Friday, November 2, 2012

Yin and Yang post of the week

The Guest Bath designed by Janet Marena of JTM Interiors
for the Junior League of Boston Show House in Newton, MA

Raise your hand if you would like to end this week with a long soak in the tub? Being surrounded by water can soothe nerves and bring comfort unless of course the water isn’t where it is supposed to be. Living on the East Coast I have been following the updates from those affected by Hurricane Sandy. We were lucky this time. We did not lose power (been there before). A tree did not fall on our roof (been there, too). We never ran out of food (and to be honest I didnt even stock up partly out of denial and partly due to being tired of being in a state of emergency). My entire family was home on Monday – school was closed and work was put off until another day. We tried to ignore the wind outside our window (not easy) that was causing the tall pine trees surrounding our house to sway back and forth. On Tuesday the sun was out and life was back to normal for us.

I am thankful.

At times like these we are reminded that home equals shelter first and foremost. Clean fresh water, a well-lit path to light our way, a place to store the food that nourishes us, and heat to keep our families warm – these are necessities, not luxuries. Being able to stay connected via email, phone, texting, etc. is also becoming something we rely on day in and day out. We feel less alone when we know others understand what we are going through. Knowing that we can quickly reach out to someone – friend or stranger – when we need help is invaluable.

While celebrating luxury, attention to detail, craftsmanship and creative vision is part of a design bloggers daily musings, I am sure we all respect the fact that we are drawn to interior design magazines and home decor eye candy out of sincere appreciation for the human effort that it takes to make our surroundings be not just comfortable and safe, but beyond our expectations. The art of imagination in the form of decoration is entertaining. When it is applied with layers of meaning based on the stories of those who live there, we are inspired by it. 

I invite you to be inspired by the following:

The Junior League of Boston Show House now through November 18th: a three-story estate filled with the imaginative designs of over 35 interior professionals with rooms dedicated to music, gardening, reading, conversation, game playing, and personal sanctuary. All proceeds will support the mission of the Junior League of Boston. Check out my related post on the Designer Bath blog for more about the historically comforting spa-like bath above.

“About Hunger and Resilience” photography exhibit by Michael Nye
 presented through November 4th at Endicott College, Beverly, MA

On the other end of the inspiration spectrum, I encourage you to attend the Michael Nye photography exhibit, “About Hunger and Resilience” on display now at Endicott College. Sponsored in part by Gathering Change, Inc. the charity that my friend Dorothy Goodwin started around the time of the last Presidential election, it presents the audio stories and arresting photos of thirty individuals who have all experienced hunger, homelessness, or lack of resources. Listening to someone share their personal story of hardship in their own voice is a very intimate and moving experience. Many of these storytellers were affected by events outside of their control. States of emergency so to speak. If you are unable to attend this event, learn more about the inspiration behind the exhibit here and see more photos from opening night of the Endicott exhibit here.

And because it is my bread and butter, I invite you to attend a seminar/panel discussion that I have helped to put together for Designer Bath. Called From Studs to Stunning: Remodeling Tips from the Pros it is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7th from 6 to 8pm at the Designer Bath showroom in Beverly. Local design and renovation experts will share their tips on how to plan a bath remodel with confidence.

Did I ever tell you about the day I went to help out on the Habitat for Humanity Builders Blitz and just as I was preparing to leave I noticed that my ancient second floor bath was leaking buckets full of water into our first floor powder room? Fortunately the first floor bath was gutted at the time, but it was very unsettling and slightly ironic. Seriously, I had to laugh. What else could I do? I will be taking notes while sitting in the audience on the 7th. I wish I could enter to win the $20,000 Passport to Design Home Makeover Sweepstakes, but I promise I will be sincerely happy for the lucky winner.

Visit for more details. 

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