I am guided to decorate my home by the stories that a scratched-up wood desk can share with me.
Although it is attempted to create decorative pieces that have been distressed, I can always tell that they are new, made to look old. That is desirable in its own way, but for me I cannot buy the feel and smell that a pre-loved item exudes.
I want that real antique brass door hinge, the one that makes all that noise. I desire linen pillows that have been washed and re-washed to the point that they have become softened by the love they received. And you can’t convince me that a paint-peeling wood window is not the most beautiful thing on this planet, from living through all the seasons this earth gives.
I feel deeply when I surround myself with items that have a past before they came to me. They understand this world perhaps better than a human could, and they will be here when I’m gone.
An important aspect of adorning a home is the quality of its contents. Old-world creations were made with products of this earth like metals, wood, cotton, linens, stone, pottery, and the like. Things that took many hands to make and artfully passed down skills to bring to fruition. I may not have a lot of art on my walls, but the furniture and contents are art pieces themselves.
I may love all the ease of modern conveniences and buying synthetic to save on cost, but I do not think I will ever agree that polyester feels better than wool nor that an efficient LED bulb makes me smile like a lit tapered candle can. New items can have gorgeous perks where that feeling of freshness is unmatched by used and worn standards, especially a new cotton pattern that fits just right with my seasonal decor. It is more a question of how items make me feel when I surround myself with them in my home – and for me it is clear. It is vastly different for billions on this earth, finding the path that delights you is what’s important.
The imperfections in my wood desk are what make it beautiful. Those teacup stains were not put there on purpose, they are a result of a writer’s morning work. The scrapes and scuffs were not added for style, they are the result of a 100 years of a schoolhouse’s lessons. I’m infinitely inspired by the works of others, and that includes their imperfections.