Tara lived in a small one bedroom apartment in the center of town. Tara was an artist and a student at a nearby Zen monastery. She made enough to pay her bills and take care of her essential needs. She had a broad knowledge of native arts and the natural materials used to create a vast color pallet. Amy was intrigued and the two of them met later for coffee. Amy boasted a bit about how she could turn any space into a place of beauty. Tara smiled and nodded before asking if she had ever seen a place that was perfect as it was. Amy stated that she would return to her greatest interior design successes and always find something more that could be done.
Tara invited Amy back to her little apartment earnestly interested in seeing what she thought could be done to improve the tiny space on a modest budget. Amy loved a challenge and happily went along. When they got to the outside of the building Amy could see she would have her work cut out for her. The building was crammed between two others offering no light from the north or south. She started thinking about that as they climbed the stairs. They went to the top floor, four stories above the street. Tara opened the door and stood aside for Amy to enter.
Amy walked in and stood in the front hall. The space opened up in front of her like a garden. There were no paintings on the wall, no shiny stainless steel. The space was nearly empty except for simple wood furniture, fabrics in earth tones and plants. Tara had created an indoor garden with bamboo, ficus, palms, flowers and plants. Her little space had a water fountain bubbling in the corner. The walls looked like fern covered cliffs and the bed was tucked in a nook that felt like a grotto. It was a sanctuary of simplicity and for the first time in her life Amy had nothing to offer.
There was a glass with a single rose sitting on the table by the bed. The red was brilliant against the green ferns tumbling down the wall. Amy was speechless and from that day on dedicated herself to simplicity of design and the use of what nature had to offer.