Recently we updated our home for the time when we want to sell and hopefully get a fair price for it. (Could be in 20 years, could be next year…we just don’t know.) But, it was time for refreshing, in any case.) So, we took down all the colorful drapes, exchanged the deep and rich colors for those that are lighter and more sedate. It took me a while to get accustomed to this new lighter look. But it isn’t bland because the old red sofa remains with complimenting red patterned chairs. As it turns out, I still like them. When I say update, I don’t mean replicating things the designers are raving about now because I know it is only a matter of time before the latest and greatest becomes obsolete anyway. I just mean we lightened the walls and windows to appeal to a broader audience.
From as early on in childhood as I can remember, I have always noticed the details of my surroundings whether it was inside or outside. I suppose it is because in the times of my childhood, we were not encouraged to get in the middle of adult conversation, but rather, we were told to “mind our manners and to be quiet.” (Maybe this is why I write and talk so much in my adulthood, having all those pent up words begging to come out!) 😏
Being as it was, I had plenty of time to notice things about other peoples homes and property environments. In my mind, I would choose the things I liked best about their place and imagine them in my future home. As I write this, I KNOW I was very young at the time, and so I KNOW I need to be careful to not underestimate what a child sees or hears or notices. Children are like sponges in the way they absorb things and they have very definite likes and dislikes early on.
So, now, as I look about my home, even in its update, it looks somewhat antiquated, a bit like a house that was put into a time machine from long ago and ended up in the here and now.
I love textiles….just love them! Bedspreads, throws, pillows, curtains, sheers, table toppers and lace. Though we installed plantation shutters 20 years ago, I still have curtains and sheers to soften the look. My kitchen cabinets have been redone to look like they are from another time, long ago. I have cutwork embroidery and loom woven pieces throughout my home. I have old fashioned stained glass, old style ceiling fans and cherry/mahogany furniture pieces. All are considered “faux pas” these days. However, let it be noted that I just do not care how other people do things or what other people think of my surroundings. I know what I like and I surround myself with the same. This makes me happy.
I don’t feel the need to have what is considered “in” within my home, unless it pleases me. For me, having a home that befits my Grandmothers time is delightful. In some ways we live in what some people go to a “Bed and Breakfast” to enjoy. (I even make old fashioned Swedish Pancakes.) 😘 Our home is old timey, old fashioned, and quaint.
When I go online and see new homes being marketed, they look nothing like our home. They are gorgeous, but to me they also look nondescript. I suppose their intended purpose is served in the staging part of things because most anyone could buy any of these homes and walk in with their belongings and it would work.
I often wonder why we all think we should live the same as everyone else? What fun is that? When did we begin to believe that we should all emulate everyone else with our homes, our decorating, our clothes, our cars, our interests, our looks, and on and on. Why are we not “enough” as we are?
Personally, I like going to any friend’s home where she has decorated with her own, unique and individual taste and has allowed her place to feel lived in. I have one friend who is on a very limited retirement budget, and her home is among my favorites to visit. She and her husband have decorated it in a style that tells me a little bit about who they are. Their things are not expensive, but they exude a style that makes me want to sit back and take it all in. Sometimes I imagine myself living there and a smile crosses my face. That’s how much I like HER style. It is not necessarily my style, but has enough endearing and appealing choices to make me think I could just walk in and make myself at home ….and frequently, I do!
Wouldn’t it be awful to go from one persons home to the next and they would all look the same? Now days, the great big mansions have become so commonplace, I find myself preferring the smaller homes because they are cute, inviting, and really, just “enough”. How much does one person need anyway?
My favorite friends are this way too. My friends are all SO different from each other and this is what attracted me to them in the first place. They each have their own style and that style is uniquely theirs. I like that. I don’t want “cookie cutter” friends. Their authentic ways allows me to be authentic too!
Well, enough musing! I think I will go make some homemade soup for dinner tonight. We have lots of yummy things in the refrigerator to throw in to a pot to simmer, and then later on, will consume on this dark rainy day!
Gosh, I sure do love that cutwork table piece my daughter gave me. It looks so cute on the table! Textiles! One of my weaknesses in life! One of my material “loves” in life.
Nice post! I do think that emulating others has always been with us. While a woman living on the Kansas plains in a soddy would have to make do, the early people in my area were making sure they could show off their new wealth with lavish Victorian homes and decor, carriages and clothing. It didn’t matter if they wanted all dark drapes, that was in style for them.
My home is 100 years old and as I peel off the wallpaper I can easily see the 1989 burgundy/navy/dark green trend, the 1960 green damask look, the 1940 tropical barkcloth designs, as well as the original beige and white florals. At 62, I grew up with the avocado, harvest gold and copper tone and really dislike anything which smacks of those colors. My parents built a home in 1960 and my mom decorated in sage green, white carpets and appliances.
My parents and in-laws were Depression children and to use older items just screamed poverty to them. Once they hit post-WWII and could have new homes with all of the modern conveniences, I don’t think there was any stopping them. I’ve collected women’s magazines from the late 1800s through the 70’s and they all have home decorating for that era. I think social media and the rapid rate of mobility and changing homes has led us to think everyone does things the same. Remember the Southwest colors, the country geese look, the Shabby Chic? Now all stainless steel appliances, granite, and gray with saying decals on the walls.
I am looking to sell within the next year. Hence, the wallpaper removal since it really is a deal killer. All the rooms will end up painted a soft cream color. I’ve moved numerous times and am finding I get irritated if people don’t clear out their stuff and decorating style so I can see the structure of the home. I don’t think we gave that a thought in 197, but they were plain jane ranches. My agent knows we will not do any MLS or photos until we are out of the home. I don’t want to have to remove all of the items I enjoy having around me, just to depersonalize the house. Empty rooms will have to do.
I understand your point and I have seen and read all the same. I know this desire to be the same as others so we “fit in” has most likely always been with us for the larger part of society. My blog point is that I wish it wasn’t. I have reached a point where I want to live in an environment that pleases ME, not one that is decorated to seek approval of others. The only exception to this new resolve is when it comes to selling, because if one is financially savvy, you choose what the broader consumer base is interested in.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Thank you very much. We will have to have you over for a card night….or maybe with Doug being a natural born southerner, he never got into cards?
So beautifully expressed. I feel the same way, and it is ALWAYS a warm comfort being in YOUR home.