I always love to look at beautiful home decorating sites. Places like Vintage Rose or French Larkspur. These sites always have gorgeous pictures of serene white on white homes with beautiful vintage items all in soothing shades.
I pour through old stacks of Victoria magazines admiring the sophisticated homes with everything just so. I have created weddings with that beautiful cream and white rustic/vintage look. I just adore them!
I have tried so often to create a similar look in our home… but to no avail. The 50 cats and the devastation in their wake not withstanding, I just have way too many wonderful, crazy, disparate, colorful, things!
As I said in an earlier post I have been clearing out a couple of storage sheds and putting our house back to rights (we had to evacuate in a fire, lucky the house didn’t burn). I didn’t remember how much wonderful stuff I had. And of course over the last year and a half that our stuff has been in storage I collected (as I am wont to do)… more lovely stuff!
I am ready to move into the mansion any day now, one with at least 20 rooms, a barn, a garage, work spaces and a huge library and kitchen. Unfortunately those are a bit out of our price range (not too mention I would have to CLEAN those 20 plus rooms and of course we would have many more cats with all the extra room!)
So here I sit with all my lovely stuff thinking wistfully of those beautiful cream colored magazine homes.
I look at my Moroccan rugs with all their warm desert colors and imagine replacing them with a huge sisal or Berber carpet in shades of oatmeal. No.. can’t do it.
My colorful Tiffany style lamps with their jewel tones glowing at night. Instead a beautiful linen shaded lamp or wall sconces? No, not really me.
What about my Indian Sari collection in a rainbow of hues? Put them in a cabinet and hide there joyous celebration of life’s happy colors? No, the doors on the cabinet would have to be left open.
The other item that causes me such decor consternation and one that I rarely see in those beautiful pictures of pristine homes are books. At least not in the quantities that we have.
I wouldn’t mind them so much if we had an old English library, the kind that is two stories with walnut shelves, a huge fireplace and a brass ladder on railings that went around the room. They would fit beautifully there, though maybe we would need three stories…
Did I mention we have a lot of books…
Ours are not the gorgeous large coffee table art books, ours are much loved, read and re-read tattered friends. Some of them look like the cats dragged them in (or at least curled up on top of for long catnaps in the sun). Many of these came from our families who also read and re-read them.
I actually do have a few beautiful art books, these came from my Grandmother.
Look at these precious tiny books… I think they belonged to my Grandfather.
I saw in a magazine once a home that had turned all the books in the bookcase so their colorful spines faced the inside of the bookshelf and the plain pages side faced outward. Maybe I am missing something but the obvious question to me is how do you know which book is which? The plain paper edges blended in nicely with the color pallet of the living room but I DEFINATELY could not do that!
And my china. I have dishes from both sides of my family going way back!
Hide them in a cupboard because they are jumbled and colorful?
No… can’t do it. I love to have them out so I can feast my eyes on all their loveliness!
Look at this beautiful tea set from my Mom,
She would have no problem getting me to finish my tea…
You see there was a lovely surprise in the bottom of the cup, waiting for me…
Another fun item from my Mom… The Old Man…
He is really a tall candle holder. Maybe he was supposed to be one of the three kings, I don’t know. I just thought he was so cool when I was a kid, still do…
Our bathroom… my husband is really very indulgent!!
I love vintage clothes…
A garden pot holder, sometimes I use it for flowers in a vintage wedding…
(More clothes… for faeries…)
(our bedroom… we love trees, can you guess?)
(my side of the bed… I just love vintage suitcases!) (Vintage trunks across from the foot of our bed)
(My vintage steamer trunk… with curious Cleo the kitty)
(Across from the foot of our bed. This used to be a display cabinet in my store 15 years ago. Now it houses our TV)
Looking into our tiny kitchen…
I got a little crazy painting the walls in here (they used to all be white, now the bathroom and the kitchen cabinets are the only white left in the house!)
After sponging several colors onto the wall I then stamped old postal markings, watches, and dragonflies in various complimentary colors.
Vintage cloth napkins in a letter holder on the wall (the stethoscope is for the kitties…)
Our pantry… and tea storage… My Mom trained me well with the lady in the bottom of the tea cup… I am constantly drinking tea!
So as I carry on trying to find a place for everything and those things I can’t find places for shoving and tucking and squeezing them in all the nooks and crannies I am reflecting that my home though not the polished show home of my dreams is however my husbands and my home and should reflect us.
This is always the counsel that I give my brides and grooms, that their wedding should be about them and not about the latest style in the magazines. I guess I am taking my own advise.
Unpacking these many boxes and discovering all my treasures, the road markers from my life and that of my husbands’ makes me grateful for my eclectic style and the generations of “crapstakers” that I come from (a friend once called himself that and after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard I thought that aptly described me). I am so lucky to have all these wonderful, beautiful keepsakes! What a joy to look at and use!
So when you get tired of dusting and organizing all your lovely wonderful stuff visit this post again and remember that these things are part of who your are, these things tell your story… and be grateful you don’t have as much stuff as I do!!!!!!!
WHEW!!! That was exhausting!!!
PS I just got the Christmas goodies up… I will post that soon (hopefully).