been struggling with, trying to develop a style and sense for my home that is reflective of me, but has a coherent style. It seems a much more challenging task than creating a wardrobe, because those have more flexiblity in how often they change and how one or two pieces can give a mood for just the needed day. It seems that a home doesn’t have that flexibility quite so much. You seem to have hit the balance between youthfulness/color/vibrance and sophistication/neutrality in your apartment, and I really admire that a lot.

    “they didn’t always REALLY suit me, the real me. the editing process is really so important. i feel that as an artist and creator, one needs to know themselves well, and be able to pick and choose and edit the RIGHT materials and objects in their world to say what they need and want to say, visually and emotionally. this is a skill that must be learned…and i believe that we all collect things, somewhat indiscriminately, at times.”

    This is such a difficult task, and something I’m finding myself trying to do much more regularly.

  2. ally

    It’s great to see objects I remember you finding the first time around, and how at home they now look.

    Being in Britain where thrifting and shopping in general sucks– there is no thrill of the hunt anymore. I have had to look at what i own and what I might buy immediately in terms of it’s justification in my life in terms of space and cost. The room to play is gone and I admit I miss it.

  3. tricia

    ally: why is thrifting not as good in britain? is it just a london thing (just as thrifting in some larger locales in the US is not as good, like NYC, for instance)? can good stuff be found cheaper at charity shops outside of london?

    i often wonder why thrifting here in SF is so good, for a bigger city…i find a lot of amazing things here and leave a lot of good stuff behind, and i’m wondering why it’s not more expensive/more picked over than it is…

  4. krissy

    ooh, your new home is looking so cute and fresh! i’m especially loving the green ceramic kitty and the teeny tiny red dressform you have perched on a stack of books. i know organizing and getting rid of clutter in the studio is very overwhelming, but for some reason i feel more creative when i do it. maybe commit to 15 minutes a day until the task is done?

  5. Erica

    first of all i really liked everything you picked up thrifting this week, especially the dress and that bangle (oy va voy!). second, i really love how everything in your home photos is so thoughtfully and artfully arranged. it almost doesn’t matter what’s there, but the arrangement of the elements is what i love. it’s nice to see, very inspiring to me!

  6. Nadia

    My eyes snag over so many of your books; your collection looks very similar to mine. I wonder if all thrifters end up with converging collections after a while…

  7. alex

    love the pics – you are impeccably organized!
    your style reminds me of my home town – La La Los Angeles
    when I moved to Paris almost 2 years ago, I brought over some of my favorite little vintage finds like macrame wall hangings and victorian dolls.
    The one thing I miss from looking at your pics is my books… got rid of so many before the move and i regret it.
    check out my site where we are creating an international fashion network…
    http://www.iqons.com

  8. lindsey clare

    hi tricia,
    i know this is a really old post but i just wanted to leave you a quick comment about how i admire the sentiment of what you have written. i often think hard about how i want my life to look, and how i want my home to look. like most humans i am a bit of an accumulator, but luckily i have the urge to purge! unlike my husband who wouldn’t ever chuck anything if i didn’t force him too!
    there is such a fine balance (and i don’t for one minute think that i have achieved it… yet) between surrounding yourself with beautiful, meaningful things and being overwhelmed by ‘stuff’. being on a strict budget helps with not buying too much stuff, but even little things seem to pile up and become a distraction from what i really want.
    anyway, hope you are having a marvellous day!