Monday, April 7, 2014

Accessorizing For My Chronic Pain

Design is important. Okay, so it's not as important as food, shelter and safety but it certainly plays a big role in how we feel and the way we react to objects and our environment. As my thoughts have turned to decorating the interior of our new house I've run into a bit of a dilemma. You see, I subscribe to the notion that a well accessorized room can really make a big difference. It adds visual interest and is the finishing touch that makes a nice room look amazing.

No doubt the books, vases, plants, pillows and other collected items add a great deal of interest in this picture. I love it. I really do. But as I think about what sort of accessorizing I want to do in the various rooms around my house I'm really torn between my love of accessorizing and my desire to live more simply so that I can better manage maintaining our home as a person living with chronic pain.

For example. Our master bathroom is likely to be the first room I tackle. Right now it is very basic. There is a vanity, mirror, one towel rack, tub and toilet. I would like to add another towel rack and some shelves. I would like to accessorize the shelves with pretty soaps, bath salts, body sponges and other pretty bath like items. I would also like to place a vase with some eucalyptus on the vanity - I love eucalyptus.

I get this pretty picture in my head of how I want it to look and almost as quickly as the image appears I start thinking about what a pain in the butt it will be to try to keep all this crap dusted and clean. After all I barely have the energy, even on the best of days, to do the basic cleaning stuff. Part of me fears that I won't be able to keep it all looking nice.

Further complicating my thoughts on the matter is my desire to really simplify. As much as I believe beauty for the sake of beauty is worth while, I feel this inner desire to just keep things simple. I want to accessorize with items that have utility and find a way to beautify the everyday items around the house and coordinate them with the larger space. No sooner do I feel this desire and suddenly I remember how comforting and pleasant it is to be around items that are just beautiful.

Some Final Thoughts
Design magazines, books and shows tend to accessorize using generic things like empty boxes, vases, books with fancy covers that nobody is going to read, statues and trays with a random collection of stuff on them. While this can make for beautiful pictures I don't know that it takes into account the living that happens in a home. It makes no sense to me to place a tray of random stuff on a bench or at the foot of my bed just because it looks nice there. IF you have a bench at the foot of your bed or in your entryway then keep it clear so that it can be used as a bench. Otherwise, why bother with the bench at all?

Whatever the accessories end up being, I want my home to be personal and specific to us. That means taking into account our taste, our lifestyle and even my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. It's official, there is not a single part of my life that isn't effected by living with chronic pain.


  1. This completely resonates with me! I'm in the same situation. My husband really desires simplicity and function, while I tend to like layers of accessories. But, it's not practical at this point for me to maintain. So, I'm trying to balance the need for beauty and comfort, and ease of maintenance... especially since so much of my time is spent inside my home... it needs to be a sanctuary.

    1. I'm so glad to hear I am not alone in this. Thanks Jamie!