Posted by: blondechief | October 19, 2008


As avid collectors of antiques and junk, we needed to find a solution to our collecting habit to match our simpler lifestyle choice.  Not wanting to give up entirely our love of treasure hunting we came up with a workable solution for us.  Our criteria for bringing any item into our home was, it must serve a useful purpose, not just be a dust collector.  We love anything vintage and anything that evokes a vintage “cabin in the woods” feeling. 

So I took a lesson from the European lifestyle.  If you study the homes and villas of Italy and France, you will notice that their kitchens are designed for function first, but they are also beautiful.  They do not have rows of boxes with doors, as in our American kitchen cupboards, to hide clutter behind.  They have open storage and shelving with all of their daily utensils on display.  Everything they own, they use, but the key difference is, their everyday items are like a piece of art in themselves, function meets beauty.  Visualize the copper pots so common in French cooking, and who hasn’t admired the vibrant colors and form of Italian pottery.  These are their everyday items, meant to be used and also beautiful to look at.  Many of these items are passed down to each generation with love and memories.  They do not go to a chain or dollar store and buy plastic junk for every occasion, which usually ends up as clutter in your home, or unfortunately, in the landfill.

We love the pyrex dishes from the 40’s and 50’s and cast iron cookware.  Our kitchen has open shelving overhead to display these everyday items. All our “stuff” comes from antique shops and estate sales.  We have always been “green” long before the term “green living” became fashionable.  We give a home and a purpose to items that might otherwise have been discarded.  Our home has that cozy, welcome vibe that makes our guests want to linger over dessert and coffee, or a glass of wine.  This works for us.  We can still indulge our collecting habit, while maintaining control over clutter and stay true to our lifestyle choice.

Next time you are tempted to purchase something that is not a necessity, ask yourself what purpose it will serve in your home today and years to come?  Apply the rule of “function meets beauty” and you will find yourself buying less stuff and enjoying what you do purchase even more.  A home full of useless junk is not a sign of “success”, a home full of beauty and love is the ultimate “success”.


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