Fuck your map.
I’m fascinated by and addicted to thinking about this tumblr, mostly because I wonder what the opposite would be? What would a satisfying decor be to the people who are fed up with terrariums, vintage maps, and Eames chairs? I’m mostly wondering because this is what I want for my own home. I don’t want my house to look like every other apartment/house in Apartment Therapy and Dwell. When I visit the antique mall (that might be my problem right there) with my mom, I have to remind her and myself: no Eames. Nothing Danish. We have plenty of that, and we’re starting to look like a mid-century museum. So we look for primitive wood bowls and milking stools (my favorite stepping stool in the antique mall, in a booth of antique fishing equipment, is “Not For Sale,” unfortunately). But isn’t this just as much of a design THING? What should I be aiming for? Puffy couches and particle board shelves? Will this become the new THING?
Maybe the point is I shouldn’t be aiming at all?
(This goes for everyone’s obsession with Pinterest as well, where I keep seeing identical rooms posted over and over again, when all I want to see pinned are the types of things found by Andy at Reference Library and Leslie Williamson’s photography of the interiors of artists’ homes.)
Don’t aim for anything - collect meaningful stuff.
This is my problem with this sort of decor - everyone is in a rush to cultivate a design personality instead of developing one.
The cool shit in our grandparents house? It’s there because they bought it in 1945 and never threw it away. These apartments and Dwell spreads always look cold, mainly because there’s no personality, no life, no anima (what’s up Grosse Pointe). Buying an old sewing box to hold your decorative arrows because you saw it in a magazine and it looked cool isn’t as exciting to me as someone who went to a local furniture store and picked out some plain old wooden box they liked. Rooms like the one pictured above say nothing to me about the owner’s style or interests - it only tells me that they read Apartment Therapy and have an eBay account.
Our grandparents’ homes had soul. We don’t have soul - we have blueprints for style, and it feels empty.
Danielle, as always, provides her useful and meaningful perspective.
For the record, all of our Danish furniture was furniture J’s parents bought when they set up their first home after getting married, and the Nakashima-style table that holds our turntable was built by my grandfather out of a piece of maple brought back from Vermont by my parents after their first year of marriage. These pieces contain a lot of memories and significance for us, and so we’re happy to give them pride of place in our home.
I suppose that’s the best we can “aim for” when it comes to design: collect meaningful stuff. Thank you, Danielle, for reminding me of what I already sort of knew, if I were to just think about what is important to me in my own home.
(This also justifies my desire to decorate my office wall with old magazine cut-outs of Todd Rundgren. Now that’s MEANINGFUL STUFF.)