Ah, today’s quote.
“The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living.” – Harry Bertoia
My first thought was of my friend Oliver, who has for some time been working in fashion design. He probably gets this quote better than I myself do. I’m not super big on wearing the trending styles or even following home design concepts. I can’t see how someone else’s opinion of how you should dress or arrange your living space should steer you in life. I’m more the type to go with my own personal style as opposed to what’s ‘in’.
But I suppose if you’re a designer, it’s much like any other art form – it drives you. And I get that concept all day long.
I do have my quirks when it comes to clothing style and how I want my home to appear, though. So I suppose that I can identify with the quote on that level.
Symmetry is a big thing for me, and matching items. I have a preference for wood furniture as opposed to metal or glass. And every piece should be the same kind of wood. I have darker woods in my bedroom for the most part, and then there’s my bookshelf, which is lighter. And my headboard is a completely different type. It makes me a little crazy. It’s on my list of things to correct.
Grandma handles the purchasing of household items, as she is constantly finding things at garage sales. She isn’t as big on matching as I am. If it serves a purpose, it’s good for her. Me myself though, all of my dishes should match my kitchen towels, and would carry a theme through the kitchen. The only exception to this is holidays, when I have themed hand towels to dress things up. My bathroom towels should all match my shower curtain and rugs, a color theme would complete my living room and bedroom, and in the kids rooms as well. Obviously the furniture style should all match each other, since I’ve already touched on that. I have at least made sure that the bedding in the bedrooms match the curtains, but they’re boys – they don’t care as long as the room is dark in the morning when they’re trying to sleep, and the blankets keep them warm.
I know this comes in part because of growing up with hand me down and garage sale items as a kid. No piece of furniture matched another, no dish matched another growing up. The other part is my rather organized personality. I can’t handle the hecticness of multiple colors and themes. At one point Matthew had requested a rainbow themed bathroom – when he was Chase’s age he had decided his favorite color was ‘rainbow’. I happened upon a rainbow shower curtain, and having just received a raise at work I was able to buy corresponding towels. It ended up looking like a bag of skittles had exploded in our bathroom, and just looking at the towels stacked in the linen closet made me itchy – green and blue and pink and orange, none of them matching. To help me feel better I bought myself darker pink matching towels so at least my shit matched.
The things our kids talk us into.
I have memories of my Mamaw employing the help of family to change out her curtains through out the house each season. She thoroughly decorated the house for holidays, down to the bathroom linens at Christmas time. Everything always seemed to match in her house. So Maybe I get this desire for things to match from her. I happened upon a Christmas shower curtain this year while Black Friday shopping – I always thought it was silly to decorate your bathroom for Christmas, but did so to get a reaction out of the kids. I knew Matthew would think I was ridiculous, and Chase would get a kick out of it. I wasn’t wrong.
Moving on to fashion. . .
I have a very simple fashion sense. My day to day is jeans and t-shirts, or yoga pants and t-shirts at home. For work I also keep it rather simple. I do have a thing for brightly patterned skirts, but otherwise its slacks and plain shirts there, too. I have a few blouses for when I’m feeling like I want or need to be dressier, but otherwise it’s all as simple as can be. I’m a little particular about having a darker wash for my jeans as a general rule. I have to wear a necklace of some sort to dress up what I wear to work, and my make up generally matches my outfit – I have a variety of eye shadow colors at my disposal for this purpose. That’s just something that my mom taught me that has become ingrained in me. It goes along with my idea that shit should match, though.
To be fair, if someone were to tell me I had to completely alter my appearance and my idea that all my shit has to match, I’d probably tell them to fuck off. So I suppose I can understand this quote in that regard.
Our personal style preferences are an extension of who we are as an individual. I like my tattoos and t-shirts, I like my home to having matching themes through out. It makes me feel more at peace. So if someone were to come in and change that I wouldn’t feel at ease, I wouldn’t feel like I was myself anymore.
I’m familiar with altering my appearance to appease someone else’s idea of what I should look like. That didn’t work so well, and I won’t make the same mistake again.
Everyone has their own idea of how their home should look, and how they should look and dress. And that’s how this quote comes across to me. We have our individual style that makes us unique, that makes our home ours specifically. And to alter that would be detrimental to who we are as an individual. Could we really live our lives without our own unique styles? Could I stop dying my hair and have my home all hodge podge and feel secure in who I am as an individual person? No, not likely.
Don’t be afraid to have your own style, and don’t be afraid of what people make of it. At the end of the day, it’s you that needs to be happy with yourself and your surroundings, no one else. Beauty – and style – is in the eye of the beholder.