Tag Archives: decorating delimmas

No Shortcuts

Apparently I’m not the only one who reacted badly to all the clutter of “shabby chic” or the bald sterility of “minimalist” styles. I found an article yesterday talking about “warm minimalism” which isn’t what I want, but it is a lot closer than either shabby chic, industrial, or minimalism.

I’d decided that whatever I called my decorating style really didn’t matter, although it has been a pain not being able to find things which suit me in a group, instead of piecemeal.

I want  a frugal hygge-cwtch combination. Hygge is a better known term, it’s Danish and means “acknowledging a moment.” Cwtch is a Welsh word. The first meaning I found was “feeling safe, loved, & totally comfortable.” So contemplative, safe & comfortable.

Rather than a decorating style, it’s an emotional state I’m after? This is me, so that figures. Why didn’t I just fall in love with Modern, like my Dad and Husband? Or Shabby Chic, or “Country” or ?

There’s a sign in our living room,”There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Of course, this fits. Here’s yet another attempt to define my style:

Simple lines, industrial/retail, warm & uncluttered —  a hygge-cwtch space.

If I was going to make an image for this? It would be sitting wrapped up warm on a porch, holding a cup of tea or cocoa, and looking out at a lake or other body of water with early morning mist rising from the water.

I grew up a block from the Pacific Ocean: water within seeing distance is just part of what makes “home” for me. Unfortunately, this house has no water within sight, except vernal ponds in the spring.

We have talked, at various times, about buying a lakeside cabin as a retirement home. Maybe.

fineartamerican.com via images.google.com

(Image is NOT mine, fineartamerica.com via images.google.com )


My Rose by Any Other Name is a Cacti

Came up with a name for my personal style, not that it will help me find things!

I guess it’s not supposed to? Newer decorating books talk about people’s decorating styles as “raspberry coolatta meets Bullwinkle,” well, no not that, but you get the idea!

If the name doesn’t actually have to be *useful* in telling others what you’re looking for? Well, mine could be:

Funky industrial/retail meets modern, or functional & simple lines are best!

( If you put that into google? You get a bunch of pinterest hits for industrial decorating, which is nice, but . . . .)

An example could be our hearth: the wood box is an old crate we bought at auction: on one side it has a label which reads “American Consulate.” On another it says “Mrs. (somebody) and “silverware.” Who the woman was, what kind of silverware, which consulate? There’s history and an untold story in that crate.

We use it for firewood, 2 wine crates for kindling, an old leaky pressure cooker holds fire starters, and a counter display for carborundum blades holds matches. Oh — and two steel US Quartermaster’s bins hold paper.

The club chairs were bought used at an antique store, the table between is a small library catalog, with a step stool behind it with a plastic cube on that we got as a wedding present, lo those many years ago. The end tables are picnic baskets, also from an antique store.

That’s my style — whatever it is!


repurposed/interesting/useful/retail/military/frugal/industrial — or functional & simple lines are best

Almost none of the stuff in the room was new when we got it. Exceptions: the plastic cube, the ash bucket, the hearth materials and the stove.

So, another revision:

repurposed/interesting/useful/retail/military/industrial/frugal —

or used & functional: simple lines are best

The last bit is the reality, really, I don’t go looking for the industrial or military or retail things. When I find one? It’s a plus, but not a requirement. That makes it:

Used & functional: simple lines are best

Put that into google? You get info about linear regression. NOT helpful!


(You can find the first description of this problem here.)

Decorating problems! (retitled post)

I’ve been doing something very dangerous, for me… I’ve been reading decorating and organizing books!

Dangerous? Well, sort of, it makes me want to dive into decorating the house, when of course I can’t; there’s too much stuff in the way. On the other hand, this is a good thing as it got me thinking about next steps.

For the laundry to pantry conversion: I’ve got room now, I can move the ironing board storage and get the first of the wire shelves I want for the pantry. If nothing else, I can start the summer vegetables there now.

In the living room: I can move the small retail shelves out towards the window, and put some plants there too.

In my office, about the same, although the plants have to go in trays on top of other things.

Obviously, I am READY for spring to happen, big time!

Because my mind is wandering down these verdant paths, I was also thinking about how to make the flower pots etc. that I use MINE not just mass produced pieces. I have a bunch of terracotta pots outside, and they can be painted with milk paint (which I already have), to whatever color scheme I choose.

Color schemes are one of my decorating “demons.” As usual, I like too many. I love bright slight pastels with black & white. I love that color scheme with bright red accents. But on the other hand, I love muted pastels with Swedish blue or blue-green accents too. The two do NOT seem to go into any cohesive whole. It’s problem!

The larger rugs in the house (mostly Crate & Barrel’s old “color block” area rugs) are the first, colors, black & white. The large hand-loomed rug is too. Originally, it was going to go into the living room, but it won’t fit. The wood stove on one side and the air intake for the furnace on the other side of the room take up too much space. If my friend Barbara was still alive, I’d ask her if she could customize it and I’m sure she would have, but I don’t know any other weavers. (The job would be a total pain, the rug is HUGE and HEAVY!)

My original notion was to make the intense colors/black & white mix downstairs in the public space and the muted pastel shades upstairs in the private spaces (bedroom, bath).

The black & white/intense color scheme is similar to this newer rug from Crate & Barrel:

The muted pastels color scheme is like this, sort of. I like more color than this too, but not much! (I’ll edit the photos to get the credits in there. Sorry!) [This image came from a BHG site. I cannot relocate the image to give credit where it’s due. ]

I love how thick and heavy the hand-loomed rug is. I love its brightness. I really don’t like that it’s just too damn big to go where I want it. It fits the room, the room doesn’t fit it! DH & I have talked for years about getting the intake for the furnace off the floor, we even had a quote from a guy who did duct work. Unfortunately, he retired before we could afford to have him do it, and we don’t know someone else who could do it. That’s a solvable problem, but it seems a bit extreme to do this NOW because I want to put a certain rug in the room?

Maybe I should just sell the rug? At the moment, it’s folded in 1/2 in the “dining room.” If we move the big, English antique table from the “dead corner,” the rug could probably be unfolded. That’s what  I think I had in mind. But I had this yummy notion of putting my feet down on the thick handmade rug in the middle of winter, like now. There’s still wall to wall  upstairs, something both of us want to change. (There’s no flooring under the rug, just plywood sub-flooring, and all the rooms upstairs are one big piece of carpet. Ideally, we’d do it all at once.)

THIS is the type of thing which causes me to own too many rugs, and have not enough space. Until we solve the design problem or decide to get the rug cut down, the final design of the living room, kitchen, and bedroom are in limbo.

Of course, it’s in limbo anyway, as  there’s too many boxes to actually move a rug in, but there are ways and there are ways. Most of the stuff in the living room came from our offices last October. The plan was to move all of it back into whichever room. We CAN go through the stuff and pare it down. It would be nice to actually be able to find some of the things that became “missing” as we did this!

I need to walk before I can run. So, today’s plan: make bread, freeze asparagus (I didn’t do it yesterday) and move things around/clean up the living room in front of the double windows enough that I can put the metal shelf there, with the idea that I’ll plant veggie seeds in pots.

I know myself, if I don’t do this with a reward system, I won’t get it done. So… .Asparagus first, it will ultimately probably take the longest.

First bread and kitchen cleanup, get the dishwasher going. Then start on the living room About the time I falter there, the bread should be filling the house with wonderful smells and the hot bread will provide a wonderful break probably right about lunchtime.

I’m off!


(Paper trail = 0)