My husband once (accurately) defined my design aesthetic as "PeeWee's Little Playhouse on The Prairie". He has a point - I like quaint, rustic wood, calico, pickled wood and I also like loud colors, kitsch and whimsy. These don't always come together, but they sometimes do, and I think my look is perfectly me.
But where I like bright colors, crazy prints, artwork of cats eating beignets, Matt likes shelves filled with books, CDs, movies. Dark leather, earthen tones. Matt doesn't mind something that is less than pretty if it's functional.
It's a bit of a challenge. I have two rooms that I consider "mine" in terms of decor - the dining room and the kitchen. When his look creeps in to mine, I get a little antsy. For example - I bought a rolling rack for his many coats, and that rack is currently living in the dining room. Along with a hat rack, filled with hats. Last spring, I turned the butler's pantry into storage for his stuff. I would like for that stuff to live there. That's just me.
I am writing about this because I've seen a few recent items in my mother's house that were definitely given to her by her boyfriend. I know my father's taste was sort of not-so-shabby chic. We have, in my childhood home a lot of old, pretty furniture. Wood, well finished, well made. The colors are subdued, tasteful. There are a few nods to a bygone decor era - the grass wallpaper, for example. Brass fixtures in the bathrooms. The china and silver are ornate, but tasteful. There are glasses for any kind of drink you could want, champagne to brandy and beyond. Storage is plentiful and useful. Some of it is my taste, but mostly, not really. There are a few things I like, here and there - one is a little lidded jar in the shape of a gourd that I gave Dad. Another is a painting my Aunt Mary created. The furniture is mostly not my personal style, but I like the looks of it.
Mom's style is classic. She has all kinds of pretty linens, cute decorations for the many seasons, and her style and Dad's meshed well.
Which brings me to this:
It's a trivet, or serving piece of some kind. It's pretty. It reminds me of something my friend Jim would have in his house. Or that Matt would have on his nightstand. I don't look at it and think of my mother - but that's how relationships work. We take on a little of them, they take on a little of us...
There are some salt and pepper shakers of the same design that landed here earlier, and there's also a little dish in Mom's room where she puts her odds and ends.
I can see little bits and pieces of Mom at his house, too - but since that feels familiar, the juxtaposition is not as evident to me.
It's all good.
It's just something I noticed.