I sometimes find myself wanting to challenge the shelter mags, HGTV and the numerous interior decorating blogs to show me something that is interesting or inspirational, albeit completely irreverent. I have never been interior decorating obsessed but I have always had great respect for people who are able to use their noodle to find design , decotating and storage solutions that are truly within their budget, out of the ordinary or creative.
When I think about the early days after getting out of school and dumpster diving for furnishings because my salary was such that the only discretionary income that I had was spent on vodka and cigarettes, I smile and remember how I and many of my peers pimped our pads. We did aspire to the Pottery Barn look back then. However, ready-to-assemble and hand-me-downs were the only furnishings that fit into our budgets.
By the time I turned 30, my sister and her husband had taken me to furniture and antique auctions a few times. I began to realize that I could truly get higher quality and more interesting home furnishings at these auctions than the ready-to-assemble particleboard that I had been buying. Oh, and at these auctions I also could buy lung-collapsing coffee, stale donuts while receiving looks of utter disgust from real antique dealers who saw me as an interloper. I felt a bit self-concious and out of place, but I knew I was never going back to particle board and faux oak finishes after seeing solid mahogony dressers for $50. (This was long before the days of HGTV and other do-it-yourself decorating tutors.)
Last year, after reading recommendations in the shelter magazines, I purchased the book ‘The Selby Is In Your Place’. It is a compilation of photographs taken by the author in the dwellings of many of his acquantences and clients, mostly people who work in creative arenas. The common thread was that none of the dwellings and dwellers were mainstream in their approach to home design and decorating. The book was fun in the beginning, but it rather bored me to see dwelling after dwelling filled with tourist quality religious artifacts, dark accents and accessories that seem intentionally weird or shocking. It just became another decorating style to me. I’ll call it The Refugee motif due to my lack of formal training.
The bottom line is that one man’s ticky tacky is another man’s happy crappy. There is no right or wrong. It is subjective and what resonates with one person can cause another person to whince. Let me just share a few home pics that share a decorating style that is warm, happy and very pretty to many people. However, I seldom see these types of room schemes in the mags and the blogs. The important fact is that some awesome people live in these homes and rooms. One room could be Great Aunt Mimi’s livingroom, another can be the kitchen of the neighborhood woman who always bought your Girl Scount cookies and another might be the yard of the couple who always waved and wished you a great day when you passed them and their abode.
Stay tuned for the next nostalgic blog that includes afgans and plastic-covered sofas. At least people actually bought heirloom quality furniture worth preserving. Lucky us! We all want their furniture now.
- Pretty, pretty potty.