Last November I took a business trip to China. I went there because the professional designer "me" was needed, however to my surprise the personal "me" was profoundly impacted.
While I was in China, I visited both Hong Kong and a city called Shenzhen (45 minutes from Hong Kong via water taxi) on the mainland. During this trip it became quite apparent that Hong Kong was all about consuming, and Shenzhen was all about manufacturing.
Shimmering and sparkling, yet cluttered in EVERY nook and cranny of the streets of Hong Kong, were shops, stores and boutiques selling every conceivable thing we stuff into our lives.
In contrast was Shenzhen, a city where pollution is constantly spewed out of the thousands and thousands of factories located there. The pollution was so bad that I could literally and easily look directly into the sun in the middle of the day. At one point we drove over a river that was so polluted it was thick and black as tar. (I am NOT exaggerating.) The sad part is Shenzhen is just one of the multitude of manufacturing cites throughout the world that makes the material goods we "need" in our consumer society.
Upon returning to the states, I came to a full circle moment... when I started to reflect on all I had expirienced and thinking about how it affects my job as a home stager.
I came to realize that in this age of consumption, its kind of odd that stager's job is to "transition" a home back to simpler view. Basic to staging is de-cluttering the mass amount of consumer "stuff" that has built up in a house. In fact, if staging is done well and timed right, the seller can make more money on the sale of their home... which they might use to go out and buy more "stuff".
But now, due to my trip, and if I have it my way... people that use our staging services will begin to look at their lives and their desire for stuff in a new way. I hope to show people, whose homes we transform, that a beautiful home does not need to be STUFFED full of useless consumer junk. I hope to share with all our clients the fundamental lesson something EVERY interior designer is taught early on in their design education... "Less is More"
But now, because of my trip to 2 cities in China, I realize our planet's life depends on less being MORE.
Green It Forward...