In late spring I read about "clutter decorating" on Southern Living's website and how it was the anti-minimalist trend. In a way it was kind of funny because this really wasn't a new concept-most everyone back home has always "clutter decorated". We never called it that, of course; there's never been a design term given. It was simply how we styled our homes: putting out things that had meaning while (sometimes) allowing them to take up every inch of space.
This is what we do to show who we are and where we've been. Our homes are living journals, open to be read by every person invited across the threshold. It's a peak behind the curtain as to what we're all about.
But this spoke to me because I live in this place place between the two design concepts: the "clutter decorating" and something simpler. My husband likes updated traditional (so do I), modern (also me), but he doesn't...like...stuff-wich means "clutter decoration" is his worst nightmare. I get this: I don't like clutter either-actual, real clutter. But I do like memories, tchotchkes from our travels-the places we've lived. It's the things you cannot click and mass purchase or swipe up for that make me smile as I pass from room to room.
I love being able to pass by a table and see a picture of my children as little ones beside a piece of pottery picked up in Seoul, beside prayer beads from Japan, atop a book from Bali. Maybe there's a candle made by a friend's sister in the UK as well.
These little pockets of personality are vignettes that celebrate our family and our lives together, and I love them.
I especially love Japanese cranes! Have you spotted them on this tonsu chest? There are a few...
We can only get so creative in our Japan home because it is temporary and the lease agreements are pretty clear. This makes it all the more interesting when it comes to decorating, but somehow, we've found a nice balance. The tone has been struck. It's mostly minimal but it has those pops of personality I crave. We're happy...
And cheeky! I love a bit of the unexpected and this particular happy from a good friend was perfect. You never quite know where it's going to pop up but it makes things interesting when we have people over. You'll find it as well as a few other not-so-conventional things peppered around the space. I'm not going to say they're tiny wooden phallus charms from a shrine sale, but they might be.
In any case, it's funny how one article can send you into a thought spiral that produces a blog post.
It's not very deep, but not everything has to be.
Sometimes our thoughts go between minimal and cluttered, too, but like our home, eventually we find the right balance there as well.
Won't it be fun to add all our new goodies from home once we get back? I cannot wait!