For the first real post of the new year, I’ve turned the blog over to my good friend, my partner in crime, interior designer extraodinaire, Mr. Brandon Smith.
They’re over. They’re finally over. The holidays that is. Although the holidays is that one time of year that the aroma of pot roast meanders through my house, when my social calendar looks like an abstract art piece of parties and engagements, when bags of goodies appear in every corner of the house waiting for the d.coop touch of paper and ribbon and ornaments; this is the is the time of year that I enjoy the most. I know that most people send out Christmas and Thanksgiving cards but this is the time of year that I sit down to pen notes of best wishes and thanks to my family, my best friends, and those people who’ve really touched my life positively in some way.
There was once a time when I’d do the store bought thing; trying to make a “One size fits all” holiday card work for my notes of good riddance. I learned a long time ago that as nice as it is to receive a Christmas card with “Happy holidays” scribbled out in an Edwardian font, there is nothing more warmly received then a handwritten note of thanks, of greetings, of warm wishes. Be it on wonderfully handmade stationery like that of Write Robinson, a postcard from the random city that you might be living, or just a plain white piece of typing paper. Friends and Family love a hand written note.
For me, I have saved most of the notes that I’ve received. I’m no hoarder mind you, just in my mind, I believe that someone took time out of their busy day to put down especially for you a little piece of them. As funny as it might seem, I actually have framed, on my desk, the card that came with the first Valentine’s Day flowers I received from my Other Half. Sure it was computer printed and a little crumpled but for me, it meant everything. You know how the experts tell you to have a five- and ten- minute list in the case of a fire? That very card would be in both of those lists.
Anyway, I’m a busy guy. Between my work as an interior designer, my social media habits, and several other up and coming endeavors, it isn’t easy to sit down and put my thoughts on paper. Often times my notes consist of a loving Tweet, a Facebook post, a text message, or even just a quick phone call. Every day it becomes increasingly more difficult. Sometimes the hardest part isn’t even carving out the time. Many times taking the time to actually write is the easier of the tasks. In reality I believe the hardest part is in creating the right environment.
Let me tell you about my own desk. It is a big white farmhouse table with two computers, three printers, a library’s worth of books, and multiple lacquer trays filled with client requests, samples and other odds and ends. If you know me, you know I’m easily distracted. I don’t mean “oh hi there, now let me get back to work”. I mean one Google search and I’ve wasted three hours and can’t remember where I put my shoes. So for me, having the right environment in which to write is key.
I’m tempted to have a separate desk just for my stationery. A secretaire perhaps. A tall French spectacle with a welcoming presence. A myriad of little drawers and pigeonholes calling me closer, begging me to sit down at it’s drop front and pen a few notes of gratitude.
A simple ladies writing table maybe. Just a clean surface with sinuous legs and a stretcher to rest my feet. Pure simplicity. No extraneous storage or nooks and crannies to hide bills and other distractions. I could imagine getting wrapped up in the calming environment she provides and doing nothing more than exploring a few thoughts on paper.
Either way, it should be somewhere that the task of writing a note is not so much a task. Not a distraction. But a pleasure. A moment in one’s day that fulfils something deeper than just a check mark on an imaginary to-do list. For now I continue to take that moment at my cluttered desk but one day, I’ll have my special corner.
Brandon Smith is principal of the San Diego based spatial design company D.Coop. Focusing on sustainable, workable and budget friendly design, he provides In The Box solutions to Out of the Box questions. You can follow him on Twitter @dcoopsd or on his wildy popular blog A D.Coop Bloggie.