Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A matter of taste

When I was a little girl, grown-ups often commented on clothing or decor by saying, "There's no accounting for taste." I heard that a lot, but I never really knew what it meant.

Now I know what it means, and it's actually a very freeing concept.

There are many things in life for which there is very strict accounting. There IS accounting for how much money you have. For how much you owe on your house. For how many pills you get in a prescription and how often you can get it refilled. For how many calories you can eat and how many you must expend to lose or gain weight. There's accounting for so much.

But there's no accounting for taste, because taste is not something that is prescribed by an authority or set by laws of nature. Taste is an individual thing, and we're all different. It is true that many of us agree that certain styles are pleasing or lovely; there are principles of art (color, proportion, symmetry, etc.) that are universally appealing; there are some design principles describing things that tend to look good to most of us. It's true that some tastes are more popular than others. But it's not true that certain kinds of taste are right and others are wrong.

I remember reading Rhoda's post at Southern Hospitality about her guest bedroom makeover. I thought her room was lovely, but I especially loved that she commented on her own decorating by saying, " I am not a minimalist."

YES! That's the spirit! Minimalism can be really beautiful, but it's not the only thing that's beautiful. Lots of different styles are pleasing and attractive, and perhaps the most attractive thing is that which we can share freely with others because it's what we really like and feel good about.

So I want to share with you a bit of my house that is just exactly my taste. I know that it wouldn't be attractive to some people, especially considering that this is a very public space in my house. Here it is.

This is a wall in my living room. If you've been to my house, you've seen this wall. It's hidden from no one.



Here it is in the evening:



And here's a close-up of the collection on the chest:




Not everyone likes it. Obviously, not everyone likes crosses. Not everyone believes in what the cross stands for. Some people who are real fans of Jesus don't like crosses used as art. And some people wouldn't enjoy such a collection, or such a display of a collection.

But I do like it. The crosses are special to me. They've been collected over many years, and the collecting of them has been meaningful. Many have been gifts, and that's meaningful to me as well. It's my taste to have things in my home that are reflective of my faith. And having them grouped together is reflective of my taste. So it works for me. But most of all, it's true to me, so it's a pleasure to share it with you.

I'd love to know what you think. Does the idea that there's "no accounting for taste" help you to feel free?

I'm linking this post to a "What Makes You Smile?" party at Butterfly Genes. Isn't that a great idea? Thank you for hosting such a fun party, Heathahlee!

11 comments:

Vicki Clifton said...

Love the idea of "no accounting for taste"...very well written.
What an awesome wall of crosses! I have seen some very neat ones and I think your collection tops it all! Thanks for sharing!

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

The way you've explained it makes perfect sense! It is a freeing concept! It explains why I love so many design styles. They all have their innate beauty! Thanks for such a positive message!!

Amy

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

I am so thrilled that you found me! You won't believe this, but a wall of crosses is the first thing you see when you walk into my house. They are on my breakfast room wall and you see it from my foyer. I love my crosses. I also collect Noah's arks and angels. I have lots of cross necklaces, as well, and wear one almost every day. My faith is very important to me and I am like you, I love to showcase things that I love. If people don't like it, then they are not the kind of friend that I want to have. Anyone can have a "house", but it is truly a "home" when it reflects the people who live there. I want my home to be very welcoming and for people to feel good when they are here. Have a wonderful day. Love and blessings from NC!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HI, Richella, well thanks for the mention. I'm honored! And you are SO right, we are all different in our tastes and likes. Lots of people, I'm sure don't like my house & the way I decorate either, but plenty of people do, so that's why I share what I do.

Your cross collection is lovely & the fact that you've been at it for a number of years says how special it is to you. And those things are what makes our homes personal to our families. Thanks for sharing this with me!

Mrs. Petrie said...

Here in New Mexico you'd be right at home with a wall full of crosses!

Dawn said...

haha! i am no minimalist either :) and i do like your crosses! i have a wall in my home that is full of angels... years and years of memories!

http://beyondgracedmg.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-favorite-wall.html

and if someone doesn't care for my taste, that's okay... as long as they don't hurt my feelings!

Simply Susan said...

I really liked the way you explained "taste" in your post. It really is true. You have to do what makes you happy, not everyone else.

Briana said...

I love the way you used your collection. It's beautiful! I am finally getting to the point where I don't care what others think and am decorating our home for us. It's very freeing to throw aside all of the rules, not that I was ever good at using them.

Allison said...

I have a "wall of crosses" too...not nearly as many as yours :) but I get comments often - "so you are really religious, huh?" or "wow. that is a lot of crosses..."

Just found your blog via The Nester - it is lovely! :)

HeathahLee said...

I am SO glad you linked up! Your blog is beautiful, and I am now following you! I have an addiction to pretty blogs! : )

Stephanie said...

I love crosses and I love your wall! :)

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