The exteriors of houses in northern winters lose the personalities of those inside. Heaps of snow hide individuality. Carefully clipped lawns and imaginative yard art disappear. Into the whiteness. Which makes the interiors. So much more fascinating. We all live so differently. Planned. Unplanned. Inside. Our shells.
In someone else’s house last night, I was eyeing the wall space, imagining what I would hang there. I have no empty walls. Talavera tile mirrors, mithla paintings, Haitian drum art, African carvings. Their house was entirely different. The walls were vacant. Uncluttered. But nearly everywhere else. There was pottery. Which was likely made by someone who lives there.
One of my favorite interiors was in the house of a South Carolina indigo artist. Every niche, every inch, everywhere was covered with what I can only describe as stuff. Stuff that to the artist in me was eye candy. Inspirational. Marvelous. Immensely different than other interiors. A grand jumble of all that is wonderful in the world.
Another house. An apartment actually. Another time. Full too. But in a claustrophobic, dusty way. We wind through, and she points out textiles. From Africa. “That one,” she says, “I want to be buried in that one.” For a moment I am taken aback. I can’t remember another time, being in someone’s shell, where they’ve introduced me to their shroud.
Our interiors say a lot about us. Who we are. Who we want to be. Who lives inside. Where we’ve been. What we value. What we love. What does your interior say about you?