A collage of ideas from the internet.
It is when January temperatures prevent me from being outdoors that my thoughts turn to my home environment. In the forty plus years that we have had our own (family) home, it has seen many incarnations. In the early years of our marriage, we set up home with very traditional furniture, all bought and chosen carefully, in blues and greens. It never felt right to us, so over the next few years it was replaced with Danish modern, in reds and oranges...the 'in' thing in the late 60's and 70's. Then it was a country look, going from old to new to old again. Thus it see-sawed over the next few decades. Until, that is, in the nineties, when I began to collect things, lots of things.
It seemed I could never have enough stuff. About five years ago my SIL introduced me to the delights of vintage linens, and of course, I was away again...something new to collect. I couldn't pass an antique store or market, without making a purchase. I even purchased books so that I could identify my purchases, and spent many happy hours bidding online for pieces I 'had' to have. I'm not sure what brought about the change, but one day we looked around and felt overwhelmed by what we saw. Slowly, but deliberately I began to give stuff away. My children begged me not to give them anything else, so it was offered to blog pals, given away as gifts, and what was left went to the charity shop. I kept sentimental pieces and packed them away carefully, along with the dainty china I rarely used. A decision was made not to have anything that was not useful or pleasing to my eye, and then not to excess. It is an ongoing project. I really thought about what I wanted, what colours and styles, what made my heart beat faster. In fact I realized that after many years I had probably found myself, and no longer cared about other peoples opinions of my home as long as I loved it. I was no longer shopping to fill a void.
My choices were in fact Simple Indulgences.
- Pale walls.
- Pale ceramic tile, pale Berber carpet, or pale wooden floors.
- Dark wood furniture.
- Red and chocolate upholstered furniture and soft furnishings.
Pale or sheer curtains and blinds.
- Items with an ethnic edge, hand made and minimal.
- Texture and plants.
Using this formula I have been slowly making changes, while trying to utilize the things we already owned. My husband is an expert upholsterer, so the soft furnishing and furniture were economically reinvented. I make collages using finds from the Internet, and use them as idea boards. I no longer make impulse purchases and save the money I would have spent on knick knacks for bigger items.
I still love to look at blogs whose owners post photos of their collections, they always look so cosy and welcoming, it's just not for me. I realise that paring down is not for everyone, but if I harbour any personal doubts about my own home, they are banished on occasions when I have to clean. No longer do I spend ages dusting tiny china ornaments, starching lace doo-dads, it is so freeing, and I highly recommend it.
Our dining room above, is still evolving, still being edited and added to. I find that since I have stopped watching HGTV I have more of a mind of my own. If anyone ever thinks about sending my name to Justin and Colin forget it! If I came home and found wallpaper or garish colours anywhere under my roof, I would be beside myself! But perhaps that would be your dream come true? If so, please answer a question. What makes your heart beat faster when it comes to your home? It doesn't have to be something you have, it could be something you dream of. Since this seems to be a 'quiet' blog time, do a post about it, and link to me. I would love to see it.