The Why

Posted by Joanna Van Vleck on

I am sitting here on a Saturday, tucked into the corner of my white, linen, down stuffed sofa. The view through the weathered wood, bay windows is overcast and rainy. Perched on the second floor of this old Victorian home turned apartments, today there is no other place I’d rather be sitting. There is a hum of the cars going by, the occasional music from the birds outside and the scent of the sandalwood that I burned this morning. 

Many ask me about the “why” of Organic Erotic. Why is it important to have your space feel good? What about the aesthetic and what it looks like? I began my journey many years ago obsessed with the way my home looks. I had the perfect Instagram worthy, one bedroom apartment situated on a oneway alley in Pac Heights, San Francisco. I spent hours curating the perfect curtains and couch pillows. My oversized bed had many throw blankets and color coordinated pillows that I would perfectly pile on the floor each night before bed. Before I had guests over I would scurry about ensuring that each piece was just so, but it lacked depth. It lacked the layers of feeling, the meaning, the things that would elicit a feeling from those that came over to spend time with me. I curated, only for the wrong thing, aimed in the direction of up, focused on the surface, rather than in, towards the felt sense. 

I began a personal path of Eros, of learning how to feel. Not only the good. I wanted to feel the whole range of it. I wanted a life that was vibrant and nuanced. One that revealed more of who I am each step of the way. As I began to feel more inside of me, my environments became ever more important. It was less important what they looked it. It was more important that they resonated with how I felt on the inside. My space became a reflection for my interior, a sanctuary to sit inside of, not only inside of myself, but that feeling in the here and now, in my home. 

Slowly, small daily rituals began to take shape. I wanted a fresh scent in the air each morning as I did my sitting meditation. I began to burn incense, because it was too short a time to light a candle as I was trying to get out the door. This became a ritual that my senses relied on to ground into the hustle and bustle of the day. I came home at night often tired and a bit wound up. I would light a candle. Somehow the slow burn of the wick and the soft scent that filled my room opened my body back to the place I was in the morning. I began my love of plants. The burst of green against a white wall, magically filling a space more beautifully than any piece of furniture ever could. I love the draping plants, the ones that overflow out of the pot, down onto the table it sits on. I bought curtains specifically for the light. Did I want more light coming through these windows? Less light? My determining factors became aligned with how to have more access to nature, not what color matched my sofa. 

I inhabited the space. I found that when it felt good, when my focus was down and in, I wanted to be there more. There was a natural slowing down that occurred in my home. The scents, the soft pieces that brush my leg, all of it reminded me to slow down enough to exhale, to enjoy. I created a bed that felt good to me day and night. I let go of my need to pile up the pillows that were only for looks on the floor each night and emptied them. I now have a bed with soft, down filled pillows that I sleep on each night. Lo and behold, they look good when my bed is made too. 

I learned that our senses are practical. When we let them lead, we end up with simple, nothing extra design. Our senses want more space, not less. More place to exhale, not less. 

My dream is as a culture we no longer talk in terms of what our homes look like. Instead, we build a revolution of those who want their environment to feel good. We share photos on instagram that captures the felt sense of our spaces, not the cardboard, cut from a catalogue, look good we've known for years. The end result is a softer, more open environment to inhabit as you. 


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