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Sunday September 3, 2006 // By Sandy

Other things necessity has mothered

It seems the only time we have the energy to decorate our home is in the days before a big event. This was true back in November of 2004, when, two months after we moved in, we still had no art on most of the walls. In the hours before our families came over for Thanksgiving dinner, at a time when common sense would place us the kitchen, prepping, we found ourselves scuttling around the living and dining rooms hammering nails into walls.

For almost two years, the decor stayed the same. A few new pieces would go up here and there—though only when the spectre of an impending crowd pressured us to rethink our choices about how we covered our walls and arranged our furniture. The pattern revealed itself again this week, as we wind down the wedding preparation. This time the occasion is an open house that we’re hosting Saturday, the day before our wedding, for all family and guests coming in from out of town. Perhaps that’s insane, but as is becoming clearer and clearer, we like it that way. We also know our habits, and I can’t say it wasn’t appealing to have a deadline forcing us to consider every design choice in our home. These were our long-time friends, traveling far to visit, and they deserved better than ratty IKEA frames and a college-era papasan chair.

Actually, I was rather fond of the papasan. But I don’t make the law anymore. She who makes the law said it had to go. Ditto the red beanbag. She said she wants to cultivate an “adult design aesthetic.” In which aesthetic we don’t just throw things on the wall, or in the corner, just because we have them and there is space. In this new world of order, we make deliberate decisions about how our walls should look and then work toward those ideals. In this new era, more is not always more.

There’s a lot of truth to that, and I choose to follow her lead not only because I have no choice, but also because I happen to believe she’s right. At least my brain does. My gut is having a hard time keeping up, and my brain is spending a lot of time shoving a sock in my gut’s mouth. Which is partly why it’s hard to look around and take an honest assessment of our work. I think it’s good. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what our guests think.

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