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?
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?
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.
Nonna and Jeff’s. Durham.
I have been musing lately on the construction of home and what it says about the person doing the building of the interior of a house. I see the deliberate (and haphazard) placing of objects as a way to interrupt the inner life of the decorator. I’ve been thinking a lot about asking questions around this idea, as I see a habit of the collection of objects, their arrangement and the decoration of a house in the women in my life as being particular pervasive. My close friends, my aunts, my mother, my grandmothers, my cousins all are fantastic decorators with taste that ranges with age as well as upbringing and socioeconomic class. Regardless of the monetary resources available or not available to them, they all take a house and make it very much into a home.
I want to ask questions with these images, rather than find answers. What does certain stuff mean? Handmade or mass-produced? New or used? How does juxtaposition of objects lend its self to further interpretation? What does it mean to hold onto objects and place them in our homes? Finding the questions to ask is always part of the process. There are ideas brewing to turn this new obsession of mine into something lucrative, for real this time.
Katie’s ability to create a home that looks and feels exactly like her personal aesthetic. Muted color palate on the warm side, organic forms, odd details, worn edges, old objects with a silent history. Her house is exactly as I pictured it would be.
I’ve been thinking about this, perhaps, because of the distinct lack of my own space to construct. Sure, my room is well constructed but it is not the same as being able to make a home for yourself. I long for the time in my when I again will be able to create a place for myself, a place to come home to.