Barri & Jim’s House.

Elephant Ears.

In our interior lives, how much of our personal aesthetics are born from people that came before us? How much of our emotional lives are directly connected to our parents, our families, to the people that shaped us? How are the ideas of home and domesticity handed down to us from the people we come from?

Dining Room and Kitchen. Sideboard.

I am hesitant to genderize this project , because I don’t inherently believe that all women must care about such issues as homemaking, but I feel that the women in my life (and by extension, the women in their lives) are all exceptional at expressing themselves through the construction of their living space. Barri is Katie’s mother and I can see similar elements in their personal style; the draw towards fine details, warmth, and organic elements. What part of that was handed down? What part of that was handed back?

Pin Cushion. Bedroom.

Katie once relayed to me some Barri said about her thoughts on decorating, which was something along the lines of “If you love it, it will all fit together.” I think about this all the time when I am casually looking at furniture or browsing junk stores and find something that makes me stop. I give pause before purchasing, to consider how it fits with my other things and I remember that because it always struck me obvious but necessary to hear and to be reminded of.

I see it in other mothers and daughters because I see that my personal aesthetics are a direct line back to my mother’s. Both my mother and I are container fixated, object obsessed and composition-ly driven. I know that, without growing up with a women who had a specific vision about how she wanted her house to be, I would lack the skills that I have to do the same.

1 Comment so far

  1. Barri Chasteen

    What a very thoughtful and loving commentary. Thank you, Shelby.

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