Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beauty


I am loving this post over at wishstudio about embracing beauty. I strive to surround myself with beautiful things, people, words, images, etc. all the time and everywhere i go. Et vous?
When i went to London to study abroad, i lived in a HORRIFIC narrow and long dorm room. The carpets were foul, the walls dispicable, and the furniture was, well, dorm furniture. I wasn't having any of it. As soon as i got into the city, i set out to find affordable ways to make my room as Carolyn-esque as possible. I covered my sad twin size bed in brought-from-home Hello Kitty sheets and a fluffy duvet. I covered the wall in beautiful and thick wrapping paper purchased from Paper Place? (i'm not sure that's the name, but the one on Tottenham Court Road was FANTASTIC and mere minutes from our flat), found cheap rugs to cover the stained carpet (and made sure to wear slippers at all times), tied and draped colorful pashminas purchased from Paris all over the furniture. I even decorated my door with a fun collage (my roomies made fun of moi, but secretly thought it was darling i'm sure!) I lit candles and incense daily (and set off the fire alarm a couple times... oops). I also made sure to bring stuff from home that would warm up the space - picture frames, colorful pens and markers, art, etc. Even though my suitcases were stuffed to the brim and impossible to drag all over Paris and London, it was all well worth it. And even though i only lived in that room for 3 1/2 months or so, making it mine was so incredibly vital to my happiness and well-being. (I wish i had pics, but sadly, my hard drive crashed last summer, and i lost most of my study abroad pics. Boo.)



People often label me "ridiculous" and "over-the-top" and "excessive." I do not deny being all those things, but that's just moi. And truthfully, i love that about me. I don't settle for ugly notebooks! I cover them, add sparkle and shine, and make them mine. Ditto my office (borderline inappropriate 4 a lawyer, but whatevs!), my apartment (pink, purple and yellow walls), and my wardrobe (skirt today is a combo of 2 shades of pink, blue, yellow, green orange, black, white, red, and cream). Color and sparkle and embellishment of every kind = beauty, for moi. What does beauty mean for you? It could be a soothing neutral palette of soft creams and beiges and pale pale blues. It could be a monochromatic palette of shades of green. It could be ANYTHING, as long as you find it beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - isn't that great??



I encourage you to surround yourself with beauty, even if you don't think you have the time, money, or ability. Little things make all the difference in the world, and i guarantee you will be a happier person.

{all images from Paul Massey photography}


13 comments:

Naturally Jules said...

So true, so true! And I love you for being you, and wouldn't want you to be any other way!

I find neutrals and shades of smokey blue beautiful, but if we all did, then that would be quite boring, don't ya think?

City Girl said...

So well said.

To me, beauty is what makes one happy - I like soothing colors most of the time, with the occasional very pink phase, and that works for me.

:) Great post.

Melita said...

i couldn't agree more. i moved in with ryan and while it's not the best apt in the world, we are making it better by adding our own little touches. it's only a temporary place to live in our lives but we are making it better while we are here! what's life if we don't make things more beautiful where we currently are (in apartments, work, situations, etc). kudos to you my darling!!

naturally nina said...

paperchase! and how do i know that? i studied abroad in london too! so funny...

Carolyn said...

YES paperCHASE! i couldn't think of it for the life of me. how awesome that you studied abroad in Londy, too! i miss it so much

Vienna Maurel said...

Yes, I was going to write PAPERCHASE but naturally nina did it first!
When I first moved to the UK I ended up in a few places like the one you describe. I wouldn't have survived without making them beautiful and mine! I love beautiful things too. They harmonise me. Now I live in a beautiful house but it's rented and we are not allowed to decorate, which means plain, neutral boring walls. Anyway, we are making the most of our decorations and pictures. By the way I love your pictures. Did you take them? They are ace! I mean, technically perfect!
And to end, just out of the blue, have you read 'The Undomestic Goddess' by Sophie Kinsella? I think you would enjoy it.

Sarah said...

Great post Carolyn! Everyone has different style, but if we didn't wouldn't life just be boring! Who wants to go into places that all look the same. I tend to be into dark muted colors (black, grey...hmm, can you tell from my blog) with some pops of color (purple, pink, blue). Though, if you saw my bedroom it is more of a French country style. Vintage creams, with greens and pinks. Whatever makes you happy is what is important, so glitter to your heart's desire if that is what makes your day!

Revisionista said...

lovely post with great photos! i like sarah's comment above about glittering to your heart's desire. keep painting le monde with that bright rainbow of colors that's uniquely yours :)

Rachel said...

Good for you! Never compromise who you are! And never apologize for it either. :)

Lynne from NY said...

I love this post! You are such a good writer, your words make any story come alive. Some people write in black and white. You write in technicolor!
Get working on that book....Carolyn's Adventures!
(and I'm totally serious!)

Globetrotting Cacti said...

Paperchase - love that shop, love stationary! I totally understamd what you are saying. I lived in 7 different rental properties between leaving my parents home & buying my own place - those personal touches makes all the difference. Looking forward to revamping my office when I return to work in Dec. I agree - keep glittering...

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Kiki said...

That is exactly the sort of thing I did with my Beijing apartments - I shudder just to think about how bad they were when I moved in, and how much better they were when I left.

Lovely post, Carolyn - definitely one of my favorites! My goal for Sunday is to really deep-clean my room, and now thanks to you, I'm inspired to start beautifying the space as well!