The demon aesthetic perfection…

Do you see what I see?  When I walk into any space, I see what it could be...

Do you see what I see? When I walk into any space, I see what it could be…

Aesthetics:  “Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance.”

Perfection: “The action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible.”

For those of us driven by aesthetic perfection, nothing in our space is ever done or finished. Nor is there any such thing as “perfect”.  Nothing is ever “good enough” to be left alone.  Everything can still be tweaked, changed, rearranged, moved a fraction of an inch this way or that way…driven by that mad desire to see your living/work space as aesthetically perfect goes beyond organizing it.

“Hi, I’m Gayle and I am an aesthetic perfectionist.”  I am not alone, there are famous aesthetic perfectionists: Barbra Streisand and Ellen DeGeneres come immediately to mind.

I can tell you when this became the driving force of my life and planted the seed of my becoming a professional organizer.  In the 80’s, I lived and worked in San Francisco.  I was a consulting bookkeeper then, and one of my clients was renown interior designer, Billy Gaylord. Billy was quite a character, to say the least, and he was the designer of choice of every SF socialite family, and many in LA and NY.  What I learned from Billy was that I liked working with interior designers, so I started specializing in their world…and it was not for the faint of heart, because the financial shenanigans in that world could fill volumes.  Working with Billy lead to working with several other male designers…and I’ll stop dropping names at this point.

Eventually, I ended up working with a really good female designer, who was not only a wizard with furniture, fabrics and art, but who had a most extraordinary eye for color and details.  She taught be how to see the world aesthetically.

I lived in a small one bedroom basement apartment and one day decided that I had to do something about the way the place looked.  So I went on a tear to redecorate…on a “Cost Plus/Pier One” budget.  I managed to pull the place together in such a way that I thought it might be acceptable to invite her over for lunch.  The poor woman must have been in shock, but she gamely accepted my invitation.

That lunch lead to her spending a bit of time rearranging my place, and choosing a new color scheme for my walls, and to my ripping out the centuries old carpet and painting the floor underneath.  The end result was a revelation of how good a few gallons of paint and the right window coverings could make a space look.  Not to mention what you can do with a bookcase and some wicker baskets.

At any rate, it sunk in.  In my own little way, I got it, or at least enough of it to lead me to where I am today, organizing and staging.  There is always something else you can do, always something else you can find or buy, always another way to rearrange a space…and it never ends and it’s ever expanding in its need to be satisfied.

There are books to buy and blogs to follow and artists to be studied and shops to see and places to go to…and money to be spent.  And when it’s done, you move, and start it all over again, because as any perfectionist can tell you, you can’t take your old stuff into a new space and expect it work just right.

Not to mention the changing taste and times…keeping things “fresh” by being able to blend your old stuff with some new stuff…that’s the real art of it.

I am still severely limited in talent and budget.  There’s only so much I can do…but I don’t let that stop me from getting up at 3am to move that vase from the left to the right, because it just might look so much better there.

This is the way I saw it...

This is the way I saw it…


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