Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quality over quantity

Some of my family may have noticed that I have bedding on my Christmas list.  I know that it would have been really hard to refrain from some major eye rolling when they got to that entry.  See, I buy bedding kind of a lot.  I just love it.

And maybe the title of this post isn't quite right, because I'm not buying a quilt a month from Target or anything.  The stuff I have now for example (Organic Ikat Stripe Sheets, white flame stitch blanket - no longer available, Stripe Duvet Cover and Shams, and Organic Chevron Shams - all from West Elm) is good quality, especially the sheets.  And they weren't exactly cheap.

But recently, and not just in the bedding department, I've had the urge to get rid of some of the more random things I have, and focus on permanence.  Things that I want to keep forever and ever.  I'm about to finish up The Perfectly Imperfect Home, and this really jumped out at me.

The stern Sister Parish used to engage in a practice her employees termed "traying" in which she went around a new client's house with a tray scooping up all the tchotchkes, figurines, bibelots, and knickknacks she deemed superfluous.  Tough, but necessary.  If it's not beautiful, useful, or meaningful, you might as well lose it.

Our house could definitely benefit from a good traying.  But there's a problem that comes in when the people doing the sorting are the ones who live in the house and collect those superfluous items.  My husband and I don't always (or often?) agree on what beautiful, useful, and meaningful means.

Take for example, the Ikea cabinet argument of 2010.  I freaking love that cabinet, wanted it so bad, was so excited when I got it as a gift.  He HATES it.  I think if he could get rid of one item in our house, that would be it, no matter how useful the storage is.

Let's not even discuss the combination table, lamp, magazine rack that resides in his office.  I told my dad that if it fell of the truck when we moved I wouldn't be upset.  But he wisely realized he shouldn't be the one to make that decision.

But there are some things I think we can agree on.  The glass jar filled with decorative balls - really not our style, and we don't need to keep it just because we need something on top of a shelf.  The framed imprint of our cat's paw, who we lost last year?  Meaningful, and yes, beautiful.

Now, the bedding on my Christmas list has been on my dream list since the moment I saw it.  But there are a couple of problems.  First, Brett has never seen it, and considering it's covered in peacocks I think that could be an issue.  Second, he's not the world's biggest fan of the duvet cover concept.  I think this could be solved in part if we got a better quality (read - fluffier, bigger) comforter.  But the fact remains that it's going to move around in there and piss him off.

DwellStudio Peacock Citrine Duvet Cover $320 for King
Ignore the lamp please.  This also comes in a dove gray and white colorway, but I love this yellow, and think it would be amazing with a foundation of white bedding (sheets, blanket, shams with different textures).

I think this is absolutely gorgeous.  But after the way Brett reacted to my idea of an Otomi covered headboard, I think this ought to be run by him.

Otomi headboard - almost positive this is Grace Bonney's home
Another option I love, if we're eliminating duvets, is the idea of a vintage Suzani coverlet in super bright colors.  This one is bold and gorgeous at $429.  I absolutely love the red.

BO Suzani Coverlet from Table Tonic $429
Again, with a white foundation, maybe some lightly patterned sheets like the ones we have now, this would be absolutely gorgeous.  Is that a lot of money for a bedspread?  Yes, but for a vintage Suzani that will last a lifetime, I think it's worth it.

My dream bedroom (meaning, the bedroom in our next house because I think our current bedroom is really sellable) will have white walls, a mix of vintage furniture, either an upholstered headboard or none at all, and obnoxiously in your face bedding.  I think these options fit in pretty well with that, don't you?

I need to do this with more than bedding, obviously.  We have plenty of knickknacks that can go out the door and probably never be missed.  And this is definitely a lesson learned about furniture.  We're both much more confident in our style, and making those decisions will come to us easier now.  But it will be a slow process, one that involves a big investment.  And I've got to keep my patience that we'll get there.