Nate Berkus was just interviewed for an article in Parade (Sunday paper insert). One outstanding message was that homes are progressively becoming more casual. I agree, sort of. If casual is the opposite of rigid and stuffy and proper, then yes. But casual to me also says disposable. A casual relationship isn’t meant to last. So is a casual couch on the same playing field? No, a casual couch is comfortable and welcoming. It doesn’t have to cost top dollar, let jazzed up $10 pillows do the style work. From watching the Nate Berkus show, I can surmise that is his take on casual.
|This room tells a personal story while remaining comfortable, welcoming and stylish.|
But how far do we take casual and welcoming in the sense of comfort?
Our culture would just love to embrace the acceptance of UGG boots being worn to job interviews and pajama pants as school attire. This is casual. But what do we really want casual to mean?
The Eve of Reduction mindset puts casual into the category of what feels right for our individual tastes, with respect to the situation. It’s not meeting a level of status or a declaration of sophistication. It’s also not an excuse for shoddy or sloppy, like a pile of coats stuffed on a chair or bottled beverages being dispensed from their bulk packaging on the floor.
I prefer to use the term eclectic; it’s unpredictable, unexpected, often homespun and therefore gives the vibe of welcoming and comfortable because it shows guests who you really are – and often where you’ve been. We are opening up our true life stories through our possessions.
I often find eclectic taste to be even more of a commitment (less disposable) than “casual” and formal decor. Afterall, when something truly originates from your creativity or has been passed through your family tree, don’t you want to make sure they last. Don’t you want to mend them? Display them? Find any possible use for them? You take pride in what is yours. You want to show it off. You want to break the mold, rebel against the catalog look.
Our home should be a place where others feel free to visit, plop down with a hot beverage, laugh loud and act casual…in a home that can be appreciated.
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