What makes your home different from the neighbor’s (whose house was built by the same contractor and for all the fancy outdoor facades, from an aerial view, is just another rabbit hutch in suburbia)? What is in your house that makes it uniquely yours and not just another picture from The Pottery Barn catalogue?
Here is how you might know you are in my house and not the neighbor’s:
I use old doors, vintage windows, worn fabrics and well-loved furniture-with-a-history to throw a little intrigue into all things new. And though these pictures don’t show it? I am not afraid of color! Not at all.
I re-purpose what some one once decided to throw away in favor of the newer-latest-better-whatever into suprise uses (a beveled-glass, multi-paned door hangs horizontally as room divider catching the light and starting conversations….doorknobs are picture hangers…).
I cherish the story told in the things my parents and grandparents owned before me, though these are precious few (a dime store candy dish from my Grandma Baker, old Christmas ornaments my Aunt Rosie was finished with, but gave me to start our marriage, books my dad read, or the one he wrote for me with his story, pictures and stories with them from my mom-the-“photog”).
There is a della-robia embellished, golden-yellow biscotti jar which holds tea bags and hot-chocolate mixes, never once a biscotti. And I have never actually owned a cookie jar. Hmmm. We just bake them and eat them apparently. Curious.
There are the “temporary” burlap drapes (satin-edged so they don’t look like a feed bag, thank-you very much) and a #10 roasted red-pepper can holding my serving utensils.
I have books everywhere covering my interests from gardening to worship to business and back. In the coffee table an Albert Einstein rests atop a Beth Moore.
There are paintings by Rocky in Kindergarten and silhouettes of the grandchildren Stephanie gave me for Christmas (a hot decorating trend right now).
There is the family table with imbedded glitter from my children’s projects and now my grandchildren, fossilizing our existance in wood.
While I refuse (or attempt to refuse) to be a “collector,” as I look around the kitchen, I see I have aquired several interesting rooster representations over the years, so one might surmise I am a rooster-lover, in the very French country, non-kitschy sense.
Although my 70’s lamp and two over-sized 70’s chairs in one area could only be called kitschy (Dave and Tara asked if I was going to turn the family room into a 70s lounge – no).
My vintage Di Corsi prints make me smile everytime I remember how inexpensively I got them because of the horrendous frames I discovered them in (super-gold-and-gaudy-in-plastic, anyone?), but whose colors and hues soothe and calm and have they not created the most amazing focal point over my very hip and modern headboard – oh, yes!
And please, don’t tell anyone yet, not until I know just exactly how to display and share this next delight in a way that Dave can tolerate (for he was even embarrassed when when I was making the hilarious purchase at The Goodwill Store), but, my friends, I bought a classic piece of Christian art, circa 1961, of Jesus knocking on the UN building (as if He were knocking at a door?)! It was painted by the beloved Sunday-School-leaflet illustrator of the 40s, 50s and 60s, Harry Anderson (his is the art of my first Bible stories and visions of God). The print I have was obviously framed and had been hanging somewhere since at least 1964, so I have an obvious era-based affinity for it. I find it hilarious because I think Jesus would look at it and go, “I would not re-size myself to Godzilla-like-proportions to present myself to people.” And I think He and I could have a great laugh about it, even as we expressed to the late Mr. Anderson* how truly talented he was and that no offense is intended. Dave is afraid I will hang it and people will think we are taking it seriously as an icon of our faith or something. For this reason, I may be forced to hang it in the office-ish part of our MBR suite, where only people who could truly discern would be allowed.
These are a few of the ways you might know you had wandered in to my house and not the neighbor’s house (in the re-reading, they sound more important than they probably are, but they are mine and me). What about yours? What makes your house special, distinct, yours-all-yours? Do tell!
I love home!…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Do the projects – the ones that keep making it more and more ours.
*Dave called Harry Anderson the Thomas Kincaid of the mid-century era. T-hee.