Reader Charlotte brought up an interesting point yesterday about how the glut of fabulous decor content out there fuels this perception that it’s not enough anymore to live in a cozy, comfy home but interiors also have to be highly styled. I thought about this last night and it’s so true! Sites like Pinterest — as much as I love it — put forth this notion that everything — right down to our magazine racks, utensil drawers, the way we plate our food have to say something really cool about us as individuals — creative people whose lives are a living, breathing photo shoot. It is a world in which clutter does not exist, where giganto TV remotes are never seen and where even the inside of kitchen cabinets are perfectly ordered and color matched.
A prime example of this is the confounding open shelving trend in kitchens. It seems everyone anymore is tearing off their cabinet doors to give kitchens “a sense of space and airiness.” And by “everyone,” I mean denizens of the decor blogosphere. (See examples here, here and here) Those bulky cabinet doors, they tell us, make kitchens look smaller, cramped and totally 90s. But they conveniently gloss over the fact that dishes, utensils, plastic kiddie cups and Scranton County Fair coffee mugs are the very definition of clutter, thereby canceling out the intended purpose of open shelving.
The only way this trend might possibly work is if:
a) you’re a Zen minimalist who already limits your poor family to one bowl, one plate and one spoon each (all of the same color, of course) so showcasing these items is already like looking at a bare wall. Aaah, such space! Such airiness!
b) you don’t mind buying all new color coordinated plates, bowls and decorative objets to showcase how highly edited you are (never mind that you just dropped bucks on stuff you didn’t need).
c) you suffer from “Advanced Pinterestia,” an increasingly common perception disorder in which following decor trends like this actually seems like a good idea.
d) your kitchen is so freakishly big you have plenty of other space for all the ugly stuff to go.
Here’s a peak inside my own kitchen cabinets:
What does this say about me? Well, for one, it says I didn’t pay for nearly any of it — it’s a random assortment of Grandmom giveaways, thrift shop finds and misguided gift shop purchases. It also says that we are out of space and require more cabinets–not less.
Check out the decorative objets in another cabinet. Behold the charming canisters of Quaker Oats and Walmart “Great Value” raisins. And that delightful flask. And the whimsical collection of thermoses.
Not. My cupboard doors will stay on, thank you.