Does your home tell your story?
I was reading an article today that started out with this sentence:
“So I was wandering around Pottery Barn” is no way to start a story about the things you choose to keep in your home.
I tried to continue reading the article about a man that makes ping pong tables out of railroad tracks, but I kept going back to that first sentence, wondering ‘does my home reflect who I am?’
Home is where our stuff is
Our homes are our castles – our fortresses filled with lifelong collections of booty and spoils acquired on our journey through
life thus far. At this point in my life, I am no longer concerned about style fads or fashion trends. When someone visits my house, they can fairly easily see who I am just by walking in the front door — family pictures greet folks on a small table in the entryway. A quick read of my formal living will show the importance of music and beauty in my life, with my childhood piano covered with sheet music and piano books. Paintings inherited from the daughter-in-law of an American artist hang on the walls. China from my mother and grandmothers fill my china cabinet. On one cabinet sits a lamp made from a vintage Beverly Hills street light that my uncle acquired while working on a crew that was replacing them in the 1950s.
In the next room, a secretary desk that my grandfather made sits next to a chair with a paper taped to the back of it explaining that the chair was bought in Grafton, Ohio in 1838 by my great-great-great grandmother. A handmade bookcase from my great aunt’s house sits against another wall. On other credenzas you might find treasures from my oldest daughter’s world travels displayed – a carved wooden head from Bali, a ceramic fish-shaped bowl from Malaysia, or a small carved wooden replica of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil – along with photos of my children, macaroni necklaces, or a plaster of paris seahorse. A beautifully framed, classic portrait of Jesus hangs on the wall, a constant reminder of our true purpose in life.
My studio is an organized mess of my artistic life – fabric and textile arts, sewing machines, and bookshelves. My office area has still more bookshelves filled with oft-used genealogy books, file cabinets and binders full of documents, letters, photographs, and clues which continually link me to my ancestors as well. Even if I had no inherited mementos, the stories from my research connect me to my ancestors, my family.
None of these things would be sold in Pottery Barn, and most things would fetch very little at a yard sale. But this is my castle. This is my life, and I am rich with family, with memories, with happiness, and with love. And, I’m pretty sure the things I choose to keep in my home tell my story.
Do the things you surround yourself with tell your story?