this page: Every Cabin knows what it wants to be
The Absence of Color
Cabin knows what it wants to be
When it tries to tell you, and you don't listen, it'll pout, it'll throw a tantrum, it'll
make it known one way or another that you have it all wrong. It will try and DESTROY you if you don't
No, I'm kidding there. But I really do believe that you
have to live in a place for a while before you can establish a good relationship. Soon, the house sends
you a clear picture of its personality and in turn, lets you know what part of YOUR personality it's willing to put up
I don't see Retro and Rustic ever becoming friends. But
that's just me--and my cabin. We don't see it, and we don't want it. No
doctor's office chrome for us. No gigantic brushed-steel refrigerators large enough to sleep in on
a hot day. No $300 Cashmere foot stools nobody dares put their feet on. Thank goodness we can agree on that.
That's what makes us pals, my cabin and me. So far, Cabin seems to like my style.
And I definitely like Cabin's style, eccentric and out-of-touch as it is. We're a perfect
Since this page is all about decor,
and I'm the only one here at the moment, I'll start off:
This is my kitchen. I wanted an island, but didn't have the room so I painted this old table a pale
green and covered the top with red checked "oilcloth". My Grandma always had an oilcloth-covered
work table in her kitchen, and now so do I.
My kitchen cupboards are a creamy yellow and the
base cabinets are celery green. It's apparently my favorite combination, since I've put it into
every house I've ever lived in. And my red accents look pretty good with it, too. Recently,
I treated myself to a new, bright red Rubbermaid dish drainer and tray. It’s not visible in the picture,
but let me tell you, it looks good!
The small picture on the wall was painted by my
husband's Aunt Olive. She lived in Oklahoma
but this is a north woods mountain scene. No mountains here, either, but we love it anyway.
keeping with my notion that every home eventually lets you know how it wants to look, I was about to say that no self-respecting
cabin would ever buy into this current "all things white" decorating phase. I was going to strengthen
my argument by saying that few things in nature are all white. I thought about Queen Anne's Lace and
Pearly Everlasting and a few other flowers that are, okay, almost totally white, but beyond that, I couldn't think of
Now, bear in mind that as I'm writing this it's almost summer,
but bear in mind, too, that this is the north woods. In a few months, there will be snow on the ground.
Snow is natural. And about as white as white can be.
While I admit I'm humbled and humiliated by how long it took me to come up with the most obvious white in nature, especially
in these parts, I'm not about to give up on the unnaturalness of Absence of Color as a decorating scheme.
It's plain wrong. It goes against everything the artist and God tells us is beauty.
The world is a riot of color, and I have to believe it's on purpose.
want to be in a colorless house, any more than I want to be around colorless people. The owners of those
color-free homes and their designer pals try and justify their choices by pretending that all white is not just white.
That hue and shading makes the difference. That there are hints of pink, salmon, yellow, green,
blue, mauve, gray, and beige in what the unsophisticated eye sees simply as white.
reminds me uncomfortably of early hospitals, asylums and nunneries. I’m sorry.
the other hand, take a white doily and put it on, say, dark wood, and it “POPS”, as they like to say in Decorator
World. Put it on a red tablecloth and it positively vibrates. White is great in small
doses. It, along with black, is the accent of all accents. It certainly has its place
in any home. . .even mine. (A quick look around and I see pure white on my refrigerator, stove, microwave,
washing machine, bathroom sink, and on my banana holder.)
I’m looking out the window at my snowy white Adirondack chairs and I love the way they look against the green, green
grass and the blue, blue lake. I love my white window trim. I love my white sneakers.
So I’m not a complete blancophobe. (I just made that up!) Throw a little color in the mix
and I’m with you all the way. Not that you care in the least, if you’re a complete blancophile
(Again. . .!), but I’m just saying. . .
While I find the whole idea of "spotless" mildly disturbing, cabinwise, I love a straightened house.
It breathes better and seems all-around happier. We're in sync again when things are put away.
You probably know this already, but there is a fine line between clutter and debris. In a small
space, you have to know when to stop adding and when to throw away. Otherwise, clutter takes over
and turns your sweet cabin into a glorified storage unit.
Books, now, are exempt
from anything I've said above. Books are NOT clutter, despite what a certain cabin-mate might try to
tell you. Still, even I reach a point when I realize that if every horizontal surface is covered with reading
matter, something has to give.
I do my culling this way: I go
through my books, loading the ones I think I don't want into a box. I let the box mellow for a week
or more, and then I go through it again. Amazingly, in only a week's time, trash becomes treasure
and some of them--my very, very favorites--find their way back onto the shelves. Then I hurry the rest
down to the local library before I'm forced to give in to the vibes I'm getting from that box full of orphaned books.
But that's not always the end of them, and this is where
the good part comes in. The library sells these books for 50 cents apiece, so
if I change my mind again, and they're still on the shelves, I can buy them back. And if by chance
they're no longer there, there's always eBay. I think it's a grand system, myself. It
means that no banishment is permanent unless I want it to be.