Friday, September 21, 2007
The Domestic Aesthetic
Hubby and I are really satisfied with ourselves right now. We just completed a grueling one month stint of fixing up the second floor of our home. Let me start by saying that we are very fortunate to live in a very lovely home - it's a classic 1928 center hall colonial that looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting - you can almost smell hot apple pie just looking at it. It certainly is a lovely abode and we counted our lucky stars when it came up for sale just at the time we were house-hunting. When we purchased the house three years ago, however, we realized it was lucky for us that we have x-ray vision and were able to look through the ghastly decor used by the previous owners to see the beautiful potential just underneath the many layers of hideous paint. The previous owners made some color and decor choices that could only have been made under the heavy influence of alcohol or narcotics (or more likely, both). There is no way a sane person in her right mind (with even a shred of taste) would paint a bedroom bright fuscia, carpet it with turquoise wall-to-wall carpeting and finish it off with lacy granny curtains!
Anyway, we completely remodeled the upstairs and honestly, it looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. Last night, I was lying in our new bedroom, breathing in the intoxicating scent of fresh paint and floor stain and feeling oh-so-satisfied with myself (and with that darling husband of mine). I was running my hand over the luxurious new bedspread and feeling like I was in the Four Seasons Hotel when I got to thinking about my friends and family with children. I pictured their chaotic disaster-area homes and I thought to myself, "there's no way a couple with children could ever have a bedroom like this". I looked at the beautiful bedspread and imagined it ruined with a big grape juice stain smack dab in the middle. And those carefully-chosen brown lamps? Forget about it! They'd last a day and then would be smashed to smithereens on the hardwood floors. On second thought, forget hardwood floors. You'd have to have wall-to-wall carpeting to protect their dirty little feet from splinters.
Oh and let's not forget the kindercrap. You know what I am talking about. Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling plastic CRAP everywhere you look. This photo is a pretty good representation of what most rooms in the homes of American families look like:
And what do I have to say to that?
Some might say it's good for a home to look lived in. And maybe some people think kindercrap imparts a certain desirable, lived-in coziness to a home. Well, to each his own because I'd much rather be sleeping in a tranquil, soothing oasis than tripping over crateloads of plastic junk at every turn and fighting the unwinnable battle of me-versus-the-kindercrap.
To us, there is nothing better than coming home from work, tossing open the door and after being warmly greeted by our adorable furrbabies, being enveloped in the quiet embrace of our home...no noise, no screaming, no chaos, no mess (well...usually), no jarring plastic junk - just peace and quiet and the background music of chirping birds through the windows. A place to dream, to relax, to unwind, to escape the craziness and uncertainty of the outside world. A place that looks the way we want it to look. A place where we can slip into our pajamas straight in the door and eat cereal for dinner without feeling guilty. A place where we can lounge on that pretty red reading chaise and actually read in peace until sleep takes us over and we are off to slumberland.
Now if you happen to be one of those people who sincerely believes that one does not have to be childfree to redecorate your home into a beautiful oasis, I challenge you to give it a try. Just keep your eyes on that paint can or you may end up with this!