When working with a client recently, we tackled a china armoire in her dining room. We were able to remove paper, jewelry and loose change that had been dumpted there over the years. Then we decided what items would go back into the armoire. The china, candlesticks and silver made sense to me. Then my client handed me her late husband’s leather wallet and asked me to tuck it into the side of a shelf. My first thought was confusion. What is a wallet doing in a china armoire? I was afriad she was trying to “hide” the wallet so as not to deal with it.
When I asked my client about it, she said that putting the wallet in that location made sense to her because it is right behind the chair her late husband sat at when at the dining table. The wallet is not a piece she is ready to part with and having the wallet in a familiar space is comforting to her. Considering the progress we made with removing other unnecessary items from the armoire, I felt giving just a little corner to a wallet as reasonable.
I learned that it is necessary to think “outside the box” in this kind of situation. My first thoughts were, “No, this armoire is for china and kitchen items, not a wallet.” But after discussing the decision with my client, I was able to see that she had in fact thought the decision out and it did have credit. My client taught me that unconventional can work if it makes sense to the person using the space.