The first Whitespace Challenge that stood out to me was sight - altering your view, literally, in order to alter your perspective. I spend a lot of time in a fairly small space, and we're about to have guests for Brooklyn's birthday, so that seemed like a perfect place to start.
Before beauty, a mess. I took most of our art off the walls (it had been hung rather haphazardly when we first moved in, in order to get it off the floor where it was awkwardly propped) yanked some books off the shelves, and rearranged furniture. Brooklyn was exceedingly interested in what I was doing and determinedly got into everything, but Tobin was happy to practice rotations on the new empty space in the middle of our living room floor.
I adore our couch (easy-care suede, purchased from a friend who was moving to a smaller apartment), and the pair of pillows that a friend thoughtfully made for us as a wedding present. I also really like the enormous painting that was left behind by a tenant who preferred painting over paying rent, at the complex in Fayetteville that Adam did maintenance for. You can't tell in the picture, but there are gold and white beads sewn all over the grey part, making it extremely texturally interesting.
The painting had been hung a little low originally and has bugged me for the past year but I hadn't gotten around to moving it. Armed with a hammer and a small pot of spackle, I moved it up and took down the didn't-go-with-anything piece of art that was above the couch. Because that wall is one of the first things you see as you enter our apartment, I arranged four 12"x12" sheets of pretty paper with Instagram prints stuck to their centers, over the couch. Family portraits are practically impossible to coordinate (both logistically and financially), but I did manage to find decent recent pictures of each of us individually.
Besides nicely tying the painting in with the pillows, Brooklyn loves to point at the pictures and identify each of us (it also usually inspires a round of hugs - if you are reminded of someone you love, and they're there, you should hug them. I think that we would all benefit from universal adoption of this concept).
My family is important to me, and I'm grateful for them - but sometimes, between the adorably Instagrammed photos and aw-inspiring Facebook posts, in the thick of late nights and early mornings, of diapers and laundry and books read for the fourtieth time, of Losses of Freedom and Mutual Moments of Selfishness, I need to be reminded.
Beautiful dwelling is surrounding yourself with people you love - and reminding yourself that you do/should love them, when you're tempted to love yourself first.