Some of my long time readers will recognize these red chairs, which I gave to middle son a couple of years ago. They did not fit into the apartment he moved into this past January and I was glad to have them back. I like the idea of ownership being more fluid and there being sharing within a family or social group.
The black mirrored cabinet is from my Springfield apartment and moved with me to mom’s house and the most recent studio apartment. I use it to house the wireless router and the laptop and charging equipment and anything else that I deem unsightly that will fit.
The lamp is from a big box store, as is the pillow and the rug, which was half price. I would have bought the rug at full price because the pattern and colors made me happy during a very difficulty time this winter when happiness seemed terribly elusive.
The table and the wall art are from a charity shop. The wall art was priced at less than the frame would be if I went to sell it online. The books are mostly from the library or the second-hand shop and will be returned or donated to a free book venue. One book that will remain here (and is forever after one of my 100 things) is a signed copy of Martha Beck’s “Diana, Herself.”
I think it is important to mention what is NOT in this living room: a sofa/chesterfield/couch. Nor is there a television or “entertainment system.”
People who were not royalty lived for millennia without needing reclining public furniture and now westerners can hardly imagine a dwelling that does not have at least one love seat. We don’t need it though. And refusing to house furniture that swallows us up and makes it hard to get up to go to the bathroom makes us healthier in the long run. I eschew recliners and especially seat-lift chairs for this reason.
As for an entertainment system, I do not wish to be entertained. We can enjoy art without needing to possess it (and I realize that the fuzzy Venn diagram between entertainment and art is in the eye of the beholder) and I am all for the public consumption of art, but I don’t have to bring it home with me and fill my space. I love the quiet simplicity of my space. Powerful art I continue to think about for years after I have participated, it continues to speak to me for a long time. Entertainment numbs for the evening and then can not be recollected.
The mirror was stored in my mother’s basement for decades before I rescued it and got it framed. It had a jagged 6″ chip on one corner, which I had cut off at glass/mirror store. Then the framing was done at a local craft store at 70% off their usual prices. I like that it reflects the natural light from the one window in the room around. The pot of dirt has an Elephant Ear seed in it. Let’s hope I can get it to sprout.
To summarize: Quaker Style is recycled, reused, community based, discounted, and just enough.