01 November 2011

Homemaking as Art

While folding laundry I was thinking about how to build some shelves for the towels. Then I imagined all the different nooks and crannies in which I could build some custom shelves, And I start to imagine the whole house fitted with structures to hold all of the physical memories of our growing children; clay sculptures, pinewood derby cars, soccer trophies, class photos, valentines day cards, favorite sea shells, etc... and in the kids room, shelves everywhere filled with toys, books, puzzles. What a wonderful place this house could be if I could just start adding some shelving.. Sometimes you visit a house, and it really has that lived-in beautiful family feel. It may not be the cleanest place, but it is full of life, happening now. Happening every moment it is filled with growing children. There are pets, toys, and half-completed projects all over the place. The kitchen is like a big pantry, full of stuff at arms-reach for the cook of the house. And sets are gathered around the kitchen with homework books on the counter with the splattered cookbooks. Recently, a former classmate had his house published in an architectural magazine, and when my wife and I saw this, we laughed, because in our mixed up confused life, it seems so empty it was absurd:
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I may not want a house that is spare and white as this, but I do think it can be purposely built and continually improved much more than we have done so far. Our house now is more of a jumble of backround thoughts that were never completed. I want to do better in this regard. I think a good home, whether an apartment, a condor or a house, needs constant attention. Never-ending repair, rebuilding, and improving, similar to the constant attention a child demands... or your spouse. And I guess what I am making peace with is that this is a worthy project. Worthy of just as much attention and respect as a career. Home-making is an art, like any other. So give it the attention and hard work that it deserves. That is why,even though it has just turned midnight, and I could expand on these thoughts for another hour, I will now stop this writing and go give some love and attention to some shelves in the bathroom. BTW; below are two images of the Soane Museum in London. This was the personal house of Sir John Soane. He was an avid collector of antiquities and he was continually rebuilding and improving his house to display his incredible collection:  
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5chw4r7z said...

Our place looks like that. The 10 minutes after we've cleaned up, but before the guests arrive.

Pam @ Frippery said...

Wonderful post. Our homes are the places where our most personal memories are made. We should cherish them and care for them. In an age of staging and depersonalizing for future sale I think many fall into the trap of perfection. Lived in is what family homes are about. The mess and the collecting and the crazy little side table from aunt Milly are part of a life lived with joy and memories. I love beautiful homes but give me one with personality. Thanks for this thoughtful post. May I link to it from my blog? Have a peaceful Sunday, Pam