Are you the person in your household who has full creative control on how you decorate your house or even dress? Or, do you feel like a namby-pamby putz who’s incapable of making a decision? I do. When I walk into a girlfriend’s beautifully decorated home or admire her perfectly put together attire, I can’t help wondering what I’m doing wrong.
My mother was an accomplished dressmaker. She made most of my clothes from the time I was a baby through high school and even designed my wedding dress.
I loved her creations because she had excellent taste. The problem was, it didn’t give me a chance to learn to pick out clothes for myself. Now, whenever I go shopping at a nice store, I’m a complete nincompoop. It’s also frustrating because the clothes at a lot of stores aren’t nearly as well made as the ones my mom whipped up.
My daughter inherited my mother’s sense of style. She doesn’t sew but is a savvy and tasteful dresser. When she was a pre-teen, I used to stand there looking dumbfounded as she browsed the racks at Forever 21. She knew exactly what she wanted and everything she chose looked great. All I had to do was pull out my pocketbook. I was a single mom for a while and that was scary. Luckily for me, my daughter started working when she was 16 and was able to pay for her clothes after that.
My mother also made outfits for my kids when they were little. I was dying to pick out their baby clothes myself, but every time Mom visited, she’d bring bags of the most darling baby clothes imaginable. I admit, I sort of resented it because it gave me a lack of creative control in how my kids dressed.
My late husband was a clothes horse and loved to pick out furniture. One day, he went to a trendy store in LA by himself and found an expensive set of high-tech furniture that he wanted to buy for our apartment. He brought me to the store to get my approval. Everything he’d picked was stylish and I dutifully gave my okay. At the time, I was happy to replace the ugly wooden spool that had been our dining room table. After a while, his high-tech decor felt cold. In retrospect, I wish I’d insisted on something cozier like French Provincial.
I took this “What’s your decorating style” quiz here and it said my style is rustic.
Rustic: You love raw materials, like rough-hewn wood beams. You love scouring thrift shops and roadsides for anything you can re-purpose in your home. You’re rugged, you love the outdoors, and you think about texture first when choosing a piece of furniture. Cotton and wool dominate in your home. In a former life, you were a woodworker, blacksmith or stonemason. You are rustic.
I’m not sure that truly describes me but it was fun. My idea of camping is a Hotel 6, wool makes me itch, and I can’t imagine myself as a blacksmith.
Doug, the guy I live with, is taste-free when it comes to decorating or buying clothes. (He owns over 200 Hawaiian shirts) We moved in together 10 years ago and needed new furniture. You’d think that would have been my big chance to decorate the way that said ME!
He herded me into a discount store and convinced me to buy stuff that was substandard at best. Most of it hasn’t stood the test of time. Our over-sized couch, that I never loved in the first place, now has cushions with holes in them because our dogs like to perch on the top and look out the window. They adore the couch. I’d love to burn it.
Doug’s also a pack rat. His office and bathroom are off limits to guests to save me from extreme embarrassment. If I don’t stay on top of it, his mess would creep into the rest of the house. He thinks stuffed plastic bags, piles of DVD’s and rechargeable batteries are objects of art. His messiness definitely gets in the way of my creative control.
To be honest, I’d rather live next door . . . with an unlimited source of income, of course.
Now that my mother is gone, guess who’s wearing all her clothes? Me!
Oh well, as much as I’d love to win the lottery and go on a decorating spree, I’d rather save my money up to travel.
Do you have full creative control when it comes to your home and what you wear? Or, are you still wearing your mother’s clothes too? Please leave a comment below.