Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Practical Decorating

Every so often I like to go through my magazines, mostly House Beautiful, This Old House, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and Martha Stewart Living.  I've been thinking about decorating trends and how impractical some of them are for my life.
  1. Window seats.  Yes, they look lovely and conjure up images of cozy hours curled up reading and gazing out at the falling snow.  But . . . I don't like leaning against glass.  It doesn't feel secure to me, and it's cold by a window.  And my legs would probably cramp up on that narrow ledge.
  2.  Wall-to-wall carpeting.  Yes, it's cozy in bedrooms, with bare feet on cold winter mornings.  But, hello, I have cats.  With digestive issues and hairball issues.  One splat and the carpet's basically ruined, because I'm not always there to clean it up, or even know about it, right away.  Plus I think it's basically very unsanitary.  Have you ever seen the dirt and sand under the padding when you remove the carpeting?  I don't care how well your fancy Dyson sucks up dirt; it's still there underneath, somehow.
  3. A kitchen open to other rooms, so people can hang out with the cook.  No, please, go sit down and talk amongst yourselves.  I'll give you a topic.  Really.  I'm nervous enough trying to put the meal together, with everything cooked to perfection and warm.  Yes, I'm a woman, but my multi-tasking skills are declining as I age.  I can't talk, entertain guests and cook at the same time.  Go watch TV or something and I'll call you when dinner's ready.  My family marvels at how ungracious I am, chasing everyone out of the kitchen so I can prepare the meal.  I've been known to hand out magazines and/or turn on the TV to keep guests occupied and out of my hair.  Sigh.  Maybe I should aspire to be more like Ina.  I'm pretty sure Martha doesn't do any cooking or cleaning anymore; her staff takes care of all of it.
  4. Marble countertops.  Yes, they are beautiful, old-fashioned, classic.  But I don't think I could live with the chips, stains and etching.  I have fantasies of cooking wonderful meals and being as neat as Martha or Ina.  But I cook like a whirling dervish.  Stuff goes flying everywhere.  I'm pleased with the granite I chose - Luna Pearl.  It hides crumbs so well I have to brush my hand against it to clean it well.  
 There are other things that I've found just aren't me.  Brown anything.  Yuck, I just can't do that color.  Maybe I'm drawing on some bad past associations.  Flat paint.  Yes, I have wavy, imperfect plaster walls.  But you can't wash schmutz off off of flat paint.  Glass shelves, tables, etc.  Fingerprints, cold-looking.  It's just not for me.  Fancy anything.  The older I get the more serene and simple I want things to be.  I didn't get a bridge faucet for that reason.  I got this simple one.
I tend to go with undersized things, as well, like chandeliers and curtain rods.  I still kind of regret buying stainless steel appliances.  So hard to keep clean.  Now I think I'd go with "white ice" ones. 

Also don't like anything Southwest style, cactus and all.  It's a lovely part of the country but I don't want to replicate the look in my home.  Nor Mediterranean, nor Mexican, nor woodsy cabin look.  I don't so much mind Southern style, though.  I guess I'm still a Shabby Chic, farmhouse, cottage type of girl.

I found an article on comfortable decorating styles in Houzz (do people still look at Houzz?).  Apparently imperfection defines my style.  I've just gotten into the chipped, painted furniture look.  So then why would I obsess about keeping marble countertops pristine?  Maybe I'm just a lazy housekeeper.


An Urban Cottage said...

Holy cow, Durf, I'm laughing my butt off. You're a regular Erma Bombeck!

You will HATE my new kitchen! Marble, stainless steel, bridge faucet, table in the center for friends. Did I miss anything?
Oh, no Southwest d├ęcor though so maybe that's okay.

Durf said...

Thanks, Steve. Sometimes I feel like I'm just talking to myself.

No, I will LOVE your kitchen. I gather that you're quite a cook, and this kitchen will reflect you, your tastes, your style, and your way of living.

I almost took a picture of my kitchen last night. I made a Kevin Lee Jacobs recipe, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. Well, I can't multi-task in the kitchen so my sister was making the spinach salad, nephew the potatoes and niece the broccoli. I used almost every pan and serving dish I have. I almost made a cheesecake with raspberry sauce for dessert. Don't know how it's possible to make such a mess. It wasn't all that complicated for a normal person!

Durf said...

Don't know why I said "almost made" a cheesecake. I did, in fact, make it. It's a really good, light recipe, where you whip five egg whites and fold them into the egg yolk, cream cheese mixture.

Anonymous said...

I love the comment on people in the kitchen while one is trying to cook.
I keep trying to teach people to only come when the dinner bell is rung. They don't seem to get it.

Durf said...

Well, being an introvert there are certain things I have to do alone. Cooking is one of them.

An Urban Cottage said...

I do love to cook. My mom wanted to raise two boys that could take care of themselves if no one would have us. My mom wasn't the greatest cook but she was a wonderful baker. I would love to bake but I'm severely allergic to eggs so it puts a real damper on the cheese cakes.

Durf said...

Wow. I just might lose some weight if I had to give up baked goods cuz I love sweets. I'd easily give up fruits, vegetables and meat for dessert any day. I'm guessing it might be easier to eath healthier with no eggs allowed.

Katie Clooney said...

Just found your blog through Hooked on Houses. Love all your comments. We are renovating a colonial that was built in 1890 and have a closed kitchen. Can't tell you if I like it yet because the renovation is NEVERENDING. Love your blog. I will definitely be back!!

Hartwood Roses said...

Just found you via a link on Hooked on Houses. Love what I have read so far ... Will continue yo scroll send read.

We have a Gothic Revival house, too. Our kitchen and dining room are in the 1960s addition. When we redid the kitchen, we opened it to the dining room ... but it is isolated from the rest of the house. Installed a bar-height counter to narrow the opening to keep minglers out of the kitchen proper while I'm cooking. Provides a place to visit, without having family or visitors under foot.

Durf said...

Thanks! Have fun with your house. Check out my kitchen pictures. The kitchen has five doorways and two radiators! These old houses are quite the challenge in regards to kitchens. Do you watch Rehab Addict? Nicole designs many dysfunctional old kitchens on that program.

Durf said...

Hartwood Roses,
Wow, thanks for writing! I love gardening and especially growing roses and just decided this winter to start growing antique ones. Can't wait to check out your blog.

Erin Burke said...

Hilarious! Great post! I feel the same about window seats and open concept kitchens. Why do I have to cook and watch my kids at the same time? Isn't that why I put on a movie? :)

Durf said...

Thanks Erin! Yeah, keep the kids out from under you in the kitchen!

bella said...

you just made me feel better about not being able to multitask in the kitchen. My husband is a pro at it, so he is the cook, and I clean his messes. =)

Durf said...

That's impressive for a man (not to stereotype, of course)! How heavenly to have someone cook for you.

Tatiana Z. Gaming said...

I'm glad to see someone else who prefers a closed kitchen. I live in a 1928 house and am so glad to still have a closed kitchen. It was starting to seem like everybody else I know wants it open and I'm the only oddball going "Nope. Not for me". I love to rearrange and having more wall space gives me more option and I love having more wall to decorate. And if I'm pressed for time and don't get my kitchen sparkling clean I don't have to worry about anybody looking at it while sitting in my living room or dining room.

Durf said...

I apologize for not answering your comment sooner. Yes, I think "open concept" is a fad that will eventually fade away. I can't imagine painting an entire floor the same color. Where do these people hang their pictures? I think open floor plans are for the obsessive neatniks.