Friday, 2 October 2015

The Magic of Mess

Everywhere I look on the internet at the moment I keep coming across this book which is all about tidying. People are hailing joy and hallelujah over the amazing way that this book helps you to get rid of all your clutter and make sure your socks are folded rather than scrunched as they have worked hard for your feet and you need to say thank you (disclaimer: I haven't read the book) or some such nonsense like that. Well I say balls to all that. I'm putting my hand up and saying I like mess. Actually no, that's not entirely true, but I do like clutter and STUFF.

It seems that everyone has a Pinterest-worthy house these days. Or at least that's what they are presenting to the big wide interweb. Maybe, like most of us, they have one room that is absolutely packed to the gills of garish coloured tapestries and funky rugs that they dare not display in case someone exclaims over their lack of clean white lines and marble display dishes. I see desk spaces that are immaculate, with a cute bottle of face mist here and a pile of trendy books there. On my desk at this moment is a cup inside a bowl with a spoon left over from breakfast, my notepad and pen filled with my (messy) scrawl, two coasters that look like toasted bread, several piles of paperwork that include notes from puppy school, tax return information, and a whole other pile of I don't know what, a random SD card, a lipbalm, a clock, and a phone that is actually quite trendy with its white lines and minimal appearance. All of which lies on top of a desk that could really do with a wipe and has a combination of mine and the dog's hair on it. There's a Pinterest obsessive's worst nightmare right there. Ha!

Is it true? Do people really live this minimal and clean lines existence? I grew up in a house that was tidy. Like way tidy. My mam has a place for everything and she has always been incredibly good at making sure it stayed that way, even with two kids and a husband who is a mechanic and therefore generally covered in oil or petrol fumes. I had this friend in art college and I would go to her house all the time and I loved it. It was full of stuff! Books piled high, brightly coloured throws and pillows (no beige here, kids!), the kitchen worktops were covered in an array of all sorts of things, there were plants everywhere...I look at my house now and I can see how much that influenced me. It was like a bohemian, artistic, creative space and it filled me with joy. A lot of people would have probably called it messy, I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

In our new house we have two living rooms (I know!) one of which we have decorated in shades of grey and red that is oh so nice and calming and neat - my Pops laughs frequently and tells me it's way too sophisticated for me. Which is probably why we spend more time in the other room. The one that is filled with all sorts of things, books piled high, plants on the window sill, stuff everywhere that doesn't really match - yep, meet my own bohemian den. It's not to everyone's taste, my mother in law said the other day that she hoped she wasn't being rude but did we need a bookcase, seeing as we have books piled on the floor. I had to chuckle and explain that we are in the middle of creating some boxes, but actually I kinda like it this way. It's so much more me.

I'm kind of bemused by the whole thing about houses and being Pinterest-worthy. It seems to me that they all create the same look and how is that unique to you if you're just copying what everyone else is doing? Surely how your house looks is an extension of you and your personality. Maybe it's the same for people who see a look on a mannequin in a shop and buy the whole thing, without thinking of how they might style it to suit them or with something they already have. It's all just slightly bizarre. In the meantime I shall continue with my venture of de-beige-ing this house (literally every room!) and adding in some colour and joy. No marble dishes shall enter these halls. Long live mess!  

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