Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Merriam Webster Please Stop Making Fun of My Life!

Word of the Day
September 3
\BEE-buh-loh\ Audio Pronunciation
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: a small household ornament or decorative object : trinket

Example Sentence

Donna's children often tease her about her hobby of collecting quaint bibelots, which can be found everywhere throughout her house.

I've shared here before a bit about how much I love to hit a secondhand or thrift store to find discarded treasures. Some items I repurpose, others need a little cleaning or repair to be restored to their former glory. A few items I covet outright, just for what they are and because I do not "need" them technically, I rationalize their purchase because they are priced so well it would be a crime to leave them there in the store, underappreciated and potentially abandoned for all time.

Recently I was having a conversation with a family member who rather gently reinforced the idea that their taste and my taste take somewhat divergent paths when it comes to what gets displayed on surfaces.

Although we share a common admiration of particular color schemes and agree as to the benefit of live plants indoors, their sensibility when it comes to tabletops, bookshelves, mantles, etc. is more like the Hub's than mine. That is to say they lean towards the sparsely populated more minimalist approach, a "less is more" feeling and I, well I tend to not put any more objects on a space than will actually fit. Mostly.

I don't know where this little altars everywhere impulse comes from in me, but I have to fight the urge constantly not to take every wall, tabletop, bookshelf nook or mantle niche and pack that space with some grouping or the other.

Hub on the other hand, visibly relaxes whenever we check into a hotel. That sparse, nothing on top of anything that isn't absolutely necessary to provide information about the site, light, media access, communications with the outside world or beverage service approach soothes his soul. Past that, the only way to make him happier is to align everything so it all stays equidistant from edges and other objects.

In deference to our design extremes a couple of times a year I painfully clear several of the rooms we spend the most time in of as much of the surface clutter as I can stand to move out of sight. This takes several go rounds because what I see as sparse and what is effective in terms of changing the overall effect typically has two layers of stuff sitting in between.

I'll illustrate. To me, a table with a fabric runner and a pottery bowl with fruit in it sitting on top of that is NAKED. To Hub, there is no real reason for the runner or the fruit bowl either one if you aren't planning to sit there and eat fruit. Right this minute.

So I do my best to clear the decks and to his credit the Hub gives me credit for trying, and that is all swell until Christmas (or maybe Thanksgiving....or......Halloween) when I start to layer back in the seasonal decorations. I do this a little bit at a time, inoculating Hub in a way, to the fully viral aftermath of living in the shadow of So Much Wonderful Stuff Everywhere.

In the meantime I will thank the Word of the Day folks to stop poking fun of me from afar with their thinly veiled references to "Donna" and her house filled with "quaint bibelots". I'm doing the best I can.


Iris said...

Your cat appears to appreciate your and Donna's aesthetic. I really like all the groupings you've pictured here!

I really enjoyed this post. The part about how soothing it is for your husband to walk into a hotel room really cracks me up. No offense to your husband--in fact, I didn't realize until I read it that I'm sort of the same way.

BUT, I'm probably overall more like you. I recently was fortunate enough to get the piano I grew up with moved from my folks' house (they got a different one) to ours.

I've managed to NOT place a SINGLE object on top of the piano. Well, I did put our cat up there, but she just jumped down, played a quick ditty, and moved on.

TexasDeb said...

Ooh- congratulations on the clear piano top. I try to celebrate even my small victories - just in case the big ones are few and far in between.

Got the kitchen painted this weekend and in doing so WAY cleared the decks. Well, those decks are cleared compared to before, anyway. I am sure stuff will get layered in eventually so I'm continually pointing out to the Hub how EMPTY it is in there. (comparatively).

Thanks for dropping in Iris - have a lovely rest of your Labor Day.

PassivePastry said...

I love love love what I have seen of your house and yard from picture form.

My life is quickly filling up with wonderful knickknacks, most of them gifts from artistic friends.

while i do love a minimalist look, i long ago realized it would probably be impossible for me to achieve.

TexasDeb said...

Thanks, PPastry you are sweet to say so.

That's just it isn't it? So many wonderful things, so little space to house them. I know some people rotate their displays and I've tried that to some extent, but mostly I just want everything out where I can see and enjoy it.