Thursday, August 18, 2011

Objects of art in everyday home life

Home decoration is a wonderful creative outlet, but sometimes, we are so limited by time, space or budget as to prevent us from doing what can be referred to as decoration per se. It doesn’t mean, however, that we must give up the pursuit of beauty in our everyday surroundings.

Take for example such a simple thing as a clothesline. Whenever I hang up my washing, I consider it as a decoration of sorts, even for just a few hours. I take care to sort our clothes as I take them out of the washing machine and hang them by themes – a row of little cotton dresses, a row of baby clothes, another one of kitchen towels, all neatly pinned up. It isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but makes it far easier later to fold and dispatch the clean laundry to its proper places. I have a neighbor whose clothesline is always so beautifully arranged that it’s obvious she takes pleasure in this simple daily task – and I take almost equal pleasure in seeing it.

In the kitchen, too, art is ever present. Two shiny pots, identical-looking but for their size, bubbling on a shiny clean stove – what can be more pleasing to the eye? There is more than mere utility in wiping the pots dry until they shine. It elevates kitchen work to simple, useful beauty.

How about dishes, recently washed, arranged on the drainer according to size? Isn’t there something satisfying about it? Or a bowl of recently washed, shiny, colorful assorted vegetables, set out to dry in preparation for a soup or salad?

I think table centerpieces are lovely, but to tell you the truth, I rarely have an opportunity to indulge in them. But when I put serving dishes on the table for our Shabbat meals, I take care to arrange them in a pretty, mindful way, either symmetrical or not, but in any case, in a way that will show I love and enjoy my work as a homemaker.

The very simple things of cleanliness, neatness, freedom of clutter, create a spacious pretty look even in the most humble of dwellings. Beauty is all around us – all we have to do is simply take the freshness of perspective that is needed to enjoy it.

Illustration photos: Google


A Joyful Chaos said...

You just descibed my idea of decorating ones home. I love a clean home and would much rather be spending time with my children than dusting a multitude of things that really serve no purpose other than looking "pretty"

charis said...

I am glad for this explanation.. I was shocked to see how many people commented negatively on the post "afraid". I have never thought you came across as "chronically tired", or mentally stressed, etc, etc, but that you live a very peaceful life and love and enjoy every moment with your children. Thanks for the fun blog to read. Its always inspiring to me!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea. I love all the different ways you portrayed to add beauty to the home. I love to hang up my clothes and see them flapping in the breeze, absorbing the rays of sun that make them smell so clean. Thank you for sharing these great ideas.

Lady Anne said...

Well! I was all set to move into your kitchen, lock, stock and soup bowl, and then scrolled down to bottom and discovered that was a generic photo. Ah, well.

I also enjoy hanging out my clothes; they smell SO good! This is not very common in America; some places even have laws against it, as it is considered "unsightly". Bosh! I do put things together on the line - all of hubby's t-shirts, all the bath towels, all the kitchen stuff and napkins, etc. It really does make life easier when you take them down to put them away.

I have a friend, considerably older than I, who asked her husband for a "clothes dryer" for her birthday. She was not very specific, as he went out and got her the largest, shiniest, umbrella type clothes line he could find. What she wanted, since she was getting too stiff to do a lot of bending and reaching, was an *electric* clothes dryer - which she got the very next day. The poor man has yet to live it down!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Lady Anne, my own kitchen is very tiny, but I love how everything is within easy reach!