Life Style

PROULX: Nest like the late Carrie Fisher

Shuan Proulx says we should all take decor and nesting lessons from the late Carrie Fisher. DISNEY

Shuan Proulx says we should all take decor and nesting lessons from the late Carrie Fisher. DISNEY

SHAUN PROULX/ 24 HOURS

Treasures from the home of the late Carrie Fisher were sold at auction Sept. 24, with partial proceeds benefiting mental health charities.

Fisher's brash authenticity radiated throughout her Hacienda-style Beverly Hills home, a couple miles from where I am stationed in Los Angeles writing this. To be in her space was to celebrate Carrie Fisher realness.

As Canada gets set to cocoon in coming months, here are decor tips to make your nest more authentically you, inspired by a woman in a galaxy far, far away:

Tip #1: Who Lives Here?

When someone enters your home, can they tell immediately it's "you" (or "you and your partner/family")? Anyone can do ticky-tacky knick-knacks from big-box decor stores - but do you shine through? Fisher loved the colour purple and used it abundantly. Maybe it's not your taste, nor is it mine (though purple is my favourite colour) but it was Fisher's liking, so she did it, adding in bright vivid blues, and cloud wallpaper on her bedroom ceiling. (My home office is orange with brown trim because I like pretending I work inside an Hermes box.)

Tip #2: Tell A Story

Being in Fisher's home is like being in her head. A huge Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra's head - actually a garish coffee mug - sat on a silver platter. Get it? Taylor famously stole Fisher's father, Eddie, away from Debbie Reynolds so Fisher had the homewrecker's "head on a platter!" It is twisted but I totally love it. So what life story exists in your home? When I was a little boy, I wanted to play with Barbies so badly and now as an adult at last I do! I have vintage Barbies (including Midge!), a Joan Collins Barbie, Barbie coffee table books and my prized possessions: two signed original Barbie fashion sketches I get to wake up to every morning. And bonus fun: when a gentleman caller notices our boom boom is happening as Barbies watch.

Tip #3: Break The Rules

Clearly someone who didn't give a rat's ass about being in a home decor magazine ever - or about snoozefest buzzwords like "harmony" or "colour trends" - Fisher left her Christmas tree up all year long. I'm taking a cue from that when I get back from the west coast. Eleven months of the year, I store exquisite Christmas tree balls, totally forgotten. Some are 1950s retro, others are one-of-a-kind artisan, while others don't actually even scream Christmas but are beautiful. Those are coming out of hiding and are perfect to place in three see-through silver mesh baskets I purchased this summer. Thanks Carrie; I was waiting for inspiration. I love the spirit and meaning of Christmas and will now happily imbue my home with it all year long, as you did.

Tip #4: Got a staircase?

The staircase chez Fisher has painted on each step the words from part of a poem. You may not choose to share maudlin text about the damage a parent can do to a child on your stairs - Fisher did - but a staircase is ripe with potential. If I had one, I'd have painted "thank you" in gold cursive on mine to remind myself to keep it grateful, whether I'm on my way up or down.

Tip #5: Self-Shrine

"Princess Leia" had the space heroine on display everywhere from Pez dispensers, oil paintings to Leia Lego. (It was a wry self-reminder that Star Wars'George Lucas owned her likeness: "Every time I look in the mirror, I have to pay him a couple of bucks.") We may not all have our own action figures - OK, I actually do... but so can you. Looking extra hot? Love your pets to pieces? Are your kids athletes? Dancers? 3D printing is a creative miracle that reproduces a captured moment in 3D in any size. Arrive home to find you. greeting you!

Tip #6: Display "Ugly"

Fisher collected paintings of "ugly" children (though she sadly never saw the ugly child painting her family had purchased and hung for her in her living room last Christmas) which means she had a lot of "ugly" art. I know many gay men who own or love particular pieces of provocative homoerotic art, yet take it down when company comes, or don't buy any because, "what would people think?" But, as Fisher teaches us, life is too short to care. Our home is our sanctuary, a primal place, and her's was a tribute to her life which she revelled in unapologetically with each meal she had there, each step she took throughout it, and every time she laid her head down, under dreamy cloud wallpaper, embraced by purple walls, to sleep.

The Shaun Proulx Show airs on SiriusXM Canada Talks channel 167. He is the publisher of TheGayGuide Network.com and leads a #Thought Revolution about busting through personal limits on ShaunProulx.com.