A Thing of Beauty . . . and Practical

I received my second covid vaccination shot on February 16th — what would have been my deceased dad’s 80th birthday. I can’t help but think, wonder, hope he had something to do with this. As an organ transplant recipient, I’m immune suppressed and was unsure whether or not I’d even qualify for the vaccination. Thankfully, we were a group of people being offered the immunization trial and many of us were asked to participate in a study. I jumped at the chance.

Now that my two weeks post second vaccination period has ended, I’m feeling like I’ve got more to look forward to — as you might be feeling as well. 

Just in time for Spring, what better way to get prepared to be out and about than now. Here are a few things I’m doing that you may want to engage in as well.

Upgrading by Downsizing

A dear friend and client of mine just gave me a book, Upscale Downsizing,  written by Leslie Linsley, a woman who lives in Nantucket. My friend knew I’d love the title and the content and I do. I’m living on the Cape as well in  my much smaller Boston condominium that is undergoing major renovations. Such fun! Yes and no.

I’m not repurchasing many items although I have my eyes on a vintage cane dining table and chairs that I’ll spring for and found on Facebook Marketplace. Upgrading on some items — especially as we age — I believe is really important. Most of us have waited a long time to indulge ourselves with items we may not have made sense decades ago. We’re worth it, right? Right! 

When we’re younger and have to make do with what we can afford and work for us at the time is wise. As I age, I want to surround myself with things I love looking at and also serve an important function — which is why I may be reupholstering the seats on those chairs (white seating has never been my friend)!


Editing in journalistic terms is considered to be primarily the preparation of written material for publication by correcting, condensing or changing it in some way. 

The same thing goes for editing (preparing to correct, eliminate or change) something in your home as you downsize — whether you stay put or move to smaller digs! 

It’s easy to have too many things in our homes and most times — less is more! Even Coco Chanel said “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” I couldn’t agree more. My decor mentor and dearest friend Joan once said — “it’s too much of muchness!” I love that. Editing is an essential part of refining an outfit, a room . . . a home. Just do it!


If you love something but no longer need it – chances are a friend or loved one would also love it! Host an open house gifting night and ask your nearest and dearest to attend. 

Serve nice food and drink and present the items and why they are meaningful to you and ask them if they’d like them. Understanding the sentimental value and meaning behind items you own, will inspire others to see why they’re so special and may want to incorporate them into their own homes. Gift away!


Some items are simply redundant. We don’t need multiple mixing bowls, wooden spoons and spatulas. Believe me I know. I’ve been bagging up items as I know my move to the city is fast approaching and know that my three young adult children could probably use a few of these items. 

I’m hosting a weekend on the Cape where they can come by and take what they’d like that I no longer need or want — or more importantly have a use for.

Leaving Room to Grow

Thinking about moving back to Boston after 30 years away, I know I will still have too many things for the amount of space I have. My thought is that I will go to my storage unit prior to the move to mark specific items that I do want moved. Other pieces that I know won’t fit in my new space, I’ll leave and find another way to give or donate. 

The key is to leave some room for the inevitable more beautiful or functional piece(s) I may need . . . like storage. I have three small closets in this small condo and I know the things (even after editing, gifting and donating) will not be enough for what I have, use, want and need. 

Choosing Things of Beauty

Wouldn’t it be amazing to go into your clothing closet for example (but this could apply to any cabinet or storage area you have) and absolutely love what you see and be ecstatic to put it on or use it? 

Prior to Marie Kondo suggesting an item must “spark joy,” I was advised that you want to surround yourself with “things of beauty.” When they have a utilitarian function — even better. Some things are mutually exclusive and some are not. The key is to be very conscious when making choices about purchasing things that they are things of beauty that we love and want or need. Sounds like a plan right?

As we get sprung into Spring, I hope these ideas will help you to be motivated to get out and about and after you’ve gone through this checklist, you decide where and when you want to get up and go!

I’m thinking of visiting friends in Arizona or Puerto Rico. You?


Written by Nancy Michaels. Sign up to receive her Free Decorating Resource at www.nancymichaelsinteriors.com