House Beautiful

I love rustic Scandinavian style, I think, even though I'm not quite sure what it is.  In my mind, it's synonymous with a picture I once drooled over in a decorating magazine that someone passed along.  Wide-plank wooden floors, painted white; a rustic, wooden table and chairs, chipped (and painted white, of course); simple, wood-plank, white walls, and a few tastefully placed vases and pillows that were all robin's egg blue.  Oh, yes, and NO CLUTTER ANYWHERE.

Maybe I'd only love it in a magazine, though, because my reality is somewhere on the other side of the design continent. I'm constantly getting rid of things, and at least once a year I go through everything in the house and get rid of too many garbage bags to believe, and yet, still, when I decide to trawl through the entire upstairs and get rid of stuff, this is the result...for weeks.

You'd like another angle?  I aim to please. (The best part*** is that this is when it was starting to look better than it had for the two weeks previous.)

We aren't on government assistance, we have a large family, and our household income places us laughably below our country's (laughable) poverty level, and yet we live in such luxury that I have bags and bags of excess to get rid of each year.  I just told my sister the other day that one of the clearest signs of our country's wealth is the proliferation of people who struggle with too much stuff.  Too MUCH stuff?!  Since when in the history of the world have people who are not royalty shared the common problem of how to rid themselves of excess material stuff?  Each time I declutter, it's frustrating and humbling, both.  Frustrating because I can never discipline myself to turn our home for nine into that sweeping, clean-lined, Scandinavian ideal and humbling because we live like kings.

We live like kings.

Even if I could discipline myself to get rid of twice as much, the days of work and the bags trundled out that turned the train wreck above into this, my favorite space in the house,

 were for these happy inhabitants who USE our wealth of stuff for the important work of living and creating. 

I'll gladly take bustle and the cluttered mess of nine fruitful lives over Scandinavian sterility any day of the week.

Wouldn't you?

***Actually, the best part is that I'm now trying to declutter the downstairs, which means if you stop in for a visit, it will most decidedly not strike you as "Scandinavian."  (Please see above pictures of the de-cluttering process for reference.)  In fact, we'll probably have to go upstairs in order to find a place to sit.


heidiann(e) said...

yes, indeed!

Rebecca said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Well done on the upstairs. It looks so beautiful.