Hey! We’re on a New York Times blog today, go see:
Go Mighty or You Might Not Go At All by KJ Dell’Antonia
We talked about Life Lists and I said, “If you’re constantly looking to cross the next thing off, it can make you frenetic. You become immune to contentment. It’s smart to pursue happiness — I mean, go for it — but stop and savor it when you catch it.” Read more.
Also, if you’ve been meaning to make a Life List but aren’t sure where to start or would just like some teammates to help motivate you, sign up for our Go Mighty Skillshare class. One of the attendees gets a $1,000 grant to cross something off their list. Fingers crossed that it’s you.
“Make my bedroom the perfect place to be a girl” is on my lifelist. This is how my vanity is shaping up so far. For more details on how my room is coming along, visit Go Mighty. Gah! It’s getting so pretty. In the meantime, I should admit that this process hasn’t come naturally to me.
My friend Victoria, for example, moves her couch every few weeks, has prints framed, sets aside the throw pillows on her bed every night and replaces them in the morning. I, on the other hand, felt accomplished when I replaced the pile of moving boxes and grocery bags in the corner with cardboard file boxes. They have lids — for fanciness.
When I finally decided to redecorate my room, I Needed a starting point. How does one even do this? Victoria is a friend and the editor of the interior design blog sfgirlbybay. She agreed to hold my hand through this process, and this is what I’ve learned working with her so far.
1. TAKE STOCK OF RESOURCES
How much can you spend? How much do you want to? Simple questions that shape the rest of the process. Money sets your timeline because you don’t need to spend hours bargain hunting, or mapping DIY projects.
You should also figure out what you already have. If you don’t need a new bed, can paint your dresser or dye your duvet, your investment shrinks. Here are some good tips from Real Simple on how to do things on a budget.
2. MAKE ONE SOLID DECISION
My non-negotiable was pink walls, and it informed the rest of my decisions. But you can also take an object you love and extrapolate. I’ve mentioned before that I adore the disco ball at the Jane Hotel in New York, but it could easily have been a photograph or a bowl of pebbles. My Death Star disco ball told me I wanted my room to be a testimony to celebratory decay, so that was our starting point for the process.
3. PULL THE TRIGGER
Dithering is the greatest enemy of any large undertaking. After you’ve logged a hundred hours on Pinterest, you have enough information. Eventually you put brush to wall and credit card to counter, and your room materializes. This is the exhilarating (and for me, terrifying) part. Remember there’s no one way to do this, and everything is reversible.
4. CLEAN THE SLATE
Box everything up and get it out of the room. I did this because i had to paint, but you should do it regardless. Once everything is out, only replace the things you use or love. After about a week of living in a perfect space, I was hesitant to even open the boxes. Most of it has gone straight to the thrift shop.
5. MAKE IT YOURS
If you replace everything at once your house can end up feeling like a hotel. You need objects that have a patina, things that tell a story about who you are. Avoid the hotel effect by incorporating things you already love and forgiving some of their flaws. Nothing has to be new to be perfect.
Camp Mighty tickets go on sale today! I’m so excited about our plans for next year I’m having trouble sleeping at night.
Remember two years ago when I asked you guys for help building a community and a place for us to meet up? And a bunch of you said No Facebook!” and I thought “…uh.”
This year I saw Emily Winfield Martin speak at (the fantastic) XOXO, and she said something I haven’t stopped thinking about. She was a blogger working in a video store, struggling to become an artist. Gradually her readers began purchasing her work on Etsy, which allowed her to drop shifts until she could make art full time. She said:
“We live in a time when any misfit can make a job for themselves with bravery and hard work — emphasis on hard work. The alchemy that makes your thing real is the audience. It’s like the Velveteen Rabbit, ‘Love makes you real.’ It may sound dramatic to say about your readers or customers, but they make you real. They make your imaginary thing real.”
I couldn’t have said it better, Emily. Many thanks to you guys for helping me make my things real.
We’d love to see you at Camp Mighty. So come. You will like it.
Bedroom redesign update! Yesterday I got to the paint store and realized I have never chosen what color the walls will be in my own house. What the whaa? But I’ve always rented apartments that didn’t allow renters to paint, and I didn’t realize it until the wall of pink paint chips started to swim.
As it turns out there are approximately eight quadrillion billion shades of pink paint. Victoria and I had discussed Wispy Pink by Benjamin Moore, but then I saw it.
You guys, it looked so wispy. I had flashbacks to my aforementioned tasteful, “this is not pink!” childhood bedroom, which made me a little anxious.
So I contemplated Raspberry Shock, Watermelon Pretty Pretty Princess, and Fuchsia What Are You Thinking. I wondered whether they could mix glitter into the paint.
Just, like, a little glitter.
In the end, I went with Victoria’s advice because I am not a four-year-old.
So now my white room…
Olay gave me a Life List grant to help me cross off “Make my bedroom the perfect place to be a girl.” This week, we’re painting the room pink, and figuring out how I can tastefully incorporate a disco ball. Tastefully, you guys.
I could feel decades of reflected confetti, and spilled drinks, dashed hopes, and and hundreds of tiny dancers shimmering on its surface. Here was my entire aesthetic in a single object — Celebratory Decay.
Read the rest on Go Mighty.
Photo by Brandon Blattner.
I recently checked “Form a workplace with people I love” off my Life List. Now, every day until Valentine’s Day, I’m saying thanks to someone whose work online has inspired me. Today’s crush is Tina Roth Eisenberg of swissmiss.
TINA ROTH EISENBERG is beloved because:
I recently read an interview with Ricky Gervais where he said, “You should make something. You should bring something into the world that wasn’t in the world before. It doesn’t matter what that is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a table or a film or gardening — everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, ‘I did that.’”
That? Is Tina. Making stuff and celebrating others who do the same. Talking to her or listening to her speak, even when she’s grumpy about something, you can feel what a positive force she is. She’s one of the lights.
A few of Tina’s projects:
Tina also collects things that make me smile. Recently on swissmiss:
Frustrated by questionable client feedback, designers Mark Shanley and Paddy Treacy decided to turn their “favorite worst feedback” into posters. I’d totally buy some of these prints. Thanks for making me laugh.
Tina Roth Eisenberg, you are bangarang.
Hi, guys. The Go Mighty community has a project going. In February, we’re focusing on intention. Specifically, taking 20 minutes every day to do something that moves your life toward where you want to be at the end of this year, or the next five years.
If you play along, tell us about it in a story on Go Mighty with the tag ’20 Minutes,’ or on Twitter or Instagram using #20Minutes. Every day, Team Mighty will choose one person to receive a gift from the folks at RedEnvelope and we will be announcing the gifts each week on Friday. (You can see the selection of gifts here.)
Now go do something good.
Photo credit: Maile Wilson