BEAUTY IN THE ESSENTIAL
I hate clutter. I do not like to have figurines, picture frames, etc. lying around on tabletops. I don't have collections. I don't have many decorative items at all. You must think my house looks pretty bare. I know some friends do (:::cough:::Charlotte:::cough). Truthfully, I would like to pare down more. I long for simplicity. I wish everyone in my family had about 5 outfits, a jacket, maybe 2 pairs of shoes. For Christmas, I am getting my kids each a Klean Kanteen so I can get rid of all those plastic sippy cups. No more cabinet clutter, no more plastic-leaching possibilities. I am also going to get them each their own enamelware dish set. One bowl, one cup. Durable, charming, simple. Buh-bye, plastic plates, cluttering up my drawers.
I think the key to having a beautiful, yet uncluttered space lies in several areas, all of which need work in my home.
1. Fabrics. Pillows, bedding, upholstery, window dressings, etc. They add so much depth and richness to a room without adding "stuff". I really want to bring more fabrics into my house.
2. Lighting. Candles, lamps, overhead lights on dimmers. Warm lighting that casts a soft glow really transforms a room. I love lamps. There are a few places I would like to add one, such as my kitchen.
3. Beauty in the essential. Just because an item is neccessary, doesn't mean it has to only be utilitarian. I love to have items in my home that are both useful and beautiful. I have very few items that only serve the purpose of beauty. There is really no excuse to not have beautiful things. Many items can be purchased at junk or antique stores that are just as functional as a new, more expensive item. Most times, the item that is prettier, is also more well made. For example, I think an all white bed is so beautiful unmade. I love the look of rumpled 100% cotton sheets, thick feather pillows, and a big yummy down comforter, unmade and ready at a moment's notice to curl up in. I also think of this especially with toys. I have noticed that when toys are out that I find visually appealing, they don't bother me nearly as much as ugly plastic toys. These wooden blocks could stay out all day without getting on my nerves. However, the moment the boys are done with these leggos, I want them picked up and put away. Here are a few things around my house that I find ugly, along with their equally useful, asthetically pleasing counterpart.
Instead of this ugly aeresol can......a pretty candle.
Instead of this plastic bottle of chemicals, uh, detergent......this glass bottle of natural lavender detergent.
Instead of this uninspired plastic laundry basket......this $3 wicker basket, spray painted black.
Instead of this boring plastic trashcan (oh look, it matches the laundry basket)......this white metal trash bucket (my mom has one that says PAIL (in comparison), that I just think is so fun).
Instead of dented, ugly cans with foods loaded with preservatives......how about some glass jars of homemade foods?
These are just a few areas in my home where I have replaced ugly functional with pretty functional. There are many other places I would like to do this. Most of the ugly things I still use, just behind the scenes, where I don't have to see them. Once they have finished serving their purpose, they find a home elsewhere. When the things that you use everyday, all the time, are beautiful then when your house is a little messy, it will still be a pleasing place to be, because the things that are "messy" are also beautiful. Few things, but good things. That is my goal.