February 9, 2009 :: This is not my house.

But it is, very close. So very, weirdly close - aesthetically. I found it at Apartment Therapy; a fantastic home tour that must belong to my San Franciscan doppleganger--a kindred home design spirit. Check it here. Then come back.

The oddities! The leggy foliage sprouting from pop bottles! The three-dimensional stuff stuck to walls! The depression-era-meets-industrial-Midwest aura! The camerasandsuitcasesandmedicalephemeraandohmy.

I think sometimes I need reminding that the schizophrenic way I shop and decorate and put together my home--this home that is cluttery and jam-packed and feels most like me--isn't a psychosis, but an actual aesthetic. It makes me want to go home and re-curate the collection of shoe-forms, taxidermy, candlesticks and ancient christmas-tree-toppers that sits atop the industrial card-file in the living room. It makes me want to troll ebay and etsy for giant gas-station numbers, antiquated hairstyling devices, chemistry-set glassware. It makes me want go trash-day trolling in Grant Park, the Highlands, OTP.

Mostly, it makes me suspect of many of the home-inspiration clippings I've been snipping digitally recently. The light-flooded rooms with perfectly dustbunny-less hallways. Their empty tabletops and room corners with nothing in them. I've never been able to pull that off, in any home, no matter how big. (And this one is so small, it's just impossible). I've been running headlong down the wrong path--one with beautifully re-upholstered furniture, with no stray nail holes and no cracks in the veneer. And I'm done, I think.

I made a loose list of New Years' resolutions earlier this year. My best one, and my favorite is that I'm going to take a hard look at my life and what I do, and eliminate the things that make up the palpable tide of sloshing, leaden smutz that I set my rudder against every day. I hate empty corners. I like half-obsolete things in my home--and a lot of them. I am not the best duster/vacuumer/cleaner of baseboards on the planet. I own 30-some pairs of shoes (and I love them all). Only a very few things make me happier than shopping at a thrift store, spending $20, and coming home with more half-obsolete things. I am done pushing.