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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Too Many Legs

The cardinal rule of design is that if we decorate with what we love, it will all somehow meld together into this glorious pile of harmony. Would it be horrible to say that sometimes that can also be our downfall? Not to shoot myself in the foot here, but if we get caught up in a loop, buying the same things over and over, our home can start to look a little like an uncomfortable theme park.

I actually did this a few years ago, and while I knew I was doing it, I didn’t think it was a problem. But, apparently, I have a bit of a metal addiction. New, old, worn out, useful or not, I don’t really care; I can always find a reason to bring a piece home with me. It can be sanded, painted, lacquered, or just left outside to rust. (I know, I am trying to justify my addiction to you, but there is something about metal that I find very hard to resist).

One day, after I had dragged a rusted garden chair into the Living Room, I went outside (very pleased with myself) to have a cup of coffee. When I came back in, I couldn’t believe what I had done; I was surrounded by a sea of iron. The rusted garden chair was the least of it; I also had a rusted coffee table, a rusted end table, a brass daybed, an iron mouse, an iron elf, a terracotta pot filled with old silverware, iron wish stones, and a cast iron lizard. Gulp. There was a lot of metal in that room, and it suddenly felt very cold.

Because the Living Room is my reading/listening-to-music room, I had gradually placed many of my favorite pieces in there, ignoring that they were so similar. I should have known better, but they kind of sneaked up on me when I wasn’t looking.

Taken aback by my evolving decorator’s junkyard, I reluctantly took out the garden chair (after-all, it could still be very useful in the garden) and replaced it with my favorite 1960’s green armchair (gifted to me by my friend, Jenn). I rearranged a few more things, removed the lizard, and made the room feel warm and cozy again.

Usually my home evolves with an idea in mind, but occasionally, like this time, it morphs into something else when I’m not looking. I think it happens to us all, and before we know it we are living with a collection of things that we didn’t even know we were collecting. (p.s. By the way, my addictions are far from over; at the moment, I have three vintage chairs and two stools in my home office, which is far too many legs for a 10 x 10 foot space).

Photograph from Molly-Meg

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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