I used to think for the longest time that decorating - be it your home or your balcony or for an event or, if you want to interpret this even further, using accessories with your outfit - was feminine and thus whimsical, emotion-based, and stupid. I was a tomboy growing up and while I was good at things like math and physics, I felt kind of embarrassed of the fact that I was good at languages as well. Then I went and got myself a master's degree on a dominantly male field.
When I first moved out from my childhood home into my own and one of my relatives came to visit, they looked around and noted out loud that I obviously didn't have the desire to make the place like home. It was a weird statement - I still have warm memories of the place, even though I only lived there for a year - but I suppose I understand what they meant. I had simply just got a random bunch of essential items, all white, from Ikea, and combined them with the dark mahogany wooden furniture I'd taken with me from my childhood home.
Years (and one other apartment) later, when I moved to the home where I live now and where I'm sitting right now by the dinner table, writing this article and sipping my morning coffee, something happened. For some time after the move, the place didn't look like a home. I could notice it. We had too much stuff and all in random places. The arrangement of the furniture didn't work. And it was all too white for my liking.
Apparently, some whimsical, emotion-based, stupid feminine side of me had awaken, because I decided something had to be done. And so, I convinced my partner we should paint one large white wall dark purple. He agreed and we did it.
It totally transformed the place, and to this day that purple wall is my favorite part of our home. Since then, I've also started using more throw pillows and mirrors and rugs and paintings in the decor and also changing fabrics according to seasons. With all this, our home has transformed from that blank white space into the coziest place I ever lived in - the most home home I've had - with bursts of color that really testify that this is
my our home, not some random place we sleep and keep our stuff.
A few weeks back, I took it to the next level and, with the help of a friend, decorated our huge balcony. And it turned out totally awesome! From the wooden floor tiling that keeps your feet from touching the cold concrete underneath to the ambient lighting to the furniture to the plants, it no longer is just empty space. It's now an aesthetic place where we can sit and enjoy sunrises and sunsets, smelling and hearing the summer. And come fall, I shall sit there, covered with a blanket, with a hot cup of tea, in a darkening evening, listening to the rain. (Overly romantic description is overly romantic.)
Because guess what I've learned? Just because decorating your home isn't necessary, it doesn't mean it's not beneficial. You're making your living space a sanctuary. Yes, it might be feminine, but why should that be a bad thing? While male characteristics are attributed to reason and consciousness, feminine characteristics tap into something deeper, something wilder and more intuitive, within the subconscious. It might sound whimsical and something not based on reason, but that doesn't mean it's not based on anything. The things in your mind that are below the immediate surface could have a reasoning of their own.
Embrace the femininty within. Just because you don't understand how it works, doesn't mean it's not valuable.