How Do You Want to Feel?

I already notice an internal struggle as I imagine what the India pied a terre should be when it’s complete. What do we want it to bring to us? What will we need from it? Beyond the daily necessities of living, of course. How do we want it to make us feel?

This last question is where one struggle lies. While searching for inspiration, I’m loving two opposite things: 1) loads of deep and saturated contrasting colors, and 2) soft colors like layers of beige, griege, and whites punctuated with natural woods and metals.

These two options bring entirely different feelings to me. One brings great energy. The other brings restfulness.

For now I will search and share inspiration down both paths. But eventually, someday, a choice will need to be made. One way to think of solving the dilemma could be to think about the outside surroundings and the requirements of daily life:

  • Where do you go during the days and nights?
  • What’s there?
  • What does it look like, sound like, smell like?
  • What is the pace like?
  • Who is there? How many are there?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you feel most days?
  • What do you feel like you want to get away from?
  • What do you feel like you want to move toward?
  • What do you want more of?
  • What feeling do you need when you return home?

In our Chicago area home (we’re actually about 35 miles outside the city but unless you live near where we are, you’ve likely never heard of our village), we have much space and peace. We have separation from many people. We’re surrounded by mature trees, gardens and pleasing views. We chose this home specifically for what it is surrounded by. Because getting here has very relaxing elements that make you feel like you’re leaving the world of work, crowds and traffic behind — things like narrow roads and big trees creating arches over roadways, curves in roads and slight hills, winding creeks of water — once you pull in the driveway, you’re already breathing a little easier. Here, I feel like I want color in the house to deliver energy, because the surrounding environment is already slower paced, somewhat isolated, quiet and relaxing. Our living room has oranges, greens and browns. Our family room has red, black and antique golds. Contrasts. A guest room is painted paprika color. Love it!! Most walls are currently lighter and  neutral but I very strongly want to slather them with deep colors. Someday, I will.

Right now, my gut instinct is that I’ll seek more peace and restfulness in the India apartment. The stimulation of everything outside the apartment feels so great to me because I am not used to it. Although I would expect if I were in Chennai for awhile, I’d naturally acclimatize to it. The energy of the world outside the apartment may make me not want objects and colors delivering such energy inside the apartment. Then again, maybe a lack of color and energy would feel jarring and discongruent with the world around it? I don’t know, it’s all envisioning and trying to guess our needs right now. We shall see …

Actually I have collected numerous books about vastu shastra over the years and there may be some insight there …

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2 Replies to “How Do You Want to Feel?”

  1. Just one practical matter you may want to consider–it gets dusty in India. So soft, muted, colors are likely to get dirty fast! And the dust has a way of creeping in no matter how sterile you try to keep things.

    Also, I’m curious—I’ve only recently “discovered” your blog–what’s the story with the move to Chennai?–I’m sure you’ve written it up in depth somewhere, but a repost might be nice!

    PS: you may find that Leela Cyd would be able to help with a lot of questions regarding the expat experience—she and her husband spent a couple of years in South India—

    hope this helps! :)

  2. Thanks so much for the advice, GB! We are not planning to relocate permanently right now, although you never know, maybe my husband will want to return someday — he has been in the States since the mid-80’s now. His family constructed a building of flats and we have a flat on the top floor to finish now. My husband’s business will surely take him to India and Chennai more frequently for extended stays. I’d love to find a good idea for a business involving India too. I should definitely post about that in more detail although some is explained on the “About” page. Again, thank you for the tips! Deb

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