If you've noticed that my interiors are rather "spare," you're right. Kauai, although a lovely place to live, is full of red dirt, humidity, bugs, pooping geckoes, and sticky sea air when the surf is high. Our windows are open all year round because air conditioning is too expensive and we don't have heating in our homes. It is hell on furniture, draperies, and don't even talk to me about knick-knacks! Can you imagine having to wash every decorative item in your house at least once a month? So most everything is put away and kept off off the floor. Clutter attracts bugs and more mold. Nice furniture fades in the sun and the veneers bubble and crack. The pulls, mirrors, and drawer hardware rust within a year's time. Hawaii is very hard on your stuff!
Nice furniture is very expensive here. We don't have any chain furniture stores, and our department stores do not carry furniture. Shipping charges added to large items make them outrageously expensive, as you can imagine, and why pay for nice furniture that will look terrible in a year or so?
It is for this reason that most of us furnish our houses with disposable furniture a la Wal Mart. I decorate for cool air flow to minimize bug-attracting clutter. The more minimal my interiors, the less cleaning I have to do, the less bugs build homes in my stuff, and the more the air can circulate and keep us cool. It took me several years of living here to give up on lush decorating styles--but now, I know what works.
I also try to keep a minimal stash because fabric molds pretty quickly. This is a peek into the walk-in closet in my sewing room:
This is it. The sum total of my stash...and this is even too much! I'm working on reducing it.
I'm having a sewing day tomorrow with my dear friends. Here is what my "work room" looks like the night before my friends arrive:
Okay...so here's where YOU, dear reader, come in. I need your opinion. What color would you paint this room? I'm going to leave all the trim white because I would have to spend five years painting those windows and baseboards and moldings. It takes me days just to clean all that woodwork!! So they stay white.
The curtain question is a poser. Look at all that yardage it would take! Expensive fabric...or even colored curtains are out...they would fade within a year. So it's blinds, shutters, lace, or something...ugh. See why the morgue look has persisted? It's a problem.
So there is a peek into my minimalist interior. As you can see, I am not a collector of "stuff." I get rid of everything I don't use very quickly. I am not overly fond of gifts (I know...gasp!!) because I only want a few things that I actually want and will use. Right now, my foyer is filled with my latest purge of stuff--ready to be hauled off to the thrift store (or perhaps I'll have a garage sale). I'm a hopeless non-collector--my house gets emptier of stuff every year! But it also gets easier to keep clean. More time for sewing!