Lauren is our hostess today for Throwback Thursday. Her topic “Decorating Your Space”. Ms. Maggie (Of Cave Walls) will host next week as they alternate. Great topics they’ve come up with too. Feel free to join right in! 🙂
Lauren asks (and due to time considerations, I’m just gonna answer her questions as they come, so it might look a bit muddled at first. I’ll clean it up a tad tomorrow)
This week’s prompt is: Decorating Your Space! Think back to the time you were deciding on what your environment should look like. Did you get to decorate your bedroom as a kid, or did Mom and Dad make all the decisions? This week, I’d like you to think back to when you decorated your own space. It could be a bedroom at home, a dorm room, a first apartment, or possibly a first home. Can you still see the room in your head? What did you do to make it special to you? Was your goal to rebel against what your parents would have liked? Did you get to paint the walls your own color? Did you plaster posters all over the place? Were you able to get new furniture or did you have hand me downs? Did you add things until there was no more room, or were you a minimalist? Please share your decorating memories with us.
Did you get to decorate your bedroom as a kid, or did Mom and Dad make all the decisions? Due to being a foster child for most of my childhood, decorating was the last thing that ever crossed my mind. Besides it wasn’t “MY” space, I shared with two other girls. Probably why I never had roommates as an adult, nor lived full time with anyone until hubby came along. MY space, my own where nobody poked or pried or criticized or invaded was and remains extremely precious to me. Another ‘gift’ courtesy of PTSD and hypervigilance. Yay.
“Please share your decorating memories with us.”:
This week, I’d like you to think back to when you decorated your own space. It could be a bedroom at home, a dorm room, a first apartment, or possibly a first home.
Can you still see the room in your head? What did you do to make it special to you? I can sort of picture my bedroom. I’ll do three under this question: My bedroom as a teenager at home with my biologic parents; my first ‘I and the bank own it” home; and the home I now have.
Bedroom as a teenager: I was probably what would be considered a ‘goody two shoes’ sort of daughter until I was 19. Then the wild oats all young people carry around sprouted and so forth. My mother (as has been mentioned) had Borderline Personality Disorder (untreated and undiagnosed). Criticism was her wheelhouse. So the goody two shoes thing was my way of deflecting her criticism to a degree. The one place I rebelled was my room. I was an only girl and got my own room. It had a door. It didn’t have a lock because who thought of doing that in the 70s? Nobody in Utah probably. Anyway I had the usual posters of the time
plus my own art work, hand drawn cartooning and things I saw that I drew. Plastered all over the walls. I never thought of demanding special paint for my walls (it would have been psychedelic purple if I had, mind you), and the carpet (as I remember anyway) was gold shag. Shag carpet was THE thing in new houses in the 70s. It looked like excrement when it got old (because my first owned home had the stuff which all got ripped out. It was in HIDEOUS condition). That carpet in my room wasn’t bad or good, you could usually barely see it. I was a slob. Artwork everywhere, clothes, books, stuffed animals (I had a big collection) and who knows what all.
My First Owned Home I laughingly called the ‘decor’ in that house “early Deseret Industries” (the Mormon equivalent of the Salvation Army). My furnishings were a fairly motley collection of hand me downs, a few curbside ‘finds’ (we had a big trash pick up in Salt Lake in those days and people would put old furniture and junky appliances and whatever to go to the dump. The city hauled it away for free. My first couch was a save from a curb dump, had a hide-a-bed in it (I didn’t take the mattress – ew), which I bought a cheap new mattress for; I had a big really strange looking green chair which my married sibling gave me, it had been his mother-in-law’s, my childhood bed set (consisting of a bed and a night table), a “found” dresser (from one furnished apartment I rented – you must have figured out I wasn’t all that honest in those days), my deceased grandfather’s avocado colored refrigerator (which was new in 1972 – the year I was 12; and I bought my home in 1991, so almost twenty years old. I had the thing for another 15 years too.
They USED to take pride in manufacturing in the USA and building something to last meant something back then). I had three or four do it yourself bookcases too, because the thing I had most of was books. Oh. My childhood desk came with me too. My mother had kept that furniture while we were ‘away’ and it hadn’t seen that much use obviously. The kitchen table was another ‘found’ item courtesy of my third cousin twice removed, whose semi-furnished apartment I rented for some years. Mismatched chairs for the table.
My house in Salt Lake was 832 sq. feet, and sat on a BIG lot, I could have easily built a similar home behind me in my backyard and still had room left over. When hubby moved in, the place was stuffed to bursting with ‘stuff’. He brought with him an antique dresser (I still have it), a side table (living room), a huge glass bottle (what it originally had been used for is anyone’s guess) which hubby kept his loose change in (when we cashed the thing in finally, it was 3/4 full of change and we got over $500 from it.
