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.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Plans for a cold day.

I'm hunkered down, cozy and comfortable on the couch in the parlor.  In fact, it's getting a little too warm in this robe, flannel nightgown and wool hiking socks.  It started out about -9 degrees today.  We got only about four inches total from Thursday and Friday's accumulations.  Not much, given all the hoopla.  I wanted to go hiking today but my sister said we shouldn't unless it's in the 20's, which might be a stretch, according to the forecast. 

Can you see the shadow of paperwhites behind the curtains?  All the curtains are closed, ghetto-style, to keep out the cold.

Breakfast was scrambled egg whites with pecorino romano cheese, a bagel with butter and strawberry jam, a banana, and tea with cream and sugar.  I shouldn't be hungry for awhile so I think I'll just stay here on the couch, reading shelter magazines and watching flip-it shows on A & E.  Or maybe my old 1990's-era Martha Stewart TV shows.

Later on I'll go to the library to read about refinishing old floors in my favorite Old House Journal book from the '70s.  It's very informative if you'd like to check it out.  I finally decided to sand the painted floors in the guest bedroom, maybe with just a powerful orbital sander.  They're rough and I get slivers jammed in my foot occasionally.  I'm thinking of using tung oil on them.  The floors, not my feet.

I don't know what those turquoise spots area.
 Later there might be soup and game night at Tina's.  All in all, it should make for a great cold day.

What are your plans this cold day?