Why I can’t be a minimalist and other excuses for collecting!

I admire minimalist rooms.  Heck, I’ve even designed a few.  But minimalism has never been a look that I’ve been able to achieve in my own home.  For our recent move, all of my photos and knick-knacks were boxed.  As I was assembling the new rooms, I started out by displaying just a couple of photos here and there.  But before long, nearly all of them were out and about.  I had tried to edit them down to a select number of favorites but I found it too difficult to stash away the cute photo of Sophie without her front teeth or Adam laughing in the water fountain.  (I did manage to stow away all my wedding photos in a dark corner of the basement, but that’s another story entirely).  And besides, seeing all of those smiling faces just make me happy.  And isn’t that what interior design is all about?

About now, some of you who know me may be thinking that I’m being a bit disingenuous about all of this.  After all, I am the person who used to clean my children’s rooms by simply throwing away all those small game pieces.  I’m not a fan of clutter or messiness, but I do think that a room needs a certain amount of “things” to make it look warm and inviting.  That’s the downside of those minimalist rooms, they tend to look a little cold and sterile to me.  Who are the people who live there and what do they care about?

Below are some of the most meaningful pieces from my own home:

In the mudroom, a painting that my late grandmother did of a child’s red sneakers.  It just seemed right that this piece would hang in the mudroom;


Over the fireplace, pieces given to me by people I love;


On the second floor landing, shelves full of photos, knick-knacks and books that evoke fond memories;


On our dining room cabinet, vintage glassware collected over the years and the German-made bride and groom that topped my grandparents’ wedding cake;


Over our living room sofa, a piece of art that my husband and I found while traveling in Italy;


In the entry, a drawing that Sophie did in school, framed and hung on the wall like the “real” piece of art that it is;


And last but certainly not least, perhaps my favorite “piece” our cat Shadow.  And in case you were wondering about Shadow’s imposing girth, the “F” word that’s not allowed in our house is “fat!”



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