Did you know that if something is very expensive the kids these days refer to as being so “Gucci”? Now, it doesn’t mean that it has to be the actual Gucci brand. According to my teenage son, it’s just a way to say that something costs a ridiculous amount of money and therefore must be very special. (I’m rolling my eyes as I type this.) Another word that is used regularly around here is ‘dope’. Don’t worry, this isn’t referring to drugs. It’s just another way of saying that something is ‘cool’, a slang word which has actually managed to stand the test of time.
There are many more slang words smattering my kids’ vocabulary these days and frankly it all just makes me feel old. My one consolation is that since it seems like the 80’s are making a resurgence (I’ve seen actual acid washed denim in the stores!!! Make it stop!!), there’s always the hope that words like ‘rad’ and ‘tubular’ might just make a comeback too.
But, the other day as I was scrolling through Instagram, I realized that there is one word that has become almost like a slang word within the home decorating community.
Never before in my life have I seen that word used so often. It’s almost used as much on social media as the word ‘Fortnite’ is used in my house. And if you don’t know what ‘Fortnite’ is, be grateful. (Hint…it’s a video game.)
I’ve also noticed that people seem to be moving to farmhouses in droves. And, I’ll be perfectly honest, we’ve been looking for property for years. Not because we particularly want to be farmers, but because we would really love the space and quiet that is lacking in our neighborhood.
I was talking with my mom recently about the ‘farmhouse phenomenon’ and she couldn’t help but laugh. Because she grew up on an actual farm. And she lived in an actual farmhouse on that actual farm. So, to her, farmhouse style meant hard work. It meant being up before dawn to head out to the fields and helping her mom pluck the chickens. It meant having her own cow which she named ‘Polly’ and remembering how her dad was constantly looking at the sky, watching for storms.
I understand the appeal, I really do. In fact, it could be said that I have a few farmhouse-y style pieces in my own home. And I think one of the reasons that people tend to gravitate towards this look is because we correlate the word ‘farmhouse’ with a simpler way of life. And in today’s culture, a lot of us are craving more simplicity.
Our amazing real estate agent is swamped with clients who want their own farmhouse experience but we have very expensive slim pickings in our area of Oregon so for some it will always be just a dream.
But, what if that’s not your dream? What if you just want a plain ol’ house in a plain ol’ neighborhood?
What if you don’t want chicken wire hanging inside your cabinet doors or baskets on your walls? What if you realize you are so ‘blessed’ but you don’t want a wooden plaque reminding you of it every time you sit down on the toilet? What if you don’t want a coffee table made from a pallet? What if you don’t even…now, brace yourself…what if you don’t even want your walls covered in shiplap?!!
Well, that’s ok.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think you need me to tell you that it’s ok.
I guess I just feel the need to give voice to the fact that sometimes things might tend to get a tad bit overdone. And when those things are a bit overdone, when they overflow from the shelves of the stores and from those little squares we scroll through on our phones, sometimes we can wonder if maybe we’re missing something. Maybe we’re supposed to really like all of this stuff even if in our heart of hearts we know it’s not our style or our dream or our passion.
Or maybe we actually DO like it but it’s just all too much.
A strange thing happens to me when I see that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time. Whether it’s a book that is changing everyone’s lives or a show that everyone is watching or a style of decor that is gracing everyone’s homes, I have this bizarre rebellious streak that rises up in me and makes me NOT want to read that book or watch that show or decorate in that style.
And the sad part is that in and of themselves, those things might be things I would really enjoy having in my life. I might actually find encouragement in that book or joy in that show or pleasure in that way of decorating. But, the minute I feel any kind of pressure about them I just kind of want to run the other way. I’m weird. I know.
But, why do we have this tendency in our culture to take something that starts out so innocuous and beat the life out of it?
That’s really what trends are. They come in with a bang and go out with a fizzle and we’re left with either good or bad memories depending on how much we were influenced by that trend. I had really bad experiences with perms so my memories of that trend are pretty horrifying.
Many of you are thinking to yourself right about now, “But ‘farmhouse style’ isn’t a trend.” And you’re right. Capturing the essence of a farmhouse way of life is something we can all have whether or not we actually live in one.
But, I guess I just wonder if it might just be getting diminished a bit.
This is all my opinion, mind you. We can all do whatever we want in our homes because they are just that….OUR homes so, please take what I saw with a grain (or lots of grains!) of salt. But, I guess I’ve just reached a point in my life and in my decorating where I’m finding that I’m becoming less and less influenced by the trends.
You see, when I first started blogging I was very easily swayed by what I saw online. Just like the popular girls in school, you can be tempted to think that you might need to change yourself in order to be more like them. And I spent a good amount of time trying to get my decidedly nowhere near farmhouse style home to fit in. This was a costly mistake both in terms of time and money. So, I started doing things differently. Enter the aforementioned rebellious streak.
Yes, I do pick and choose trendy-ish things here and there that I like and think will work with my body type or the style of my home and don’t cost a lot of money, but I’m cautious about getting sucked in. To me, the most beautiful homes are the ones that look like they’ve been decorated over time, layer by layer.
And, when you think about it, that’s what true ‘farmhouse style’ is. It’s a home that has weathered storms and welcomed sunshine. Rooms which contain treasured family heirlooms and finds at a flea market. Spaces that are unique to their owners and reflect personality and character that can’t be manufactured.
I’m going to confess something to you. I’ve had this post mostly written for a couple of weeks yet but just couldn’t bring myself to actually publish it for fear of sounding critical. Because that’s not my heart. At all. My heart is simply to encourage all of us as we scroll through our phones and see those little squares with images in them to not feel like we need to make ourselves or our homes fit into those squares whatever the style. Yes, be inspired by them. Yes, glean from them. Yes, get excited when you see something that makes your heart go pitter-patter. Mostly, let’s just remember that the squares will all keep changing as time goes on. It’s the nature of the beast when it comes to trends.
But, one thing that doesn’t have to change is our desire to turn houses into homes that reflect our hearts. And my heart is very happy that you all meet me over and over again as I share my home with you.
Much love to you friends,