Saturday, July 30, 2011

Decorating?

I have been in and out of other people’s homes a fair bit recently. Sometimes visiting, other times cleaning. Me and my vacuum cleaner, we spend a lot of time contemplating life. Thoughts just meander through my head. Frequently, they relate to the homes I have seen, and how I think and feel about them. I find it interesting, that I am learning so much about myself from observing others. Now, these are the kind of revelations you pin all your life hopes and dreams on. But interesting, none the less. They all relate to the environment I like (or would like) to live in. Or conversely, what I do not like.

As our homes are places we spend so much time, I figure these thoughts should probably be taken fairly seriously, even if the future of the world does not depend upon them! My home is my sanctuary. I really hate doorknockers for this reason. This is my personal space, enter freely if you are my friend, but stay away if you are a stranger. Neighbours can count as potential friends!

My home reflects who I am. But it also needs to reflect who my family is. Boyo’s tastes come into play here too, as do Munchkin’s needs. Our lifestyles play another large part. So many aspects all pushing for attention, and so often I just go through the motions of living here, without thinking about what brings enjoyment or does not.

Here are some conclusions I have reached about my personal preferences:

I need space. Specifically OPEN SPACE. I can’t have things too close together, or walk areas too narrow. I bang into things. I hit my hip on our dining table almost every week. It has been in the exact same place for over 18 months now! How I do it, I do not know. All I know is, my balance is good enough to keep me upright, but not good enough to keep me bruise-free. So small passages between furniture are no good for me. Even as a teenager, I would push all my furniture to the outside edges of a room. I was not a dancer. I didn’t lie on the floor. I simply like open space.
I do not like visual clutter. This is tricky, as I am actually quite messy and I live with a definite messy, who doesn’t mind visual clutter at all! But I like everything to have a place and to live, permanently, in that place. Here, I seem to be forever putting things away, or trying to find somewhere to put them! Our current place is a wonderful unit, and a real God-send. I frequently thank Him for sending it our way right when we needed it. But it is a bit small when you have two students and a baby. Munchkin now has most of his toys in a cupboard in his room, which is wonderful. But I’m still contemplating my work area (aka small desk with laptop, knitting bag, handbag, study books, baby shoes, moisturiser, bills to pay, Bibles, pens, scrap paper, etc, etc all in a corner of our main living area). It bothers me. There’s just not enough space. I can’t get a study guide fully open and have my computer up at the same time. And that’s on a good day! But I don’t seem to be able to work out any solutions that are free and workable just now.

My work area.  What a mess!
I want a dining table that is clear. I’ve talked about this before. I’ve had a few ah, over-reactive incidents when it all gets too much for me. The issue is where else to put all that stuff. I’m thinking a hall table/side table will be something we eventually have. One with drawers for storage, and baskets on top for bills, keys, water bottles, etc. But for now, it is an ongoing battle.

Our dining table in about as tidy a state as it ever seems to get!
Being visual, how things look really is important to me. I’ve struggled with this for awhile. I wonder if anyone else visually-wired has too? I feel like it is somehow a bit shallow to be caring that something isn’t straight, or looks cluttered. I’ve finally decided that this is how I’m wired, and I seriously do feel less stressed if my environment is tidy and looks nice. It must be worthy of some time and consideration. I bought a few houseplants. I really love looking at them. Boyo doesn’t understand. They are just green bits to him. To me, they are beauty. They are peace. They are balanced design. So many things rolled into one small plant. And that’s without the work they do cleaning our breathing space!


I like functionality. I would probably not choose to have a coffee table. I’ve seen some really nice ones lately, and have duly drooled, then gotten over myself. For me, the issue is that they are not practical enough. I love the idea, but not using them. I don’t want a table that clutters the middle of my walking space, so I can have bruises on my shins as well as my hips! And I don’t want to be having to lean down and forward all the time to get my drink. I’d prefer those little nested tables, so you can pull one of them right up beside you! Or maybe a chest that is used as a coffee table. So I get some storage.

Munchkin's cupboard.  Everything neat and tidy (obviously he hasn't been in it recently!)
Yup, I like storage. I really like things in cupboards or drawers. It irks me when I can’t find a home for something. I like my current kitchen because the pots all fit in the cupboards nicely, in a logical way, all in one corner. This pleases me.

I do not like the pantry.  It has no door, and is long and pokey - way too far to have to lean for my poor back!  But it does at least have some sort of order.
Along with functionality, goes robustness. I need furniture that won’t break if I happen to bump into it. Never mind the kids with their balls, bats, or roller blades. Worry about the mother! While I can appreciate the beauty of little glass hall tables in someone else’s home, my common sense tells me they would be a really dumb idea for me! I don’t want to spend my life on tender-hooks, worrying that I’m going to break my own furniture! So wood it will be. Nice wood, naturally oiled. Smooth to the touch, but I don’t mind a few nail holes and other marks of character.

I like connections. Views to the outside. The ability to get from inside to outside easily and quickly. I’d live most of my life on a deck, if it was set up right. And a view, well they can take the dreariest day and give it a little lift. I find it frustrating at the moment having a conservatory and three high steps between us and the outdoors. And that then the outdoors is the driveway. We have a truly beautiful yard, but there’s no pavers, it’s not fenced, and there is no connection between it and the house. I can’t pop in and out easily to check on dinner while Munchy is playing on the lawn. Indoor-outdoor flow is important to me.

I like wooden floors. I DO NOT like tiles. They are too hard. I get sore feet really easily, and don’t want to spend my life hopping from one foot to the other. Wood, on the other hand, has just enough ‘give’ in it to be comfortable. Plus I just love the look. Beautiful and shiny. Bright, clean. Dust bunnies are problematic if you don’t keep up with the vacuuming, but at least you know there’s dust that needs to be removed, unlike the invisible pile up that builds in carpet. A few rugs would be nice, to deaden the sound of footsteps up the hall in the middle of the night.

My dislike of tiles extends to bathrooms. I would have a house with NO tiles. They look nice I admit, especially when new. But the upkeep! Who wants to spend Saturday on hands and knees de-moulding the grout between the shower tiles with a toothbrush and some nasty chemical? Not me. I’d rather be gardening. Or reading. Or even cleaning my toilet. Seriously, why make more work for myself than absolutely necessary?!

So there you go. Some things I’ve discovered about myself.  Amy

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Interesting post - Luke & I talk about how future house quite often but it changes regularly! You can tell Boyo and I are related - I am much more a clutter person than Luke is, drives him crazy! However, I am not as bad as my Mum...