Personal Style

We all have one, right? That thing in our heads that says “like” or “dislike” to clothing, furniture, the pictures on the wall, whatever. I have friends who have highly developed senses of style. 2 of my friends have those sorts of homes that could be featured in Southern Living magazine…one of them *has* been, with her Victorian house and amazing furniture that seamlessly blends Victorian and Modern and is so, so lovely.
“Let me help you, Peg!” she says, when I express a little frustration with my own sense of style (or lack thereof) because the simple thing is, I’ve been so focused on Utility and Practicality and Durability that what’s lovely or stylish simply hasn’t mattered.

I was able to sort of pull it off in the kitchen, when we renovated it a few years back. Bu that’s how I have to do it, to rip it all out and start over completely from scratch, and I am loathe to do it anywhere else. The furniture is in pretty good shape so instead of getting rid of it entirely I just kind of work around it as best I can. oh it would be marveloooos to be able to chuck everything and start over, but why? When the couch is holding up fine, even though it’s 1967 Ethan Allen Jacobean Reproduction and butt-ugly, it is indestructable and the cushions are leather and we’re on the cusp of having yet another teen in the house and they tend to flop rather than sit, and the couch is quite flop-worthy. It’s also comfortable, and well suited to Sunday afternoon naps. Terry’s rocking chair is 1988 What Was On Sale At That Cheap Furniture Store That Starts With A ‘B’, and it’s comfortable for him, being large, but it’s also butt-ugly and not in the same way as the couch so I can’t even say they coordinate. The coffee table was a $5 find at a garage sale, and although interesting, not in the same way as the couch or rocking chair. I really want to chuck it all. Give it all to the boys and let them fight over it, just get rid of it and buy some things that look good together, are durable and comfortable, and will last for the rest of our lives. I want this, this and this.I like Mission. Can you tell?

But then Agnes McCalvinox takes over, and demands to know why on Earth would I spend $15K on furniture when what I have works just fine? A chair is a chair, you sit in it, end of story. Then my friend with the house featured in Southern Living comes by and opines that my house is “clearly well lived in, and by menfolk” and I get that she’s being kind, but it stings, especially next to her carved chairs with the linen upholstery and the silver candlesticks on the mantel. What’s on my mantel? Nothing, because I don’t have one. Fireplace, yes, with a cool embroidered screen, but no mantel. There was one once but I took it down because it was (say it with me) butt-ugly, even by my standards. And then Agnes says “wouldn’t that money for the furniture be better spent elsewhere?” Of course it would. There’s always something better than *whatever* to spend it on. I’m just tired of having Early Married decor…you know…that what everyone gives you because they’re getting nicer stuff and you’re just happy to have something to sit on? Yeah. 24 years we’ve been married and we still have hand-me-down and thrift store furniture. Because I’m so practical.

I watch those home decorating shows, my favorite is Divine Design because it’s obvious the people having their rooms done are sparing no cost, and what a fantasy that is! The rooms always look way lovelier than the people who are doing their rooms on a $500 budget (I refuse to have furniture made of MDF. I may have a 1967 couch but I still have standards). I just don’t know how to go about putting it all together, even in my head, which doesn’t cost a penny. Oh well. Agnes will help out, I am sure.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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4 Responses to Personal Style

  1. JerseyChick says:

    What’s MDf?
    Can SD make a piece or two? Especially fitted to your and his contours? Or would that smack too much of your parents? We have a seamstress here, if you don’t care to dig one up at your end of the state, who can do cushions.
    Your boys may not be Newly Married, but they are Newly Homed, so the old stuff would be as much a blessing to them as to a NM couple- tell Agnes I said so!
    (BTW, tell your prissy friend you are not on earth to impress Southern Living, you are on earth to be a helpmeet to a wonderful guy who deserves comfy furniture and a frugal wife, and quit trying to measure your life to her standards. Measure your life to His standards, and you’ll find you’ve outdone her 100x over.)

    • rootietoot says:

      MDF is “medium density fiberboard” and it’s much cheaper than real wood, takes paint well, and holds up about like it sounds…only slightly better than cardboard and oh boy don’t let it get wet! It’s the stuff really cheap furniture from Walmart is made of. Oh sure, Terry could use it, but his pride and sensibilities won’t let him, and neither will I.

      My prissy friend will be the first to tell you that her house is her idol. She recognizes that, and tries…her first step has been to keep her daughter’s dog occasionally, because it makes a mess, and she’s trying to get over that preciousness she has. She also recognizes that my house is NOT my idol, and has expressed admiration for that. And I want her help decorating my bedroom, because she really does have excellent taste and an ability to sniff out beautiful things in second hand stores.

      I am confident one day we’ll have the furniture I’d like. I also know that *I* am the one who wants all this, not Terry. He’s satisfied with being comfortable. This morning I told him I thought the only way I could get a room the way I’d like it is to get rid of everything and start from scratch, and he was OK with the idea. Now to just sneak it all past Agnes while she naps. I guess I’ll have to do the rooms between midnight and 5am. She’s an early riser.

  2. Bella Rum says:

    Most of our furniture is thrift store/junk store/antique store/H’s stepfather’s barn, etc. I kind of like it that way. I did purchase my couch the regular way – from a store – about 15 years ago, but most everything else is old stuff… even the beds. Our office is filled with AT&T rejects. When H retired, they let him keep all of it. It works.

    You’ve raised all those boys in that house. Thank goodness you’re the way you are. You would have driven everyone crazy – especially yourself – if you’d insisted on having this and that just right. You did good. Now get what you want when the time is right for you.

  3. Nichole says:

    We’re still living “Early Married,” too, and sometimes I get the Want Pretty New Stuff bug. But then I remember that we have two small children and a pile of bills to pay. Maybe someday!

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