Do you ever have those thoughts when you hesitate to throw something in the trash that says, “Hey, this might be useful in an art project!” I stopped throwing things away whenever I hear that voice and now I got some pretty nifty home-made art pieces that add to the style and comfort of my home.
Let’s think of all the things the average household throws out on a yearly bases and what we could make artistically if we saved a lot of those things. One little thing I’ve been saving is the ends of incense sticks after I burn them because, who knows, with a bit of glue, some canvas and some paint those little sticks could make for a cool miniature fence or hut to make a 3D effect on my painting.
As I write this I realized there are still so many things I could make art from that we throw out every day that I haven’t even realized yet. The potential, with creativity as the driving force, is unlimited. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and it’s true especially if the guy has a creative eye out for making cool home décor pieces.
Even an old garbage can lid, if flattened out a bit, might make a nice canvas for a painting so to speak, and after painting a landscape on it you could hang it above the garage door for a rustic appeal. Or suppose that’s the last thing you’d do because you’re already coming up with some great ideas yourself.
Think of all the ways some garbage could become useful in your creative art projects. Having a little space in your home where you collect these things, so you can ponder and get creative with some arts and crafts whenever the inspiration comes, is how I love to spend some quiet afternoons. The thinks you can make in a few hours with some new idea is pretty amazing.
Finding mold growing in your attic or under the stairs is something I hope less people have to go through, especially as we develop miniature drones in the future that are able to detect signs of mold growth in our home before the mold becomes a problem for our family’s health. But we’re not there yet, and so we still rely on human professionals and remediation specialists to test and detect mold spores for us. God bless them. Now, assuming you already got your home mold problem remediated, what’s the next step?
For many home owners and renters alike, the next step after getting all your floorboards ripped up or your drywall sledge-hammered down after a full mold removal, is redesigning and restoring your living space, because comfort is important. As a professional designer I hope we can all agree on that.
Comfort is important! At least it is for those of us who aren’t burly lumberjacks, construction workers or those who are honest with ourselves. Honestly, I’m jealous of people who don’t need comfort in there lives. But I’m not here to give a lecture on how some people may find comfort in discomfort. I’m here to talk about how you, as someone who just got their home ripped apart due to mold removal, can take healthy steps to make their home not only comfortable again but unique from what it was before!
To start, before I start assuming things about you, I want to supply a real-life example. Over in Victoria, B.C., Canada, a dear friend of mine, and their family, received a full mold remediation service. Once the job was done, which they were grateful for, they saw their house in chaos. Half their drywall was in tarps in the back yard. Their floorboards were in pieces in garbage bags. They wished they could take a deep breath and watch a movie, but they knew there was no way they could ever enjoy a movie until their living room was restored and renovated into something comfortable.
The steps this family took next is the inspiration for me ever writing this blog post in the first place. What they did wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t brave. But it was very, very intelligent, and it might be exactly what you need to imitate if you’re reading this hoping to find a way to restore some comfort in your home after having the mold remediation team steamroll through everything you once held dear. Not to become dramatic or exaggerate, but this is what they did:
They hired a renovation contractor, but only after drawing up, as a family, exactly what they all agreed on what their new living room should look like in order to serve the best function each family member needed the space for. In a lot of ways, they reminded me of the Swiss Family Robinson, making lemonade out of lemons. Not only did they agree as a family on coughing up the expenses so they could hire a renovation contractor to repair their home, they all, together, agreed on what exactly the renovation contractor was going to make their living room look like. What they agreed on changed their lives forever–the functions their living room would be designed to fulfil: being a family, together.
Three daughters, each barely yet teenagers; one son, practically a grown man but yet immature; two small dogs and one big, burly cat, not to mention a loving couple, pa and ma. They all came together with a plan to paint one wall pink, one wall blue, one wall red and the last, largest wall they left alone so that they could paint it themselves–something that turned out to be a wild abstract painting of bizarre, modern sorts. New floorboards, new furniture, and by the time they had everything in order they fired the contractor because he was only slowing them down.
This example is what worked for a healthy family, but forget whoever you may be! I’m writing this as a depressed and lonely single person. With that said I can see how this strategy might work for even me and my vintage condo. Therefore, I only look at mold removal as an excuse to completely upend everything I grew to consider normal and start afresh.
So if you’re wondering what to do now that a remediation specialist is ripping apart your home, killing mold with their special mold-killing formula, I simply recommend that you take something from this beautiful example. It might be that you think it’s stupid. You might never consider firing an expertly educated renovation contractor. Or you might want to take things into your own hands and see the silver lining in the situation, because we only live once. In other words, depending on your situation, this might be your chance to start afresh.