By the time hubby died and I moved, the house was still crammed with stuff, and two sheds in the backyard contained even more. Most of it ended up on the curb for the yearly dump haul, and yep. There were ‘pickers’ who came and raided the piles. I hope they didn’t contract Hantavirus because the reason some of the stuff was on the pile, was that it had been destroyed by the rodent infestation in the house. Things in that house had really gotten bad, as I’ve documented elsewhere.
New Home (2013)
This house, my only brand new home that nobody else ever lived in before me, and probably my LAST house as I suspect they’ll carry me out toes first some day; has been decorated from floor to ceiling by me. New furniture and art work on the walls, some good stuff too. I have three bronzes (statues) which I bought as an investment. Maybe whomever gets my stuff after I kick off will want them or can sell them. I brought a very very small amount of stuff with me. Most of it was destroyed (as I documented in that last paragraph) and some of it I just didn’t want to carry around any more. New house, new start.
I did keep hubby’s dresser, although I bought a tall boy as well (five drawer dresser) because I still have too many clothes. Ironic given that I rarely go anywhere now. I have a brand new bed and frame; but my childhood set (except the night table) went to my niece many years ago. My brother stripped it down and re-stained and painted it (it was gold and white), and his daughter used it for her childhood and teenaged years, and I suspect it will now be being used by her daughter (or not, I don’t actually know. Nice thought though). I also still have most all of the hard bound books I had, but I have proper bookshelves (floor to ceiling) in my den and yes, the shelves are jam packed. Some things never change. I have more square footage in this house, and I chose the paint color, carpeting, tile (entrance ‘hall’, kitchen and bathrooms), the light fixtures, the front door and fixtures; the blinds at the windows, the siding (it’s siding mixed with natural stone); the countertops and cabinets.
I discovered (and this will sound big-headed of me) that I have a flair for decorating; because even these eight years later people still compliment me on how well everything meshes together. The colors complement each other, the carpeting and tile blend very nicely, the furniture enhances the space… I had a talent I guess that I never knew about.
I lived in seven or eight (or ten) different apartments and one house (rented) before I bought my first home. In the first five apartments and the rented house you could come in and eat off the floor if you chose to, I was Mrs. Clean to a fault. My mother was what is called a ‘clutterer’, our house when I was a teenager and the few years I lived with my parents as a kid; were never dirty, but they were messy. My mother was a writer at heart and there were always books and papers, carbon paper, pens and pencils, and typewriter accessories (white out, new ribbon, new cartridges and typing balls as things modernized), lying around. Magazines and Knick knacks. Old newspapers. Bottles for recycling. Kid and dog detritus like sports equipment (one brother was a jock), and dog leashes and chains and the rest.
I am a closet minimalist (would love to embrace the lifestyle, it really really suits me) and the mess in the clutter always bugged me on some level, so after I was on my own (moved out when I was 19 years old, which nobody can afford to do these days…there’s no place to rent IF a young person could find an affordable place in the first place – ha!) I was the exact opposite, thus the Mrs. Clean shtick.
Hubby is responsible for the death of Mrs. Clean, he was a true entitled slob. Only child and his mother did EVERYTHING for him, I doubt he ever picked up a sock prior to me (if his first wife made him pick up his clothes the training didn’t ‘stick’). I suspect she, like I, finally just gave up trying to tidy up the unending mess he made. My first little house was spotless until he came to live there, and it stayed relatively clean even for the first seven or eight years we were married, but at some point I threw up my figurative hands and said “Aw F*ck this” and stopped trying to keep it tidy. I worked 40+ hours a week TOO and to be chief cook and bottle washer, laundress and housekeeper too? Nuh uh.
Hubby didn’t care about how it looked, and that gets discouraging after a while. Like pushing the tide with your hands, if it wants to come to shore. Does no good. I acquired (or had always had and set it free) my mother’s habit of cluttering and I am having a danged hard time breaking that habit now. I don’t like it one bit, but I also don’t get out of my own way and FIX it either.
One excuse I do have, and a good one too in my opinion; is that I was a young woman when I lived in the apartments; and even when I was in my first home, early 30s there, which isn’t old; I had the energy and physical strength to actually do something about such issues. Now I do not have any of those things. It is very true – you don’t use it, you lose it.
I do as much as I physically can in a day and have to call it good. I suspect I’ve developed an ulcer and that is the cause of my on-going nausea every day, because I get fairly wicked reflux along with it. If I push the envelope I pay big time. So I don’t.
It could be diabetes. It could be creaking old bones and chronic pain and failing eyesight; but housework at some point has taken a seat way far down on the ‘important stuff one MUST do” list. You come to pick your battles. I fear I rambled on too long again. So I’ll end it here. Thanks for reading if you made it through! 😉