Just out of college I got a job with a Knoll dealer in San Francisco. I loved learning about design, furniture, textiles and art. I was drawn to modernism and minimalism. I loved the ideas of the Bauhaus movement and Phillip Johnson. The clean lines and strategic placement of one piece of furniture was quite appealing. I live in a modern house, but have always wished for a wrap-around porch with a big swing.
In my heart of hearts, I am far from a minimalist. I love clutter, cutesy little items and just generally stuff. I was fooling myself into being something I am not. I am most comfortable surrounded by overstuffed chairs, full bookcases, home-made knick-knacks, books - lots of books, crammed closets and cabinets, blankets and towels, overflowing junk drawers and crowded desks, brightly colored pillows, endless Christmas decorations, spice jars, photos and frames, art on walls and craft supplies. I love the promise of what might be in a closed container.
Being a clutteraholic is made easier with children, stuff randomly appears. It is fun to get out a wine glass and have a Lego arm inside of it. We have a lot of one-armed Lego Mans, remember, Darth Vader cuts off Luke's arm? The clutter is monumental right now, because the kids have brought all of their stuff home from school. I have piles of books, paper, pencils, socks, art projects, back packs and certificates abandoned for summer all over the kitchen and diningroom. Every last item is a treasure! So I will sift through it and jam into closets and the back room. The beauty of all this junk is I can pull it out on a rainy day and the kids will spend hours lining up ceramic skunks.
The burden of having only one of each thing weighs on my mind. If I have four plastic schlocky bowls......then who cares if one breaks? Who cares if one of the bowls is taken outside to make a worm habitat? Who cares if one is filled with Cheetohs and taken to a barbecue, never to return again? Buying a bulk box of tape allowed Ian to use an entire roll making a paper football/hockey/lacrosse field. The possibilities are endless. I have shoved my appreciation for clean lines into a back cupboard, sometime I will find it again.