Does being a good designer mean you’re better at planning things? The realistic answer would be “not always” but I think it should be that way. If a whole circle of people rely on you to design the next great thing but you can’t even design how your own day unfolds, it might mean you just love designing but don’t have much willpower or that you’re not a good designer at all. Maybe not though!
When you sit down at your drawing table and design something, you’re using the same part of the brain that someone like David Goggins or Jocko Willink, figures known for their supreme willpower, use when they sit down at the breakfast table and plot out what their day is going to look like. They have to visualize things, plan what’s going to go where, and it’s no different than designing a sweater in my opinion.
Maybe if you’re a designer with bad willpower you’ve been doing yourself a disservice your whole life by lying to yourself. You might tell yourself you have no control over your actions, so you procrastinate when you should be working. Stop lying to yourself about this! Realize that if you’re able to design anything, you’re able to design the perfect day for yourself.
Designing isn’t all about clothing and facades. Everything made by humans has to be designed by someone, including the thousands of things we see everyday but never think twice of, like broomsticks and rooftops. That’s why today I want to give some credit to roof design.
Architects put a lot of effort into their roofs. In a medieval cathedral, in fact, everything is built up to support the roof which is made of stone. In order to do this they need flying buttresses and ribs in the vaulted ceiling. A lot of thought and planning goes into every roof, but some more than others.
My favorite roof designs are:
Sydney Opera House
One World Trade Center
The reasons I love these roofs can each be explained in separate posts. But here today I’ll explain another not so common roof that deserves credit–the Legislative Assembly of Victoria BC also known as the Parliament Building even though Canada has their real Parliament in Ottawa. And, no, I didn’t just choose this building because it’s Canada Day today. I chose the Parliament Building because the roof is actually spectacular and holds vast history in the image itself.
You may not know this but there’s a concrete historical reason why domes are often used on government buildings, and it goes back to the Byzantium and the Hagia Sophia. To build a domed roof is one of the hardest designs to get away with and today I bet it would be very hard to find the roofer Victoria BC would need to build such a domed structure today. That’s why it’s so special, because to build a domed roof out of wood and metal today is one thing, but to do so a hundred years ago with nothing but stone is a whole other task.
In Victoria BC, the domed roof of the Parliament Building dominates the landscape of the harbor there, and people coming off the boat from Seattle are reminded of the slow and steady pace of democracy as it evolved from ancient Greece to parliaments around the world today. The history is in the architecture itself, and there’s a reason why locals cherish such old buildings and don’t have their governments in modern buildings with flat, boring roof designs.
I’m not a historian so I don’t know the history in detail but I can say this–the designs are very old and have been brought over from Europe where they were preserved by stone masons for hundreds of years.
Now, today, we can sit back in awe at the extraordinary power that such roof designs permeate out into their purlieus. So let’s enjoy this sights!
Imagine you’re sitting at your desk with a pen, you’re a famous designer with a deadline for the next fashion show. You’re trying to design a new costume when after hours of nothing an image of the perfect design pops in your head. You only see the image for a split second but that’s long enough to remember it and draw it down. You draw hastily in case you forget what you saw in your mind. The, when you stand back and think you drew enough to immortalize your spontaneous idea, you frown and think what you drew looks nothing like what you saw in your mind.
Upset, you crumple up your page, chew on your pen and go back to square one. Why didn’t this design go as planned. It’s because the human memory isn’t perfect. This example illustrates the reason why many designs fail to look like what we imagined once they’re materialized.
Another analogy of why our designs don’t always go as planned is designing our own future. Imagine a young man who designed his youth to become a salesman for his dad’s car shop. When he turns the ripe age, he finds out his dad sold the shop and retired, leaving him with no career and has to rethink his future. Stuff like this happens all the time and this brings us to our second reason designs often fail: because we can’t predict the future.
I love designing because most people have horrible taste in fashion, frankly. I think a worlds without designers would be horrible. We’re not appreciated enough. Imagine if Joe Bob from next door designed everything in the world! No wonder people need faith in God. Nature is so wonderful humans can’t possibly imitate him? Pfft! The most beautiful things in the world were slowly degraded and turned ugly by nature’s wrath, like medieval cathedrals losing bricks and the streets of Paris needing pressure washing. Nature can be pretty, but it also destroys beauty if you leave it to its course, and produces things more hideous than Lovecraft’s monsters.
To say all this more politely, I love designing because it’s the keystone of human creativity at it’s most useful function. Unlike paintings and books, designers give real world function to objects like architecture, shoes and stuff we physically use in the world everyday.
If you’re a designer then I love you unconditionally because we need more of you.