I have no sense of feng shui. I wish I did. Sometimes I pretend I do, but I’m always found out by people who really do have it. Ask my sisters.
I’ve always thought that a person’s home should represent that person. Perhaps I have carried this a bit too far in the decor (heh) of my current home, but hey. I happen to like having all those bookshelves in the bathroom, and having push-button talking pictures on the walls in there. I like my orange sofa and my red chair. I am able to comprehend that they do not match, but the liking compensates for the ferocity of their clashing. I like more than a dash of funk in my surroundings. I want my house to be tasteful but groovy.
I read somewhere that having lots of pictures of friends and family members framed and hanging or sitting about the house isn’t cool. Says who? I LOVE seeing beloved faces on the walls and on the tabletops.
Sometimes I look at the pictures of rooms in magazines and sigh; they’re just so, well, RIGHT. The colors match and the accessories match and there’s not a pile of shoes in sight. In fact, those pictures seldom show any indication that anyone actually lives in those rooms. I think this is because no one does.
In houses wherein people actually live, there are signs of life. There is the pile of shoes under the table (well, that’s where I keep my shoes, anyway) and there are magazines, and there are books with markers in them, and there are laptops on the coffee table beside little piles of earrings. The cushions have been known to live most of their lives on the floor or tossed behind the sofa. Sometimes there’s an indentation on one end of the sofa arm because if the sofa is comfortable, people lie down on it. Why isn’t there ever any cat hair on the furniture in those pictures? What’s a home without a cat?
The kitchens are always pristine in magazine pictures. You never see bowls of cat food and spilled water on the floors. You never see spilled cereal mixed with cat hair and dust under the kitchen counters. People walk across kitchen floors barefooted and never have to stop to flick off “something” clinging to the sole of their foot.
You never see ten thousand boxes of half-eaten cereal sitting around in a magazine picture. The tables are always absolutely clear and clean, with perhaps a bowl of fruit or a vase of fresh flowers. In my house, a bowl of fruit would last about ten minutes, and although I love fresh flowers in the house, I chose to have cats, and cats love fresh flowers, too. In fact, they refer to a vase of fresh flowers as “the salad bar.” Sigh.
Also? Those magazine rooms always have curtains at the windows. I’ve never had curtains. However, I will have them soon enough.
We’re moving. But I digress. I’m also scared of the concept.
Having only to choose, and it’s a choice we are all free to make, I have chosen to LIVE in my house and to encourage others to do likewise. We could do better, naturally, and not a day goes by when I don’t wish for just a little touch of magazine perfection, but ultimately? We live here. And if you stop by – and I certainly hope you do – I want you to make yourself at home, too. Keep your shoes on; YOU are more important than a speck of dirt your shoes might track in. (I never feel really welcome if I’m told to remove my shoes.) (If you have white carpet, that’s a choice YOU made.) (Not even if it were free.) (Nope.) I love my guests more than I care about a carpet. Besides, I’d rather vacuum up a little dirt later than have to smell your feet all night.
I am always so very sorry for children who live in a house with white carpet, unless the adults who chose it aren’t really all that fussed about keeping it white.
We are currently downsizing to the max here. My big house is packed to the gills with the accumulation of many years, and the house we are renovating from the skin out is a LOT smaller. I am not a person who can live sanely with clutter and piles of “stuff,” (I read magazines with scissors in hand and the minute I finish, it goes in the recycle bin) and my husband saves everything. You’ve seen “Clash of the Titans?” (The original; not that insipid remake.) We are the Titans. I am also the Kraken. And I have been released.
You’ve been warned.
People have been shopping at my house via FreeCycle like mad these past few months. Do any of you need anything? Whatever it is, I bet there’s one here, somewhere.
In the meantime, come on in. The love seat is occupied, but you can sit on the orange sofa. Put your feet up on the coffee table. Sure, you can take your drink into the living room. We live in this house. While you are here, you can live in it, too.
Pity the house that discourages comfort and living. Pity the sanitized magazine house.
I much prefer a home.
Dear house in town: Steel your nerves. We’re coming to turn you into a home. (I’m sure you’re already breathing easier with all that ghastly wallpaper gone.)