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Hello Readers,

Scanning through my FB feed this morning, I found it riddled with spoilers about GoT. I scrolled even faster to try not to see anything because I am looking forward to binge-watching the whole season in one go. Then there were the posts about the top grosser Avengers: Endgame. I’ve seen the film so I was cool with those. And even though I knew I was being played (aka marketing tactic, peeps), I liked that video with Robert Downey, Jr. + 2 thanking the Filipinos for being the biggest fans of MCU in Southeast Asia.

Here at home, there have been lots of articles about the upcoming elections, China loans, earthquakes, Canadian trash, Spratlys, war on drugs, etc. Hard to find something equally bombastically hopeful in this stew! In any case, prepare for the elections this coming May 13 and exercise your right to vote. Here’s a good guide on how to prepare for the May 13, 2019 elections.

Then there were the same old rant-deserving news about politicians here, there and everywhere. Popping out of all that, was news I want to remember about 16-year old Greta Thunberg and her exhortation to world leaders to “PANIC! OUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!” Also important for me was David Attenborough delivering a speech to the IMF about his latest documentary series Our Planet, which shows that global climate catastrophe is inevitable if we don’t act now to address climate change and habitat loss. Watch that if you have Netflix! There was news today that those biodegradable plastic bags have been found to still carry a full load of groceries after being in the soil for three years. So much for biodegradable. Bring your own reusable bags, shoppers!

There were the usual dog and cat videos in my timeline. Aww. I need those to bring down my heart rate.

Rant about Interior Trends

That above is just the first 30 minutes. I moved on to scan what is happening in the worlds of interior design, architecture and coatings.

What’s in? What’s out? (Me:) Really?
Why is midcentury so popular? Is it still?
New materials. Hope they’re sustainable.
100+ Bedroom decorating ideas you’ll love. Isn’t that 99+ too many?
The cutest tiny house kitchen. That’s not a priority if you cook!
Why IKEA furniture is so satisfying. When is that opening in Manila again?
Nine simple decor tricks. Why don’t you just round it up to 10?
2019 Color of the Year. Puhleeze, Boysen’s got 24!

That’s just a sample of what I wade through every.single.day. I still enjoy reading some articles but with global carbon emissions reaching a record high in 2018, I sometimes wonder if beautifying our homes is really useful. After a split second of deep thought there, what comes bubbling up is a resounding yes! or YES! Better yet ⬇

What Does Home Sweet Home Mean to You?

What’s Home Sweet Home to You?

If you’ve got a home, a roof over your head, no matter how modest it is, be thankful because having a home is a luxury. Can you imagine waking up to a dystopian world where half the population disappeared, many broken things around you, empty streets, trash piled high or blown by the wind? Sorry, I’m still stuck with Endgame. Or can you imagine if you don’t have a home at all, no place to call your own, except perhaps a piece of carton in front of a roll up door on a sidewalk somewhere?

In any case, what I’d like to say here after my comments above is that most interior trends are just guidelines, or sometimes even just suggestions on how you can beautify your home. Beauty is also a very personal thing so you’ve got to listen to yourself. Interior design tips and advice could be best practices of what is possible today, including materials that are available to offer solutions to your building needs, for example. At worst, they are opinions cloaked as industry benchmarks from so-called “experts”.

Use the services of professionals if you have the budget

What Does Home Sweet Home Mean to You?

Before interior designers and architects misunderstand en masse what I am saying here, let me make it clear that I am not denigrating their profession or expertise or skills. If I have the budget for it, I would definitely want someone as a competent discussion partner and a knowledgeable guide in redesigning my home.

When I renovated my current home, I enjoyed having an architect to take care of the whole thing – to run me through the process of renovation including layout, the removal of a wall, choice of materials, furniture, fixtures, pre-selected paint color palette for the walls, and the coordination with the builder who had his own challenges with building permits, logistics, high turnover of workers, theft, and more.

If ever I buy another home, or renovate this one, I am going to afford having the expertise, skills, experience and taste of an architect, in particular this one whom I’ve worked with actually because I respect him a lot and he listens to me.

Is DIY your way forward?

BUT, and that’s a big but, if you are going to do your own interior decorating because you are a DIY diva or divo whose tastes you trust, then I ‘d say go for it. With all the information available to you, you cannot go hopelessly wrong, unless you want to touch structural stuff. For that I’d say, don’t. NOT.AT.ALL. If you just want to (re)paint your walls, then use this blog to get you going. There are lots of technical advice and color inspirations. Choosing furniture, furnishings, styles? Yup, yup, and yup. That’s all ok. You’ve got a lot of resources like social media sites and countless online magazines on home and design.

In the end, all that really matters for all of us who want to beautify our homes is to go deep inside ourselves and find out what home means to us. Trawl through our memories and pick out those shining moments that make us feel warm, soft, safe and comfortable. What did our homes look like then? What tangible thing in our homes brought about that feeling? I find that pictures help a lot in discovering how we want our homes to look and feel. They may be photos of homes we had before, or even those you find in the internet, books and magazines.

An Oasis in a Chaotic World

Greta said, “We all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations. Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.”

Our home Planet Earth is the only planet we will ever have. All of us have to do our share in bringing it back to health. With all the challenges and problems we’re faced with today, looking at the big picture is overwhelming. I always think, “Teka, teka muna, mahina ang kalaban.” So I bring it back to home, to me, what can I do to help? Never mind if it doesn’t seem enough. Sort my garbage? Not waste water? Not waste food? Eat less meat? Use the fan instead of the aircon? Walk short distances? Bring my own container for take-out? Bring my own shopping bag? Share what I have? Recycle? Stop buying things I don’t need? I fail in some things but I get better incrementally. One step at a time.

I’m reposting our Earth Day video for 2017 because it’s as relevant now as it was two years ago.

Why did I give a resounding yes to beautifying our homes? It’s because it’s also a sustainable way to live by taking care of the things that we have. We are and have been for a long time living in a throw-away society where we are brainwashed to consume more, buy more, even to buy status, personality, belonging. Look at the things being sold like gadgets. Planned obsolescence is designed into them to shorten their lifespan and we have to buy new ones, newer models perhaps, as replacements.

Let’s cherish our homes. They are our oases in this chaotic world. Let’s maintain them, keep them clean, repair what’s broken as soon as possible, give them an updated look. Unless you are faced with plumbing, electrical or structural issues, most things can be done through DIY.

Today, let’s take care of our homes. Tomorrow our communities and then … But let’s leave that for another time.

Right now, here’s a blessing for you, which I borrowed from the Irish.

May you have walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, and drinks beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all that your heart might desire.”

Have a beautiful day!

 

Annie H Adlawan
Author

Annie is an unrepentant workaholic, who runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions. She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special.

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