For my second installment of the annual year-end Lessons Learned Series, I pulled a handful of highlights from the columns that have been published over the last six months of 2021. These insights, gleaned from numerous interviews inspiring and informative, span the gamut of life-changing magic from folding to entertaining a horde to creating a cave for football fans.
In July, the second half of the year kicked off with the launch of my latest book, âWhat to Do With Everything You Have to Leave the Legacy You Wantâ (The Experiment Publishing), which was not my idea. Honestly, I hadn’t thought beyond the kind of downsizing that involves emptying an older relative’s house or clearing up your own. But an editor came to me with the idea of ââwriting the ultimate guide to downsizing.
“So you want a book that goes beyond people’s wallets for their possessions?” ” I asked. “And it tells us how to create a plan in our lifetime so that our assets benefit others when we aren’t.” Yes. And I learned a lot.
â¢ Course: It’s not just what you leave, but how you leave it that matters. Whether you are young, old, single, married, mixed or upset, rich or modest, every adult should have a plan. It can be the difference between leaving a meaningful legacy and leaving a mess.
In August, I broached the life-changing subject ofâ¦ folding. You laugh, but bending is up there with piety, neatness and making your bed. Done consistently, the folding brings serenity and calm to spaces that in most households resemble rat nests.
â¢ Course: Folded items take up less space, are less wrinkled, are easier to find and easier to remove, and look better. To catapult your folding to pro status and calm chaotic linen closets and drawers, practice the art of three. Fold everything you can into thirds lengthwise, so the side edges fold inward to create three even layers. Then fold it the other way to make it fit your space. Store items with the thickest folded edge facing out or up and the free edges toward the wall or bottom of the drawer.
In September, I witnessed a painting company’s Color of the Year 2022 reveal by participating in a virtual cooking class with a celebrity chef. The Behr Paints Marketing Team invited me and other in-home writers to the Virtual Unveiling with Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone. The Chef’s Angle (palette, palate, do you understand?) Stone took the group through a demonstration of how to make a 15-ingredient salad, as I desperately tried to keep up. At the end of the demo, Stone’s nifty salad was colorfully mixed into a masterpiece, while my ingredients weren’t even in the same bowl. But I had a story …
â¢ Course: The story wasn’t Behr’s COTY, a shade of silvery green called Breezeway (MQ3-21). The story was that in a rare stroke of unanimity, almost all of the major paint brands also chose a soft medium green for its Color of the Year. PPG named Olive Sprig (PPG1125-4), Farrow & Ball named Breakfast Room Green (No. 81) and Sherwin-Williams named Evergreen Fog (SW 9130). In other words, 2022 is shaping up to be the year of the mixed green salad.
In October, seven sisterhood sisters came from five states and invaded the Happier Yellow House. The four-day visit, which my husband affectionately referred to as the blitzkrieg, sparked swift action. Suddenly all of the house plans we had dropped due to pandemic procrastination (no one is coming anyway) became evident.
â¢ Course: All the times I told you to stop worrying about how your house looked and having people in your house, that was hogwash. The difference between getting your house ready for, say, dinner, and getting it ready for a group of guests for the night, is like the difference between having your car washed and detailing it. Too many times I’ve walked across this business feeling like I’ve missed all the fun. This time I decided to make sure everyone is having a good time, including me. I assigned tasks, accepted help, and took time to reload, which made hosting the horde a lot less work and had more fun.
In November, I discovered an underground football craze, the Fan Cave. A story featuring the top 10 NFL-inspired basement fan caves captured the intersection of America’s pigskin obsession and interior design. Talk about fantasy football. These basement game rooms are muscle boosters themed rooms. Broncos fan Devin Hayes, of Westminster, Colo., Decorated his own with navy blue and orange Broncos walls, Broncos chairs, a 55-inch flat screen, bar, smart TV with surround sound, and showcases for show the team’s loot. He has plans for expansion.
â¢ Course: The efforts of a passionate person to express themselves through home design know no bounds.
In December, I said goodbye to a dear friend and colleague. My old leather office chair and I had been through a lot together. For 25 years, I have counted on his support, on his welcoming arms. Together we have written seven books, hundreds of articles and over a thousand of these weekly columns. She always had my back and my back. But when I found another more suitable chair and updated my desk with a sleek new chair in white leather and chrome, I made the difficult choice of finding a beloved new home in the old chair. .
â¢ Course: As uncompromising as I am in telling you to drop furniture that you no longer need, I too get attached irrationally. Delivering beloved items to a deserving home takes the sting out. In this case, the chair went to a young mother and writer who hoped to be published someday. May the force be with her.
Thank you for joining me on this weekly trip.
Marni Jameson is the author of six books on the home and lifestyle, including ‘What To Do With Everything You Own To Leave The Legacy You Want’, ‘Shrink Down The Size Of The Family Home -‘. At home – When two households become one. You can reach her at marnijameson.com.