Hope your weekends were relaxing dear readers! Some fun food for thought for your week.
Our homes are in a way, a template for our aspirations. In our homes, we project ideas of what we hope and wish our lives to be. Our choices also reflect trends in our society and culture that take effect in our everyday life. I was recently asked about the trend of craft aesthetics, such as chicken coops and beehives. At the time, I couldn’t comment off the cuff because I hadn’t thought much about it.
So I started noticing and thinking more on this trend. I live in a fairly rural area and am a granddaughter of a rancher. I know that people outfit their homes in this way for utility rather than fashion (although there is some fashion to it as well!). So I’m guessing this trend is mostly an urban movement — infusing modern, urban homes in busy and impersonal settings with a homestead aesthetic. Perhaps this outside look of rusticity is a way for us to imagine a simpler life and less complicated surroundings.
We see this trend emerging among all areas of interior furnishings. Especially where the focus is on “craft” like fixtures, such as rugged and worn pieces of furniture or sculptures that have a patina to their surface. Using faux finishes and distressed cabinetry to recreate provincial living in our kitchens is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away.
Using decor as a way to attain the sublime in our everyday life is nothing new. One of the most extravagant personas in history, Marie Antoinette, created an entire rural village where she could escape. When the wigs and finery became too much for her, she would escape to “Hameau d la Reine”, or the Queen’s Hamlet.
Antoinette’s rural paradise had over ten buildings that included a functioning farm that produced milk and cheese for the queen, as well as a mill, boudoir and a small lighthouse. Every detail was complete, down to her own Sèvres porcelain milk pails (which someone else filled for her, naturally).
Intellectual leaders of the time were speaking and writing about the natural view of living where the “model farms” were the ideal. They believed that the future of France was in the country production of goods. These views were extremely fashionable at the time among the aristocracy, of which Antoinette was the center.
Like Antoinette, we are filling out the corners of our homes in a way that idealizes simple life. But this outside “simplicity” can have it’s price. In a recent Wall Street Journal article called “Backyard Farming Gets Fancy”, lifestyle editor Anne Marie Chaker looks at people who seek this aesthetic and the cost it can accrue. I think you’ll like this read!
While establishing this aesthetic, we are looking for the memories of their parents and grandparents through this kind of living. We see this as a way to go back our roots, and access the life that past generations had in their everyday. In order to forge this connection, we are buying items that reflect this way of living. “Perfectly imperfect” is the look that is valued over all other characters in searching for these items.
Signing off with a tongue-in-cheek visual. Couldn’t resist!
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