The inside of a home tells many stories. It represents people, whether, through pictures on the walls, an antique rug passed down for generations or even a simple coffee table. Decor, at its heart, shows the memories and style of a home and the people living there. Decor is foremost a snapshot in time, where style can change, but where it all comes together to reflect a family.
Decor creates and sustains memories. My grandfather and my grandmother bought a house three years before he passed away. Even though I am miles away, I can close my mind and picture every piece of furniture in her living room. Two dark green couches from the late 1980s with gold and red threaded through the fabric set off the space. These are where my cousins and I would sit at Christmas time. Heavy dark wood side tables proudly display my grandfather’s picture and two lamps my grandmother received from her mother, A hexagonal wooden coffee table that my grandmother brought with her from the Bahamas rests in the center of the room, immovable. Two white and blue-striped side chairs stand against the wall, and I can recall my brother and father sitting in them, sharing authentic moments of laughter and joy. All these positive memories help sustain the few memories I have my grandfather. I remember him in this place. I can remember past his hospice bed that was set up in the very same living room, and I can feel his presence in these pieces that meant something to him and continue to mean something to me.
Decor resembles the style of a family. Every home in America features one element that is unique to the family that lives there. For some, it could be a dramatic paint color, while for others, it could be the beloved couch where everyone gathers for movie night. It could be as simple as the family portrait hanging in the front hall. Every family is different, but each one uses decor to express themselves. Traditional or modern, cozy or bold, big or small – all these adjectives that society uses to describe decor actually depict what a family values most in their home. Before critics dismiss the value of investing in pieces for one’s house, they must realize the importance of a family committing to their vision for their place in this world.
Decor is a snapshot in time. It captures a moment in a family’s life unlike anything else. Tastes and styles change, but a personality of a family comes through in decor choices. When my brother and I were young, the family room was filled to the brim with our toys. Our father had a brown corduroy recliner that squeaked and groaned every time he rocked in it. My mother sat on our green leather sofa, watching us play. The old television set perched on a black stand that my parents bought at a warehouse store on clearance. The bright white walls contrasted with the gray tile, and I can still remember the ugly old blue shag rug lying in front of the fireplace. Here and there, a few decorative pieces proudly displayed our Swedish heritage from my mom’s side of the family and our baby pictures adorned the walls. Now, my brother and I have long since moved out when we were looking for area rugs in Worcester MA.
My parents were left with a lot of open space in their house. My father is medically retired, and my mother is a part-time registered nurse, so they both spend a good amount of time at home. The house has modernized. A Danish-modern entertainment center that my mom saved up for stores the flat screen television and various DVDs. The green leather couch is still there and features bright blue throw pillows, although my mother has said that she plans to give it away soon. My dad’s recliner is now brown leather, and it never squeaks or groans. Along with my mother’s purchases of more Swedish decorative pieces, my dad has even incorporated his metal sculptures into space, projects of his retirement and his creativity. New pictures of Michael and me weave throughout the space, but the baby pictures are still there too. All these details of decor tell a story. Earlier, we were a young family where the kids were at the heart and saving money was a necessity. Now, my parents are putting more importance on their personal tastes, but my brother and I are still represented in the space, even though we are many miles and states away.