Friday, April 16, 2010

Deck or Eight

I'm not good at decorating my house.  I'm just not.  I'm not feeling sorry for myself either, I'm just stating a fact.  Here are some examples.
At some point, there were some family pictures hanging in the hallway.  Not a lot, just a few of the boys, but I think they came down when the construction was going on a couple of months ago.  Instead of putting them back up (a closer look reveals the nails still there, waiting for them!) I see that the boys decorated with a Speed Racer plaque and an original drawing on a scrap of paper.  And that's okay with me.

At one point, this china cabinet was properly decorated with some photos and knickknacks (is that a word?) but they've been squeezed out or replaced by a jar of silverware, plates, and placemats.  This is just the perfect place, because Tommy can easily set the table in a moment's notice.  Function over form.

It's the same issue here ~ function over form.  That little table there?  It's just plopped down in the most awkward place, because it's convenient if you're sitting on that brown couch.  That's it.  It's blocking the fireplace, and I bought it for $2 at a junk shop (Krim Kram's!  Back in 1993 when they were still on 18th Street!  I've since heard they moved to the Tenderloin?) and it's no worse, frankly, than the mini glider next to it that has recently turned into a blanket caddy.

Classic.  This armoire is actually a very nice antique that I got from my parents 15 years ago.  It's not the piece of furniture, it's the gallery of crazy perched on top of it.  There's a sealed cedar box with the ashes of our beloved pet dog, Howard; an art project from pre-school hanging off the side; and a set of origami three-dimensional shapes...dodecahedron, anyone?  When Erik's dad passed away last year, Erik was surprised to find himself in possession of his ashes.  He was so...flummoxed...that he became sort of paralyzed with what to do with them.  I set them on top of the armoire (his dad always liked our house...he said it was homey) and he's been with us, quietly, ever since.  Erik has added to this spot over the year, and I sort of love it, honestly:  a chess trophy and a table tennis trophy, which is SO cute, because his dad won these in tournaments!  Who does that?

So, you know what?  Now that I've gotten to here, I'm sort of glad I am the way I am.  When I first started writing this, I was thinking about how I'm kind of not good at this particular aspect of homemaking called "decorating", but I can see now that I'm pretty good at this other aspect...the one where my family participates in making the home, and I'm not so caught up in a magazine glossy version of what a home should look like that there's no room for the quirky goodness that makes our house so full of love and comfort for us.  It may not be what anybody else would choose, but it's just right for us.

Anyway, here's this other thing.
 I had purchased this wire basket a couple of years ago at a second hand store for a couple of dollars.  It ended up in the garage, not doing much at all.

So I spray painted it a flat black and moved it into our new bathroom.  I don't know...I thought maybe with some hand towels it could be cute?  But remember, I'm not good at this, so please be gentle if this is a stupid idea!

I have it sitting on the counter, waiting until I finally get around to doing something with it.  (My mom bought me those rad blown-glass vases on the wall as a house-warming present when we bought this place almost 12 years ago...she's obviously awesome at this.) 

Finally, there's the issue of these curtains.  I found them as a valance at a second hand store for $1 (hmmm, a theme perhaps?) and I cut it in half and made these two "curtains".  I thought it kind of worked, but Erik told me the "style factor" in the room dropped from 10 to 8 when I put them up.   Jackass.

Standard disclaimer applies (first-world problems, bigger things to worry about, yadda-yadda-yadda) but I'm still curious...any suggestions?  Change, omit, add?  Or just relax and assume that anybody who comes to my house is expecting this sort of hodgepodge? 


  1. Mia, Nothing wrong with your house decorating. It looks lived in and that means more than looking like it came out of a glossy paged magazine. You might be surprised, but I think you are very much like your mother in this area. Your house is your home and there is no place like home. Annonymous

  2. Oh gosh, don't let her see this! I'm always making fun of her. With love, of course. :)