Photos with personality
Part of my holiday house guest prep is finally putting up some personal photographs.
An interesting part of my change in lifestyle and environment is that much of the stuff that I used to have on my walls just no longer fits.
Whether it's due to the switch from a mostly green and nature-inspired colour palette to one of purple and grey, or the fact that once your marriage is over you're less inclined to leave up all those stunning, but no longer suitable wedding photos, I've had a lot of frames to fill. And those gaps, and blank walls, just seem to accentuate the things that are no longer in my life, acting as a daily reminder of the way things have changed.
Plus, art on the walls is part of being settled. It's a sign of at least semi-permanence, meaning you intend to stick around for at least long enough to risk putting a few holes in the walls. For a perpetual nomad like me - who has held down at least six addresses in three and a half years in Toronto - getting to the point of hanging art is really a sign of making a house a home.
Part of my new decorating philosophy is to buy and use only things that I love. Which means no more stopgap art, or buying something just because it matches my decor. If it doesn't speak to me, it's not worth the investment of time, money or space in my teeny tiny apartment.
But, that's also a lot of pressure. Over the last few weeks, I've been poring over my collection of photographs, both physical and digital, looking for the shots that I'd like to frame.
It's a daunting, and emotional task. Photos with people no longer in your life don't make the cut, and many posed shots just look too stiff to be worth featuring. I want photos that showcase the real personalities of the people in my life, not just shots that remind me what they look like.
So I found myself pulling out the candids, shots that made me smile, even if they weren't perfectly framed or didn't fit any of the photography rules I learned in J-school. Like this one:
I love this shot of my dad and I. Sure, the framing is not perfect - we're seeing a lot of that rather questionable carpet style - and I'm the only one looking at the camera. But, when I look at it, I smile. It's a sign of what was to become a huge part of my childhood and teen years: playing hockey, including being coached by my dad, and a wee bit of an indication that I may be kind of a daddy's girl.
Photos like these tell and story and elicit a reaction - and really, isn't that what your decor is supposed to do?