I went to lunch at a friend's home the other day.
Her house is lovely. Black ceramic tile floors, white leather couches, classically elegant side chairs, a wrought iron bench in the hall...and not a crayon, marker, lego or Barbie in sight. My friend does not have children.
I must admit a touch of envy at her pristine house that actually had a decorating style to it. Her black and white colour scheme was echoed in the little lamp on the fireplace with the white and black shade, there were throws placed just so on the couch, and even the cat beds blended. She shares her space with 2 cats and a dog, but it was elegant, classic...and in another postal code, no wait, another province, no wait another universe to my home.
Our house is shabby chic, forget the chic. We have a small house and too much stuff. We also have 2 cats and a small child who loves crafts. We are both stackers, although my husband is an uber-stacker. Our living room overflows with colouring books, crayons, markers and paper in my daughter's corner, and yarn, pattern books and works in progress in mine. My husband's domain in the living room features a Whomping Lazyboy chair and a pile of the latest ads and flyers. We all have our own particular thing.
We have furniture. We don't have a style. I moved into my husband's house from an apartment when we got married and over the 11 years we've been married, we've slowly been moving from yours/mine to ours. We sold both our couches and bought a leather one a few years ago, which now serves to hold the stash of flyers. We sold my antique table and chairs and his kitchen set that had been residing in the basement for 11 years, and bought a kitchen set that fits our kitchen better. I have an antique wing chair that I re-upholstered last year, and then hid in a slip cover so that the cat couldn't destroy this version with his claws. Hubby's Lazy Boy is burgundy, and the kid has a chair in the same colour.
The focal point of the living room should be the fireplace, but the Whomping Chair only fits in one corner. Also, the kid's table and chairs sits in front of the fireplace. The couch looked nice in front of the window, but it blocked too much light. If the Whomping Chair is in THAT corner, then my wing chair can only fit in the OTHER corner...and then of course, there's the television.
The rest of the house does not fair much better...Only my daughter's room has some semblance of style to it, and it's stuffed animal explosion in her room. She likes it that way, even if you can barely see the ballerina bedspread. I'm not even going to dignify our bedroom with a mention.
I was never much of a house decorator. I've always had to make do with hand-me-downs, cast-offs and what I scrounged from home when I moved out. I bought my first couch after I'd been working a lot of years, and totally messed up on the choice of print. I've never had matching anything, so working with what I had is what I do.
My house is a home. Maybe too much of one. It's gotten out of control, but I don't know where to start. I work from home around my daughter, and if I'm on deadline, crayons and drawing are my best friends. We're slowly teaching her to pick up her toys when she's finished with them, although I would still recommend wearing slippers if you're padding to the bathroom in the dark. Legos hurt when they come in contact with bare feet.
We have too much stuff. We need to purge. My husband is the king of the packrats, and getting him to part with anything is a challenge. I need an office, which means the spare room needs to get cleared out. I don't know where to start.
I like to watch Colin and Justin's Home Heist, but I don't think there's room enough on the t-shirt for all of our design crimes. They wouldn't know where to start either.
My friend recently described my house as "kid friendly" which translates into the kid took over the living room. It's true. We waited a long time for the kid and she needs a place to play where I can still keep an eye on her while I'm working. Still, a little less kid friendly might be nice.
So I guess my style of decorating is Mommy Chic. And that will have to do for now.