Home design and art have always been in my life… No, I mean when I say ‘always’ I mean I constantly think about both. I can’t stop. At times it can become like an addiction. All it takes is one question that will pop up in my head. A question that I need to understand. Sometimes it steps up to a new level of craving. It can just take one question and it all becomes a quest…
Simple as “How can I use yard grass as carpeting in my house?..That would be so cool” or “Why can’t I make my curtains out of rubber bands?” That is when the craving takes over. I NEED to make rubber band curtains, and I NEED it now!” Finally, at some point my window will sport a beautiful set of rubbery curtains. With a satisfied glint in my eye, and a smile like the Grinch who stole Christmas, I’ve succeeded in my quest!
I’ve always tilted away from the dreaded word “traditional”. When I see matching room sets I break out in hives. I itch all over as if I just rolled in a bundle of insulation. You know the ones, you get your sofa and love seat, settled neatly in an ‘L’ shape with two matching end tables, a coffee table always perfectly set in front of the fabric covered beige corduroy twosome. Sometimes feeling crazy they recline and come with cup holders in the center. It’s something I just can’t take…I swell up like a blow fish.. “Oh no, not that!..Two matching traditional table lamps!..Burgundy with beige shades!…must, hide, my, eyes…Can’t look”
OK, now before anyone jumps down my throat or sends me an angry comment; no, I don’t hate them. They have their place, and some find it all lovely… But for me, it all screams “BORING!” It’s as exciting as staring across the room at a vase full of “ting ting”. You know, that stuff that was either straight or curly, standing straight in a tall ceramic vase, always set in the corner next to a ‘realistic’ looking tree.
OK, so before someone ‘outs’ me I can’t completely “dis” living room sets. I, too, have adorned my own living room in years past with the fashionable style of denim couches. A sofa, and you guessed it, matching love seat. Over stuffed, of course. Shut up! I loved them. I also assumed it was law…that’s how it was. I mean the man at the showroom floor said so…I had no reason to doubt his knowledge.
Somewhere, some time back, someone said to someone, “It must match!”, and everyone applauded and agreed, threw confetti in the air, and “matching decor”, became the rule. The showroom man said so!
I listened, even though in my mind I felt unsettled…something wasn’t being said…at least not out loud. And I was right!
All the while, there was a growing underground group that was defying this rule. They would mix their silverware AND, they had mismatched pillows! I was hearing rumors that they were throwing away their matching fabric slipper chairs, and in this underground they were doing something that we would not allow to pass our lips…They were using mismatched chairs…and even harder to believe..some were wood and some were metal…together..
Though I was young,I found my way to this group… I became part of the mismatching home style renegades. It wasn’t long before I had to come out of hiding. I think it became very apparent when I started using tree branches as curtain rods. I made my curtains from bedding, and my bedding from curtains. My coffee table DID NOT match my end tables.
Now this new freedom of style didn’t always work out- even a renegade has a bad day. Like the time I tried mixing country harvest tables with gray (dark gray) “castle style” walls, in a very tiny dining area… but ya know, I tried. Most of the it worked! I became hooked…And ever since I don’t just think outside the box….I run far away from the box. I can’t even see the box anymore..
So where am I going with all this, you may be asking? Do I have a point to anything I am saying? Yes…yes I do, thank you for asking. We have come full circle. We are now a nation, a world of mismatching renegades. We have taken our place back. We are not questioned about our design style desires. No longer do we need to hide. We can fly our mismatched furniture flag high and proud. There is no more shame in saying “I love to mismatch my home decor and my art makes no sense”. I thought it was all clear. However, I am finding there are still those who fear the mis-mated..the altered style of the home decor renegade. They are also having a hard time accepting anything put on a wall other than a painting, family photo, or shelf. I’m finding all these lost souls. It has become quite easy. They come out as soon as I put one of my “skirt wall art/decor pieces” in my shop. They can’t understand “What a waste”, they say. “Why don’t you make them wearable?”, they shout. Why would you make such a pretty ‘artsy’ skirt and hang it on the wall? I am here to help those understand to give them the answers they seek. To calm their minds and to let them know ‘it’s all o.k’.
The question I get the most, that burning desire to understand is “why do you do that? Many have waited for an answer for some time.. So here it is, the deep truth, my motives to design such a thing…ready?
I have no idea why…
I don’t really know…the way art happens…I thought of it and I just started making them. What I can tell you and maybe, now that I think about it, there is a reason.. It came to me after years of seeing beautiful Edwardian slips, wedding dresses, and Christening gowns all in white used for the same reason. Displayed in shabby rooms. Shown in the windows of pretty little cottages and layed across beds. But what I didn’t see was the unique. Styles and colors that were different. Something that was more of a statement piece…a fusion of ideas and one of a kind.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled when I look over and see my collection of Edwardian girls’ cotton gowns. So simple and the aged white cotton- perfect. But this style doesn’t fit everyone. I wanted my customers to find those kind of pieces that would fit their renegade style. I was CRAVING detail…beautiful surprises adorning these pieces..There was just nothing out there. I wanted the embellishments…old ribbon, tattered and tea stained. Beautifully aged millinery flowers and roses. I saw nothing. THAT is when the craving turned into the question “Why can’t I make pretty pieces of art…in the shape and design of clothing?” And so it began, my search started…And once I had a collection of enough material and piles of beautiful found surprises I started making what I call my ‘art/decor’skirts (which, by the way, many of them are not skirts at all, they just appear to be). I am thrilled every time I finish one. With each completed one comes new questions and ideas and ways to improve. I’m fascinated. I know that anything is possible. You CAN put what you want on your walls. So far I can say that each I’ve made has found a wonderful space in someone’s home…They get it. They understand. I hope now that you do too.