I love the magic in transforming a space that is rather dull and drab into a warm, cozy and uplifting environment that has some twinkle to it, and that I actually look forward to spending time and relaxing in.
There's something a bit mysterious in the act of that kind of transformation, something that causes me to tap into a more creative side of myself in order to see the beautiful potential in something rather, well... unbeautiful—the “diamond in the rough”.
Our detached garage is quite old (as is our house) and is a space in which we store some of our odds and ends rather than our cars.
Our little family has done well to keep excess clutter to a minimum in our garage, as we go in from time to time to toss things out and to reorganize some boxes we have in there and a few pieces of furniture. We've put back into rightful places the tools and the gardening items that get taken out occasionally and left on the work bench.
And a little over a year and a half ago, we decided to make the front section of the garage into a sort of “sitting area”, a sliver where there's a little table with several chairs around it where we can sit in the evenings during the warmer spring/summer/early fall months, and enjoy a nice beverage—a little cocktail or a cup of tea or coffee—and perhaps where my husband and son (when he visits with us) can even enjoy a cigar together.
The memories we all have formed out there in that little space have been truly fond ones, memories that include lots of deep, open and honest conversation, sharing hopes and dreams, and sharing lots of laughs and even some tears just reminiscing or chatting about life.
It's our favorite space to go into on Friday evenings, after sunset in particular, that time when the sun has just about gone down and the sky begins to take on a deep blue that then gives way to a luminescent glow of the moon and stars, that mystical and magical time.
...it held a hope for that much more connection between us all, for even richer conversation, and for even more vivid and amazing memories to be formed.
We've learned to associate coming out into our garage—our little “outdoor cafe”— with our weekends, as that seems to be the best time to go unwind and sit a spell, and become a bit more carefree and loose.
It is warm and inviting, albeit quite shabby and well-worn as we've just used some older lawn chairs and other items that were already in there, draping some tiny lights around the perimeter for added glow and effect, along with a few candles and several small Moroccan-style hanging lanterns—not sophisticated by any means, but quite charming nonetheless.
But recently, when my hubby Michael and I decided to do a little clean-up and uplift that environment, we ended up deciding, spur of the moment, to go to IKEA to look around for little inexpensive ways (we gave ourselves a max budget of $100) in which to make that space cozier and more inviting.
We purchased a large floor rug for a fresher feel, along with a new round glass table, slightly larger than the previous one, for us to use to place our drinks and a few finger-foods onto, a new string of Edison-style light bulbs, and a couple of new candles to brighten things up.
We beautified the not-so-beautiful, gussied up our old garage, and the pleasure and awe we felt because of it hit a deep note within us we didn't expect that it would, struck a chord that tickled our spirits and warmed our hearts more than we realized that it might.
When everything was “just so” and we lit the new candles, lit the new Edison bulbs and sat down to behold our work, we just sighed and drank it all in, and rejoiced in the little things that life offers to help raise our spirits.
And raise our spirits that newly freshened-up little space did indeed!
It offered hope of even more comfort and coziness, even more desire to come out and enjoy it; and in that, it held a hope for that much more connection between us all, for even richer conversation, and for even more vivid and amazing memories to be formed.
It feels pretty splendid to beautify something a bit dingy and lack-luster, and to find a greater potential and purpose for it; to polish up the proverbial patina, to sweep out the dust and cobwebs, and add in some sparkle and, well... some magic.
Here's to finding and bolstering the beauty in those places and spaces that we don't expect to find it—after all, that seems to be the space where God's light shines brightest.
Taste what's good and pass it on.