Following the massive response to the ‘Manrepeller’ article, the Daily Mail requested another interview for their Inspire section. Cosmo Landesman, author, journalist, raconteur, TV persona and correspondent for the over 50’s dating site Lumen was struggling to find love and couldn’t understand why.
Cosmo was also totally cynical about Interiors Therapy!
Now I love a challenge, and it was clear as we recorded the interview that simply talking about my approach, which Cosmo describes in the article as “a mix of Feng Shui, Marie-Kondo style decluttering, pop psychology, life coaching and a dash of common sense”, was not going to convince him. It was time to walk the walk.
I asked Cosmo about his art collection and the memories he attached to various pieces. In several cases, based on his answers, the picture was so evidently holding him back I suggested taking it down. Sometimes we cling to possessions out of habit and don’t really notice them on a conscious level. From experience, when they are inherited or gifts, it’s all the more difficult to see them in a detached way. Most people don’t realise their home is a reflection of the owner’s attitude, state of mind and outlook on life… when Cosmo viewed some of his possessions this way, his perspective changed and he reconsidered whether they could be moved to another location or even had a place in his future.
We took time to look at each room, discussing the impact of holding onto items which reminded him of the past, and identified how the most important elements of Cosmo’s life and his plans for the future were being stunted by his accumulated clutter.
The concept of Interiors therapy is always to be surrounded by things you need, love and use. So if you love your art, books or indeed anything else, keep it. If there is something which brings you down – don’t! Interiors therapy is about living in a home which nurtures and supports you, not living in a sterile box with nothing to stimulate the mind.
Even just spending a couple of hours moving, sorting and gently clearing things changed the ambiance noticeably. Cosmo’s wit and charm sparkled and he’s obviously going to be a fabulous husband for the right lady.
The next evening Cosmo rang me, “I hate you” he said, stunning me to rare silence, “I hate you because you were right. I’ve been clearing since before breakfast, I have so much energy, loads of stuff has gone, you’ve changed my life forever”.
Phew! A cynic no more!
A week later I was invited back. Cosmo triumphantly showed me the previously overburdened coat stand. “This hook is for you” he said “there is always somewhere for you to hang your coat when you visit”. Art had moved or disappeared, new lamps had materialized in the bedroom and living room, the bedside tables were devoid of the dust and detritus which had previously seemed rooted there. The kitchen was transformed and the bathroom cleared of the books balanced precariously on the cistern and the side of the bath. Photos of ex girlfriends, ex wives and former friends which had hung on the wall in the feng shui ‘helpful friends/travel’ area of the living room had gone and Cosmo had replaced damaged photo frames and moved treasured family pictures to the more appropriate feng shui family and ancestors area. Although Cosmo was quick to say he still had work to do, the room felt more attractive and welcoming.
Whoever the cultured and discerning lady who ultimately captures Cosmo’s heart may be, let me just say there is now space for you to live, love and laugh in his life!
I’ll finish this post by saying how much I enjoy being part of Cosmo’s conversion to an appreciation of Interiors Therapy and by quoting his own words;
“Suzanne talks a lot of sense. Like when she tells me: ‘The reason you are single and 64 and doing the things you do is because all your books and art and pictures . . . they’re holding you in the past.’
She’s right. These things are all like props that keep me playing the same role in the same play that is my life. To allow for a new storyline to emerge — one involving someone else — I have to change the setting.
Since Suzanne’s visit, I’m like some mad Stepford housewife, forever cleaning, changing around furniture and taking bags of books and DVDs to the charity shop.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that making these changes in my home — and, more importantly, in my head — will lead to love. But one thing is for certain. My flat is no longer a woman-repeller, and I haven’t been so happy in ages.”