Sunday, July 11, 2010


As avid collectors of antiques and junk, we needed to find a solution to our collecting habit to match our simpler lifestyle choice.  Not wanting to give up entirely our love of treasure hunting, we came up with a workable solution for us.  Our criteria for bringing any item into our home is, it must serve a useful purpose and we must truly, absolutely, without question LOVE it, or it is just a dust collector.  We love anything that evokes a vintage "cabin in the woods" feeling

So I took a lesson from the European lifestyle.  If you study the homes and villas of Italy and France, you will find that their kitchens are designed for function first, but they are also simply beautiful.  They do not have rows of boxes with doors, as in our American kitchen cabinets, to hide useless clutter behind.  They have open storage and shelving with all of their daily utensils on display.  Everything they own, they use, but the key difference is, their everyday items are like pieces of art in themselves, function meets beauty.  Visualize the copper pots so common in French cooking, and who hasn't admired the vibrant colors and form of Italian pottery.  These are their everyday items, meant to be used, and beautiful to look at.  Many of these items are passed down to each generation full of love and memories.  They do not go to a chain or dollar store and buy plastic junk for every occasion.

We love the pyrex dishes from the 40's and 50's.  They come in exciting colors and patterns and are functional for modern day cooking and serving.  Our kitchen has open shelving to display these everyday items.  Most of our "stuff" comes from antique shops and estate sales.  We have always been "green" long before the term "green living" became fashionable.  We give a home to items that might otherwise have been discarded.  Our home has that cozy, welcome vibe (even the men who visit us will say this) that makes our guests linger over dessert and a glass of wine.  This works for us.  We can still indulge our collecting habit, while maintaining control over clutter and stay true to our lifestyle choice.

Next time you are tempted to purchase something that is not a necessity, ask yourself what purpose it will serve in your home today and for years to come?  Apply the rule of "functions meets beauty" and you will find yourself buying less stuff and enjoying what you do purchase even more.  A home filled with useless junk is not a sign of "success". A home filled with love and beauty is the ultimate "success"!

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