By Glenda Wise
It’s no secret that Grayson is all about all things European, particularly Parisian. She has aspirations of living in France for a year or two after she graduates college and I can almost certainly bet you that she will do it. She has been reading several French bloggers and how they decorate their homes. She recently shared with me a blog that she thought I would enjoy. It’s written by Heather Bullard and it’s about authentic French living. I will have to admit; those French do know a thing or two about decorating a home. They can take the tiniest of spaces and the most common things and make them exquisite. I thoroughly enjoyed the blog post, so much, so that I went on to read the comments (which I never do).
I found so much inspiration in the blog and the comments. The comments were overwhelming similar in that our homes are meant to be unique to us. One particular comment stuck out to me that I have been guilty of until my latter years. The woman was talking about how inviting French homes are because they are perfectly imperfect. They are simple and thoughtful in welcoming friends. She went on to say that sometimes trying to make things perfect keeps her from doing anything at all. Wow! Guilty as charged! How many times have I wanted to host an impromptu dinner party, but everything wasn’t perfect enough for me to invite them. When in all reality, I am probably the only one that would even notice or give a flip about. Her next sentence says just that, “Oh, the pleasures I have missed out on!”
The author attributes this to Americans living in “an instant society” because we tend to accumulate things just to decorate our homes rather than collecting them along the way as life offers us one memory after another. Collecting these things “takes time and patience.” I have said it time and time again, my most treasured things in my home were not mass-produced and probably don’t mean much to anyone else, but they are full of a lifetime of memories. Those things that once belonged to those that have passed on mean the most.
The best part about this “authentic French living” is that it’s not limited to the French. We can all embrace what is at its core—homes filled with meaningful items. I once went into a home that was filled with all kinds of horse racing memorabilia. Now, I do not know the first thing about horses, but, oh, how I enjoyed being there and being able to peer into this couple’s past for a bit. I didn’t know them all that well, but I felt welcomed and like I knew them a bit better personally from the items in their home.
As one of the commenters said, “Don’t get stuck in the sea of sameness.”