It's my first post of the new year and I'm feeling pretty good. Yesterday I went for my first run of the year and got completely soaked in the rain. But you know what? It felt good. I thought that if I could get through that cold, wet run, I'd be bulletproof for the year.
You know what else felt good? Cleaning my flat on New Year's Eve and putting up the home-related gifts that I had received for the holidays. Displaying these very thoughtful gifts not only refreshed our home, but also made us feel like the New Year was going to be filled with all sorts of new possibilities.
What's new in my entryway above? The rhino head! What a great gift--so much of everyone's artwork is rectangular or square, no matter how much we try to break it up. But this papier-mache rhino head is sculptural, and breaks up all the right angles of the pieces above. A different shaped mirror could've worked too (I really miss the round horn mirror from West Elm. I tried to use it recently, but my client was a vegetarian and had issues about a piece being essentially made from an animal.)
It's made from old book pages, which my bibliophile partner really appreciated. And it's made by native craftsmen in Haiti, which I really liked. Not only did we support a community in need, but we also found something that tied our place together, making use of our high ceilings. As my partner said, "It's so crazy, it kind of justifies all the books and clutter in our home!"
Another great gift that everyone should consider is original artwork. I keep saying it, but having something unique makes such a difference in your home. My partner commissioned local artist Kate Rado to draw a little family portrait as a holiday gift. When I opened this present, I nearly cried! She captured us in a way no photo ever could. (Etsy also has a number of craftspeople and artists who can create affordable pieces for you--but I'm sure you already knew that!)
Here's a drawing of our neighborhood, also by Kate.
What beats a custom gift? Not much, but sometimes you can find a grand piece that encapsulates the soul of your loved one(s). Yes, I received the 720-page hardbound book, 75 Years of DC Comics by Taschen. It weighs in at a hefty 15 pounds and measures an enormous 12" x16" x 3.25". With something this big, you can bet I'm going to find a way to display it. This kind of gift will definitely become a conversation piece.
Heck, I might just have to build a plinth or stand or something to display it...
So 2011 is already feeling pretty fresh for me. I hope the new year is treating you well, too. Keep doing more for yourself and your home. Remember, the two go hand in hand--the more you take care of one, the more that love and care reflects on the other.
As the Go! Team says, "Do you, do what you gotta do..."
And a bonus video from one of my favorite multi-culti bands, thanks to my friend Jeff (who used to co-own a showroom in the SF Design Center years ago):