Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shelves and Guilt

Sometimes I think I am consuming too much beauty.  Too many blogs, too much Pinterest, too much time wandering through Capitol Hill looking in people’s windows (you know you do it too).  Our apartment is wonderful given that we are living off my secretarial salary and Dave’s student loans, given that it’s incredibly cheap and in an incredibly expensive city.  We have wood floors and enormous windows and a mfing dishwasher.  It’s paradise.  But I’m feeling discontent.  I want it to feel cozy but minimal and clean.  I want it to be warm but sleek and modern.  I want it to be all new and lush without having to throw out or replace anything we have.  I think this is the malady of being a consumer of too much beauty-media. 

I’m trying to think about what would make our flat more usable - having the table rearranged so we can have people over and so we eat at the table like adults; getting rid of clutter so we feel calmer (outer order contributes to inner calm); having the things I love and use accessible.  The part of our apartment that makes me happiest are the bracketed shelves I put up in the kitchen as soon as we moved in.  The shelves themselves are functional and minimal and they hold the tea and breakfast things.  They make me happy every time I make a pot of tea or grab a bowl for ice cream.  

In persuit of a home that feels like my kitchen shelves I’m trying to let go of the things in our home that make me feel guilty.  When my class graduated college we all got a print of our alma mater.  I have it framed and in our living room and I kind of hate it.  I love my alma mater, I would love to have another image of it somewhere but I don’t like that stupid water colour with our class year below it.  Every time I look at it I think about how I wish it weren’t there and then I feel guilty because I don’t want to throw away this reminder of graduation and my friends and college.  It’s time for it to go.  Or the very useful corner cabinet that I painted two years ago and never quite got right.  The knobs are bugging me, the glass never got put back and the colour didn’t work out that well.  I’m making a list of things that bother me specifically and daily and leaving the rest alone.  My life is not a photoshoot. 


  1. Beauty-media. That is the perfect term. Never heard it before.

  2. I really love what you've said here. It's so hard to strike a balance between overt materialism and making a cozy temple of our homes as a respite from the world, etc. And the "beauty media" can muddle our personal aesthetic, etc. Thanks for this.