In the age of marketing malfeasance, we are sold ideas and emotions. They market opinions and influence and influencers who market … ideas and emotions. It’s exhausting. Home decor articles have titles such as “15 Things every Successful Homeowner Buys” and once again, something about your worth hangs on to the countdown. DO YOU HAVE ALL 15?! We are in the age of fast fashion. It’s tempting and easy. You can purchase and style in one afternoon! And then the inevitable happens. Someone on TV with a statement hair color reminds you that your home is OUT and you throw everything away. So you can be in. Again. Where are YOU in all of this? How do we make our home ours when everyone else is telling us how to make it theirs?
I’ve worked on not being judgmental, but its my biggest vice. I’ll admit that. So when I visited a friend the other day, and something felt off, it took me a second to see it. No personal artifacts. No photos. Not even a pair of slippers were out. I saw no vacation photos, or happy wedding portraits. No tiny shrine to the grandkids. It made me so sad because this woman is genuine and kind and loves BIG. Her days are full of energy and activity, but not her home. It was beautifully styled and it would have photographed well. My lasting impression was it would photograph well. I could tell she went to a store, bought an entire collection and called it a day. She was another victim of fast fashion and she forgot to leave room for herself.
Buying for Love
So when my husband announced people were stopping by, I did a quick power clean (aka hid everything and lit a candle). Then I took a step back to see my house as a stranger would see it. I love doing this. I get the chance to see our home from another perspective. Who lives here in this house? It’s bright but not loud; full of color and books and kids’ toys. Not exactly minimalist, but it isn’t a cluster. The windows open up to a bright green shade garden and a tornado of a dog who is dying to come inside to play. A cool cow skin rug is thrown on the floor and held down by vintage, cerulean chairs. They have lived in five different cities with me and I’m taking them to the grave. A giant yellow book of Botero’s most famous works sits out, waiting to be talked about. On the fridge, a Texas flag bottle opener holds up photos of me and my sister in Spain and a drawing of a piggy from my niece. Pictures and paintings of weddings and babies and dried bouquets are on the wall and its a special place with a lot of energy and cherished moments. I gain an appreciation for what I have and always come out of it with a gentle critique for later. All of it reflects our lives, our loves, our energy. Our history and our futures lay in these walls. We try our hardest to buy what we love and to display our hearts. What we treasure the most – vintage, unique, personal – speaks the loudest.
As our friends arrive and I pour drinks into Fostoria glasses, I take a moment. Kids are gathered under the big goose and I laugh because it’s totally my husband’s touch and I love it. Our home is a haven of memories and treasures. It’s 10,000 pieces of our lives – before and after meeting each other – carefully joined into a few rooms. It showcases our greatest joys, holds our dreams and will be there to build our future. It is not fast fashion or filled with crap we are supposed to have. It’s kinda weird and definitely unique, but we get it and it gets us.
Everyone eats and mingles and from somewhere across the room I hear … “Alyssa, this house is SO YOU!” And I practically faint because it’s really the best compliment a girl could ask for. It isn’t about the collections or fancy shiz, but about you. Your family. Your desires. Your biggest accomplishments. Don’t read the articles that tell you what your life should hold. They are empty and selling you more emptiness. Open your front door and walk in. Love who you see and add more of her.