This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Need relaxation therapy? Try a Pottery Barn catalog

A few days ago I went out to check the mail.  Life had been unexpectedly busy and stressful and my house was reflecting it: dishes needing to be loaded in the dishwasher, throw blankets...well...thrown about, papers on the floor where the wind had blown them, shoes absolutely everywhere but in the shoe bin, beds unmade, laundry unfolded, a life in chaos.

I wasn't so much checking the mailbox as I was fleeing the scene.

When I opened the mailbox it was there.  Nestled in among the Redplum coupons, the grocery store ads, and the oil bill.  A Pottery Barn catalog.  Just for a moment I heard the angels sing.  I pulled out the mail, tossing most of it into the recycle bin as I walked into the house.  But not the Pottery Barn catalog.  Nope, no recycling bin for you yet, my pretty.  You, my little book of magic, are going to provide me some much needed therapy.

Isn't this a peaceful scene?

I walked into the kitchen and placed the catalog in the center of the island.  I quickly unloaded the dishwasher, put away the clean dishes, then loaded it again with the dirty.  I wiped off counters and tables (being careful not to get my prized catalog wet!) and took the catalog with me to the family room.  I placed the catalog on the coffee table and went to work: I picked up the wind-strewn papers, folded the throw blankets, put the pillows and cushions back where they belong and straightened the rug.

Then Pottery Barn and I went upstairs where I quickly made beds, put dirty laundry into hampers, threw in a load, and gazed longingly at the cover of the catalog while I folded laundry.  I put the laundry away, made a cup of Bigelow's Chai Green Tea (in my beloved Keurig, of course) and then sat down to relax.  Just me and Pottery Barn.

 I enjoyed it just as much as I thought I would.  Each page filled with beautifully photographed, beautifully layered, accessorized, and clean roooms.   Pottery Barn catalog inspires me.  Just knowing those beautiful images awaited me gave me the push I needed to set my own house to rights.  After perusing through Pottery Barn I find myself looking at collections of candles and glassware in new ways.  I will arrange pillows and blankets in different groupings, mixing patterns in a way I hadn't thought of before.  I have painted picture frames, printed out my photos in black and white, covered scraps of wood with chalkboard paint or fabric, all because of things I've seen in Pottery Barn magazine.  I don't actually own a lot of Pottery Barn "stuff."  I have a few accessories, my daughter has a lot of their bedding and a desk hutch, and many, many of my paint colors through the years have been taken directly from the Benjamin Moore Pottery Barn paint deck, but for most part it is the lifestyle they are selling that I am buying, not the actual product.  (Which is probably not music to Pottery Barn's ears but I'm just tellin' the truth here).

After 30 minutes spent in my now-clean-house, sipping chai green tea and flipping through the catalog I was completely relaxed.  I got up, actually set the table for dinner, as opposed to simply putting out plates.  I used napkin rings, brought in a centerpiece of a glass bowl filled with sand, white candles, sea glass, and shells (except for the candles all found objects from the ocean).  We had a pleasant dinner, enjoyed some dumb game shows as a family, and went to bed. 

The next day I was still inspired to move some throw pillows around from different rooms when making my bed.  The day after that I hung a shelf in my bathroom that I'd been meaning to hang.  Just this morning I grouped some picture frames differently.

I spent 30 minutes with a catalog and I didn't buy anything.  But I did get a new attitude.

What inspires yet relaxes you?


Chellie said...

I feel inspired too! Where is MY catalog??? I haven't gotten it yet and now I want to know WHY??????

Chellie said...

I feel inspired too! Where is MY catalog??? I haven't gotten it yet and now I want to know WHY??????

Beth said...

I don't know what could be delaying your catalog! This is terrible! Go to your nearest store and pick up a catalog right away, and while you're at it, browse a few minutes for a complete therapy experience.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I love the PB catalog too. I constantly steal ideas for styling my home from their pages. Last Sunday they were offering a free "styling your home" seminar, but we had plans. I would have liked to have gone to that one.

I love that a few minutes with the catalog inspired you to actually set a table with the good stuff.

Beth said...

Hey Karen, I'm ashamed to admit how infrequently I actually "set" the table. Sure, we have plates, flatware, the necessities, but I rarely try to create a true "setting."

Something to work on.