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How I Decorated My Rustic Home

I never realized how much the décor around me was actually a reflection of my life until I sat down one day with my grandson looking through some old photo albums. As we looked through the pages, I couldn’t help but notice the backgrounds in the photos. I thought about how the rooms around us reflect our personalities and where we are on our life’s journey. As our life changes, so does the décor around us.

Growing up in my childhood home, I remember my world always being bright, sunny and soft. This made sense as my mother loved yellow. Shades of yellow on the walls, daisies on our plates and sheets. We never had much money, but we always had sunshine and brightness in our lives. Orange shag carpets on the floors were like walking in the sun. Thick pile that I can still feel between my fingertips. The art on the walls were the pictures my brother, sister and I drew. Pictures of the ocean and beaches that we never could afford to go to, sand color linoleum on the kitchen floor. Love and laughter showed in the Polaroids, the colors faded in the pictures but not to me.

When I got married, we had a small apartment with white walls that we were not allowed to paint. We hung drapes and a blind on the living room wall that had no window just so we could have some color in our lives. Spring green carpets and sky blue sheets over a secondhand couch were where we loved and lived in those early years. Pink curtains and blankets came when the girls were born. Pictures of their first steps taken across the black and white checkerboard tile. Later playing checkers with the pots and pans. My youngest daughter’s room entirely done in Tinkerbell, even the paint is Tinkerbell purple from Disney. Now my children’s artwork hangs everywhere. School pictures line the walls, knickknacks on the shelves made by little hands. Anything “nice” got broken, our coffee table was scratched and water stained. We laughed and told ourselves we could always buy a new living room set once the girls were older.

The year after my husband left, the pictures changed again. Every room is done in different shades of grey. Blackout blinds in the bedroom because I had to work nights. We had a cheap indoor/outdoor carpeting on the floors, no-nonsense, nonconforming stuff that did not invite my teenage daughter’s friends to come and hang out. The new furniture I finally bought was charcoal grey, the side tables were black metal and glass. I remember trying not to feel much in those days, not liking who I was very much. Our decor, or lack of any, clearly reflected how I felt. That year, was literally, not pretty.

Some of us spend a lot of time and money on our surroundings, but for most of us, we gather the pieces throughout our lives. I look around my home now and I see all the colors and some of the pieces I’ve lived with through the years. The yellows of my childhood are now on the walls in my kitchen, the checkerboard tile in the bath from my first apartment. I kept the metal end tables, they are now in the playroom that the grandkids use. I do have some pretty cool new carpets, one with city streets on them so the kids can run their cars up and down. I have my grandmothers rocking chair and my mothers hutch in the living room that always makes the room feel like home. I have never had much interest in decorating, I never could make my rooms look like the ones in the magazine. It’s OK because my house looks like my home and is a reflection of the people who live in it. We have decorated it with the moments of our lives, and that is what matters to us.