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Home Decorating Changes

Trends in home decorating styles change subtly through the years. Probably because a sofa or dining room set costs too much to replace.

I remember the late, wise Dorothy Fuldheim saying if sofa styles changed every year and people didn't keep them forever the economy would thrive.

The people who like a certain period furniture (for example early American) have it made. Their tables and chairs only become worth more with age. But aren't you afraid to use them?

Some of us change the theme occasionally. South Western has been in for a long time. Have you noticed the Asian influence lately?

Maybe home decorating has changed more than I think.

I remember my grandmother's homes with lace curtain and doilies. All tabletops had a scarf or tablecloth on them. The kitchen table had an oilcloth that was just wiped off after meals. The buying of a new one was a big thing, almost like redecorating the kitchen. The stove was made of iron. You didn't even try to move it.

Iceboxes kept the food cold (how did they get everything in there and no freezers?). Some homes had pantries. They had a cellar where homemade wines and canned foods were kept for the winter.

I think every home had a rocking chair. People napped or stretch out on the couch (before Recliners). There was more wood used then and no plastic or metal furniture.

We all had gliders or swings on the porch. A kitchen chair would be brought out for more seating - none of our comfortable yard furniture. Of course when they wanted to picnic it was in a park and not the yard. The yard was kept beautiful with flowers and edible fruits and vegetables.

There were many china cabinets for the good dishes. I wonder when they were used. Never when I was there..hmm…

They had a lot of curio cabinets. Souvenirs from as far away as New York were on the coffee tables. On top of a lovely (always) made bed were stuffed dolls and animals. It seemed there were more things on display to enjoy and ask questions about. Little knick-knacks and figurines were all around.

A card table with a puzzle was in front of my grandfather's chair in the parlor. Oh yes, many people had living rooms and parlors. You'd guess it was a prelude to the family room but you never found a glass or magazine left in there. The parlors were hardly ever used.

Many people had pianos and lots of them were player pianos. Of course there were no televisions but there was a radio and phonograph player.

It is surprising to think back as to how many people had birds. The cages were covered at night or when they got too noisy.

Grandfather clocks were popular, and there was a phone connected to the wall next to it in the dining room.

The dining room tables were very heavy, and for special occasions. Come to think of it I never ate at it either…… Hmm…

The furnaces were coal and wood burning. I remember my aunts standing on the grate where the heat came up. Many people had a heater in the living room.

Then came my parents home, there were still doilies but fewer. Many changes seemed to occur during the growing up years.

Away went the icebox, the coal furnace, eventually we got rid of the piano. I wish we didn't but we had to make room for the television. A drape replaced the lace curtains.

We got a dog but never a bird. We ate at the dining room table for events. Our coffee table had a hammered aluminum cocktail set on it and away went the snow globes. If there was any gifts brought back they were from foreign countries not states. The photograph was now the hi-fi. We did more entertaining and the living room was never off limits.

Our homes today boast many televisions, several stereo sound systems, wall phones, portable and cells; most homes have numerous pieces of exercise equipment. Furnaces that we set the dial for the temperature we want and air conditioners! Refrigerators with freezers. Freezers that stand where the canning jars used to be in the basement. Even the basement has changed. Now it is also used for entertaining and exercising.

Microwaves in every kitchen. No more meat grinders - now we have blenders and food processors. We have kitchen equipment like Grandma would never have imagined. We have remotes to change the television and turn on a light. Our grandparent's tool shed is now a 3-car garage.

Color, color everywhere! Who could have pictured a blue house? Items from travelers are no big deal anymore, the world has gotten too small. Most things come from somewhere else now.

The dining room table is nice for company but also a good place to put the junk mail. I'm thinking of getting rid of the couch altogether what with recliners that heat up that vibrate. The family room is the lived- in room, just the opposite from the parlor that was never used. Decorating is done around the view of the television.

Ceiling fans are in all rooms. In grandmas day you only saw a ceiling fan in a butcher shop or bar to keep the flies away. Play stations, video and computers take up whole rooms now even though laptops can be used anywhere.

Our yards have tables with umbrellas over them, chairs of all sorts; we cook outside-not because we have to but because we want to……Go figure… We have pools in our yards - good-bye parks!

There is a whole movement to circle back to grandma's day. People are drying and canning food. There are quilting clubs and do it yourself projects. They say sewing is making a comeback.

Just so they don't bring back the outhouse. The changes are ok with me but that's where I take a stand!

What are your home memories?

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