Saturday, 3 March 2012

Useful and Beautiful

source: Country Living

There is a frequently-quoted adage in the world of home bloggers that I like:

"Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
(William Morris)

My interpretation of this is that I shouldn't keep something just because I paid good money for it, or someone gave it to me, or I think I should like it.  So over the past year, I've been focusing on getting rid of the excess stuff in our home (some of which didn't even get unpacked when we moved in 3 years ago).  I've lost track of the amount of stuff I've taken to Goodwill, and I've reorganised the kitchen at least 3 times.  Maybe it would have been smarter to gather up all the stuff at once and hold a garage sale...but for me it was more important to just get it out of the house.  I did make close to $500 selling things on Kijiji though.

Another thing I gleaned from the above quote is that for me, things should be useful and beautiful!  No more heading to Walmart to get the cheapest plastic version of something we need.  I'd rather do without and take my time finding something I actually like.

Part of that is saving to invest in quality furniture.  In the past nearly ten years since we've been married, our modus operandi has always been "need a shoe rack, head to Walmart...need a coffee table, head to Ikea...etc."  Even our most recent furniture purchase, which was from a real furniture store (The Brick) was not chosen with quality in mind.  We needed some grown-up-looking living room furniture.  We had a budget, and there were only a few options within that budget.  So we picked the one we liked best.  Style-wise, I thought I could work with it.  My husband likes the style, it's what all our friends have: dark leather, matching sofa and loveseat.

Now I wish we had waited to find something we (I!) loved.  The furniture we picked, while it looks great, and is just fine for sitting and visiting on, is not particularly comfortable to lounge on.  And it doesn't fit in with the farmhouse/cottage look I've been aiming for over the past year.

I don't know what I'm going to do about my living room furniture.  I may be stuck with it for a long time.  But I do know that I will not be buying any more particle-board-cheap furniture, or even any nice furniture that I don't love.  Maybe I'll get lucky and find a tufted turquoise velvet sofa and a couple of linen wing back chairs somewhere for $20 each!  In the mean time, I'll do what I can to make my dark brown masculine leather as pretty and farmhouse as I can.  Maybe with this owl pillow from Apple Box Boutique!

Remember that every comment on any post is counted as an entry in the Vintage-Inspired Giveaway! Of course, feel free to comment even if you don't want to enter the giveaway! Make sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner!


  1. Hi Joanna, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  2. I've been having similar thoughts lately! We have so many boxes we haven't unpacked (in any of our moves!) and I sometimes feel like I'm drowning in "stuff." I'm contemplating trying to sell some things online, though I haven't tried yet.

  3. How did I miss this? That sofa is to die for! I love that quote and hearing it again will help me with this week's tasks... finishing renos and redecorating (pain and pleasure all rolled into one *lol).


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