Monday, July 24, 2006

Corner Of My Home

You probably won't see too many of these - corners of my home, that is. Because the simple fact of the matter is that I am not very good at interior design / home making / etc.

In some small way, this bothers me - I would love to have an eye for color, a flair for knowing exactly what thing needs to go on that table, or what I need to hang on that empty space on the wall.

But, in the grander scheme of things, I guess I can live with it.

It's funny, but I am coming to terms with the fact that I was born design-deficient - much in the way that my number-one-boy, Schecky, is color-blind*.

I don't really seem to have any sort of personal style of my own, but I do know what I like when I see it. I can walk into another person's home and recognize what they've done well, and what isn't quite right - I just can't seem to apply that knowledge to my own house. Ditto reading home improvement articles, etc.

People are often surprised at my complete lack of ability in this area. "But you seem so crafty!", they exclaim.
I'm living proof that you can be both crafty and yet utter crap at making a home.
Also, while I was teaching preschool, I did get a reputation for being very "artsy" - since I loved to do projects - painting, collages, etc. - with the children, and since I took great pride in decorating the classroom with the utterly gorgeous things that the children made... Still, obviously skills that don't translate into making a home of my own.

This having been said, I am more pleased with this particular corner than any other in my house. It's the closest thing to "being done" as it gets. I recognize that I need to have a plant in there somewhere, and that my poor bare walls are crying out for artwork or something. But knowing that I need these things, and being able to take care of those gaps are two completely different things.

Instead of dwelling any further on what is not there, let's look at what is....

First of all - I like all the wood. The trim on the windows has been there all along (since 1908!), but the blinds and the piano were my addition. The piano we just got last year, it was left to us by my husband's grandmother, who in her day was apparently quite the Grande Dame of Greeneville, NC society.

I also like the round table, and that's just been there for a year or so as well. It's basically a filing cabinet that I had my mom, who is an excellent seamstress, pretty up for me. This actually caused me great stress at the time, because I picked out the fabrics myself. When I sent them off to my mom, she immediately called me up wanting to know what I was thinking! Of course, at that point I as thinking that I had just spent what seemed like to me a small fortune on fabric, and that it must be ugly - even though I had thought it was so pretty... This has a happy ending though - when she delivered to me, we put it all together and she decided that she liked it after all. "I get it now, " she said - which is about as high a praise as you are going to get from that one. (I love my mom, but she's got a lot of Farmer Hoggett in her. You can knock yourself out winning the sheep herding competition, and all you're going to hear is: "That'll do, pig...")

Of course, that moment was somewhat short-lived, as she began pointing out my lack of decorative tabletop items with which to build a proper "table scape." I had the lamp, but was informed you can't just have a table on it with nothing but a lamp. I added the silver tray, which was my grandmother's. My mom decided that I needed some sort of red accessory, to pick up the accent color in the room. I didn't have anything handy, so she put Fluffy in there - to serve as a guide. I am supposed to be on the lookout for something that is as red and as tall as Fluffy for that spot - I guess a vase, or something? Anyway, Fluffy suits me just fine and he's been sitting there for months... And probably will stay there until the next time my mom is in town, and sees him and immediately marches me out to Bed, Bath and Beyond or some sort of KnickKnacks R Us store, where she will effortlessly find just the perfect thing and tell me to buy it.

The books are: (and this is for Manda, because she likes to know the books....)
Under the Lamp:
An Atlas - which I actually look at all the time.
Miss Manner's Guide To Raising Perfect Children - which was given to me by a friend of my mother's (a dear old friend, they were TriDelts at Kentucky together) when I was pregnant with Schecky. It was not intended as a gag gift, either, I suspect. I have never opened it - I like the irony: Miss Manners may not have helped me raise my child, but she did help me raise my lamp...

On the table:
Stitch and Bitch
Stupid Sock Creatures
Jess Hutch's Unusual Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy

None of these are supposed to be here, since they clutter up my table space - but I look at them all the time and I like to have them handy....

This corner looks a little spiffier than is usual, due to the roses. Bubba brought those home the other day, completely out of the blue, "just because," as he adamantly informed me that they were NOT birthday roses. I'll admit that I am not really a big flower girl, a topic that the clever and entertaining Editrix has discussed over at her site, Pathetic Fallacy. I'll let you check it out there....
However, I do have to admit that they look really, really pretty and I might have to rethink my whole "never, ever, ever buy me flowers" stance....
A stance in which Bubba is obviously well versed - when he walked in the door with the big bundle of flowers, he immediately said "You can't get mad at me for this! I got them at Publix, they were practically free...." I've trained him too well, perhaps????

*Yes, the Scheckster is almost completely color-deficient. Which is politically-correct speak for "Color-Blind". I usually avoid any and all phrases that are stupidly PC - however, we got Scheck tested when he was so young, and he didn't really understand and the word blind got him all worried. We got in the habit of using "deficient" instead, and even though he's old enough now that the fear is gone, the word is still around.

In school, a million years ago, they taught us that there are two different types of color-blindness: red/green and blue/yellow. I thought that you had one or the other. This is not exactly so - you can have one, or the other, or there's a whole spectrum in between. Scheck is totally red/green color-deficient, and almost wholly blue/yellow. I'd love to see the world through his eyes, I really, really would.


Laura said...

Oh, I didn't know Schecky was color blind. We had a close friend who was color blind and I swear, he was the best dresser. We asked his wife if she helped him and she said no.

I'm so not a designer either. I just don't have the knack and have even less time. I wish I were though. Sigh.

LLA said...

Yup, he is. I always knew that there was a chance that he would be, since my maternal grandfather was.

I also always suspected that I had marked him for it since I named him after that maternal grandfather - v. superstitious of me, no?

It's funny - apparently my grandfather was very self-conscious about it and didn't want anyone to know. Almost as if there were some sort of stigma attached.
Around here we just treat it like "so, you see colors differently, big deal" - and it's not any sort of big deal.
Particularly as he gets older - so much of early elementary school stuff is/was color based, so we had to make sure that his teachers were aware and that he always had crayons that had the names printed on the labels. We figured it out so early on that he developed coping skills really quickly...

It seems like pretty much everyone has something wrong with them anymore, doesn't it? If color-blindness is the worst we have to deal with, I am thrilled...

autum said...

Do you think if someone else told you how you should decorate your house you would feel at home there? I don't think you should worry about doing things a certain way because a magazine says it is the right way. Just play around with things and keep what looks and feels right to you. And don't tell her I said so, but this is one instance when you don't have to listen to your mother.

capello said...

I'd love to see the world through his eyes, too. But only for a while. I lik living in color.

Pretty corner (jealous of the piano. I want a piano)!

manda said...

Hah! Thank you for the books - you know me so well!
I think you're corner looks lovely - and Autum's right, you don't need to listen to anyone else.
And wow about Schecky being colourblind - yes it would be very interesting to see the world through his eyes.

The Caretaker said...

I like that corner too. It's the Christmas tree corner! clap clap