Monday, October 28, 2013

Craving Character

You may have noticed how much time DIYers spend sanding, aging, and beating up perfectly good pieces of furniture. "Character" is something that we seem to realize doesn't come straight from the factory, (or it didn't use to until furniture makers caught on to the trend). The lovely aged pieces of furniture we are trying to replicate have a history. They've been loved and well used. They've been roughed up a little by life.

And they are all the more beautiful for it. Shiny and new certainly has its place, a new dishwasher for instance, or towels. We want new and fresh there. Clean. Perfect.

A few years ago when all those fancy paint techniques were the trendy thing, I learned a lesson: using that look in your entire house just makes it look tired and dirty. Too much "shabby chic" can just look shabby if you aren't careful Still, we want a few items with history and character.

And what about those dents and worn places in life? Experience is the best teacher, although a sometimes brutal one. But with all those rough edges you've probably become a more interesting person. A person who can give wise advice when needed. Someone with your own "character" developed out of painful experiences, mistakes, and probably more than a few triumphs. If you are learning from your past those damaged places can add to the beauty of your character. Your scars may be some of your tenderest and most beautiful features. Ones that allow you to grant understanding and love in a way you couldn't when you were newer and shinier.

But remember that allowing your life to be all worn painful places without learning anything makes you a bit like my house when I went overboard with aging everything. The beauty in the character is the treasure of the lessons that you've learned contrasted with restoration.

The truth is that all beauty doesn't lay in perfection. 

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