Do you love it?

Being married to an artist has its advantages. There’s a level of mystique other people ascribe to Craig’s talent that spills over a bit to me (though, at our house we marvel at accountants and anyone skilled in balancing a checkbook). People assume that I have an eye for art and, therefore, know how to decorate. One new friend even sweet-talked me into joining her on a shopping trip: “You’re the perfect person to help me find some cute things for the house.”

Only I wasn’t. We looked at lamps for her breakfast bar – were they the right height, color, shape, weight? We considered urns for the hallway alcove – was bronze on the way out, how ornate should it be? I had no idea. When decorating, I seldom consider the question, “Does it match?” I ask myself, “Do I love it?”

My friend soon found a decorator who could talk the language of pattern and scale. I wandered toward the kitchen gadgets and found a ladle I could use.

When I got home, I surveyed my mismatched family room as the store’s designer would see it: my red microfiber couch, blue velour chairs, plank-and-iron tables, Indian blankets, denim floor pillow, crowded bookshelves. She’d see the potential for a huge commission. I tried to see what she – and really most anyone with taste – couldn’t see: a beauty below the patchwork surface, a grace present in the story of the room. The couch is so comfortable we don’t want to get off it, the chairs came from my grandma’s house where they were rimmed with gold fringe, my mom sewed the pillow from old jeans and made sure to include a pocket with a Lee’s logo, the shelves hold our favorite books and vacation souvenirs, the paintings came from friends, each photo reminds us of a person we love.

Did anything match? Not really. Did I love it? I did, as long as I avoided home stores and remembered that the montage was what made our house a home.


  1. I love this!

  2. I cherish all the treasures and stories your home holds!!
    Want a funny?!? Read mortgage not montage makes a home!!
    Glad I re-read the sentence!!

  3. Great writing Lee. Very vivid and visual. Keep it up!

  4. The story of the room. That just sings to me. It tells of the people who live there through the items they love. Ping!

  5. Cindy Meyer says:

    Amen, Sister!! I’m with you. Our house is filled with mostly hand-me-down furniture, books and movies that we love, photos of family and friends, and various forms of artwork perpetrated by our offspring throughout their various stages of growth and development. Though I’ve tried to maintain some basic color themes throughout the house, our home would elicit a frenzy of “change-making” from any decorator (after he/she recovered from their dead faint, that is). Yet to me, all the stuff of life that clutters our walls and shelves is priceless and much too impossible to ever part with (hmmm . . . that is definitely a problem at times, isn’t it?). Thanks for sharing your love of home. It reminds me of why I love mine!