By Caitlin Kelly
How I love this silly design-world word!
It means “to make something more attractive“…and if you live in the Northern Hemisphere (and some of you don’t!) you’re probably pretty ready for a little hit of pretty, fresh and NOT another cold, gray day with months more of that yet to come.
A bit of novelty!
Some suggestions for a mid-winter pick-me-up:
Try a new form of exercise
Whew! I recently took a class of Barre3, a combination of ballet, yoga and isometrics that had me quickly breaking a sweat and re-discovering new/lost muscle groups. I was older than 95 percent of the students — all white, all female (held in a suburban NY town at 9:30 a.m.) and easily 50 pounds heavier.
But no matter. I tried something new and challenging, and I’m going back.
This was a splurge — but five hours’ worth! It was worth every penny
Buy some tickets to upcoming events
This weekend we’re going to a concert of Baroque music at Columbia University and on Feb. 13 I’m hearing A Roomful of Teeth, a capella group led by the youngest person to win a Pulitzer for musical composition. I also bought a tickets to our local music hall for Natalie Merchant. I need fun stuff to look forward to!
We can always use a fresh new set of pillowcases or dishtowels. I splurged at this website, on sale, for a new set of towels and four French dishtowels.
Fresh flowers or green plants
After (sob) six weeks of clinging to our fresh Christmas tree before abandoning it, it was time to add some more plant life. This week, lots of yellow tulips.
Both of these are custom-made from new fabric I found online
A cosy throw or set of decorative pillows
Nothing nicer for a nap, on the sofa or bed, than a lovely throw.
We have a few of them — cotton, wool and fleece — always within easy reach. They add color, texture and warmth.
Some favorite places for nice things are the obvious: Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. But there are also cool things at Etsy and EBay and local consignment shops. My cheapo trick for making a new cushion cover — find two napkins and stitch them around a throw cushion.
Indulge in some lovely stationery — and use it!
My business card is made by Moo, a company whose products are consistently gorgeous and well-made — thick paper stock, great designs. Every time I hand over my card, I get a compliment, so if you’re self-employed, think about the subtle message your business card (if you use them) is sending: creative, high-quality, unusually lovely.
And they’re on sale (25 percent off) for the next five days!
I also have personalized stationery and send paper greeting cards as often as possible — for condolence, sympathy, get well, new baby, new home, Christmas cards. There are amazing companies out there to find lovely paper goods, like Rifle, Papier, Paper Source. My favorite stationery store is on Magazine Street in New Orleans, Scriptura, named “the most beautiful stationery in the south.”