Forget decorating magazines…

March 11, 2012

Forget home decorating magazines when you fix up your home.

Trust your own eye.

The idea of formal “interior decorating” leaves me cold. I love decorating my home with objects that aren’t ordinarily considered decor, especially those that hold special meaning.

Here’s an example of re-purposing. {Yes, that’s the current buzz word for finding new uses for old things.}

It pleases me to look at this stack on top our family room fireplace many times each day, bringing to mind so many happy hours spent reading.

That top book is Henry Miller’s Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch. Big Sur has always been my sacred place and of course, I love the Beats. Yes, Henry Miller was a dirty old man, but I liked this book and also, going to his tiny museum and library in Big Sur evokes the place in a different time. It’s romantic but not in a guy-kind-of-way. The book brings that to mind every time I see it.

Kerouac? A tragic figure straight out of central casting. Say what you will about him, he and the other Beats were major influences on contemporary literature. And speaking of Hunter Thompson…well, in hushed tones. Hunter. Miss you.

Italian Days and The Tibetan Book both have personal meaning. The slightly crooked pineapple is the Southern symbol for hospitality. It reminds me of my years in the South and that our home is filled with hospitality all the time: friends and neighbors coming and going.

Nothing gets as much comment as this. They’re actually very cool bookmarks I picked up in Vienna in 2003 and had framed. The frame cost more than the bookmarks. Vienna was such a glorious place, it’s fun to remember it every time I walk in the front door of our house.

When I bought a small studio condo in Tampa in 2001, I picked these up for $15 each at Marshalls. They looked great hung in a horizontal row above the closet. In 2004 I moved them to my next Tampa house, where they sat above gorgeous French windows. Now, they hang in a vertical line in our dining room. I think they look great.

I found this painting at a festival in Sonoma about 10 years ago. It’s certainly not fine art, but I love the bright colors and it reminds me of a trip to the wine country years ago. It hung in my breakfast room in Carmel, then in the same room in Tampa, and now in the same room in San Jose.

“Decorate” with objects that have personal meaning and you can’t go wrong. How about you? What’s your favorite decorating tip?

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