Settle Down, Now, Lady

Sandy spent a couple years saving up money for new living room furniture. Our foldout couch crowded the living room and was breaking down, and a chair was looking a bit old. They were still good enough for a local charity to haul away to sell. In January she chose a love seat and a chair in similar designs. Theoretically I had a say in the choice. However, design is her joy, which I leave to her.

When Sandy told her dear friend, whom I will call Lady, she had replaced some furniture, Lady said, “I hope you got rid of that old wooden bench.” She pronounced the word old as if it meant ugly. Lady is like that and you ignore it. She is actually an outstanding person, a long-time successful speaker for those on the margins, for instance getting shelter for the street people of Mankato. Because the Salvation Army does not provide beds or food for women on the streets, five downtown churches take turns offering food and beds, each church serving a week in turn. But that expanded into providing space for men. The SA now requires people who sleep a night there to be sober, to attend church, and to attend Bible study. Sort of conversion by the bed. My cousin who ran the mission in downtown Seattle for years would be horrified, as they would be in Duluth, unless they too have changed. While the churches struggle to provide food and space, the SA has only a small fraction of its 25 beds in use. In a recent modest storm, they closed! Three of the churches opened in a rush. Lady not only offers financial support, at the age of 78 she also often washes the linen and cooks for the meals.

I should tell Lady that the old wooden bench, which is called a settle or settle bench and is a standard fixture of British pubs, has the official British seal of approval. My English aunt came into our home 35 years ago and spotted the bench and exclaimed, “Oh, a settle!” She ran her hands over the top and said, “It is almost perfect, but it needs to be older.” The last part was her joke. She spent the visit sitting on the settle and drinking the Twinings tea we had on hand. A couple years later an English exchange student was at our house and had a similar reaction.

A few years ago Lady told Sandy that she should put this away, meaning after Christmas, but her tone was that it should be put away permanently.

Lady has good taste in clothes, which are often in marked contrast to the tens of carats of diamonds she always wears. When she dresses to the nines, the carat load rises. I imagine that many people think it must be costume jewelry because of the volume. I admit I have a bias against diamonds in droves.

Yes, our furniture and accessories are a mishmash. As you age you shed style in exchange for memories. Lady’s large living room is its own mishmash of stuffy small town museum and waiting room for businesses of dubious merit.

Because they often stay with us, especially the kids, we discussed this change of furniture with our daughter and family. They said the foldout bed was getting too uncomfortable and they could bring blow up mattresses. Last week ninth grade grand daughter out of the blue announced that we were not to think that she and seventh grader Mr. Tuxedo were not coming to stay with us a few times this summer as they always have. She and her brother had many plans for their stays. That was a warm moment, to think they have not grown out of staying with us.

Do you have a name for your interior design style?

43 thoughts on “Settle Down, Now, Lady”

  1. Ooh, I love the photo in the header. Is that from your home, Northshorer?

    First off, I want to recognize that today is one of vs’s annual celebrations: Pi(e) Day. I know you’ll have a wonderful celebration.

    Secondly: I don’t have a name for my (our) interior style, it’s probably most accurately described as eclectic. Worn, frayed at the edges, eclectic. In other words, a designer’s nightmare.

    Sometimes I want to get rid of it all; pare it down to a functional, uncluttered minimum. But the memories tied to all this stuff gets in the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes that is our living room area, about 1/4 of it.
      I did not think about pi day. But I do not know what I would say.
      You are not supposed to hang many pictures but because we are their ideal renter (been in five years, don’t complain, take care of things), they ignore all the pictures we have up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. great post clyde
    a 3 way treat
    lady and good soul/bad mouth-brain connection
    grandkids visits

    i’ll be back but i enjoy the cornacopia of discussion today

    happy pi day
    i have two kids birthday today on albert einstein’s birthday and stephen hawkins day of passing

    i will not be wearing diamonds today

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We have Stickley dining room furniture in a
    pretty traditional arts and crafts style. The rest of the house is also arts and craft style, but not the living room sofa and love seat. They are are comfortable with slightly overstuffed arms, somewhat frayed with cat scratching. My mom had really nice style, elegant but not too fancy, and we have some of her furniture in our basement family room. We still have my childhood bedroom furniture in a guest room in the basement. I think it is in a atyle from the early 1960’s called Danish Modern, and it will be donated to charity when we eventually move. The pictures on the walls and knick knacks (which or not numerous) are pretty eclectic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We sold off some of our Arts and craft, but we style have the few pieces I made in that style plus a dining room set, a dresser, and a sideboard. A&C is where Sandy taste and mine meet.


  4. I once threw myself into a major redesign of my home. Before that moment I had paid no attention to home style. Since my home was a Craftsman bungalow, I decided to decorate with “Mission” or “Arts and Crafts” furniture and objects.

    It was a good choice. Furniture and decorative objects from that period became popular, and suddenly the marketplace was filled with inexpensive stuff in that style. For example, I was able to buy six inexpensive stained glass lamps made in China; they had not been available until I took on the redesign of my home.

    I had fun reading about the Arts and Crafts movement and the people behind it (William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright and others). I studied pottery from that period, then acquired some of it. I couldn’t afford genuine Stickney furniture, but I found nice copies at reasonable prices.

    The project of giving my home a new look ended up pleasing and diverting me at a time when that was important.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. OT-I had trouble falling asleep last night, so I pulled out Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf as a sleep aide. I noticed that the old English text looked a lot like tim’s advice to Clyde yesterday to “drab it with a knofe”.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have called our décor “Early Garage Sale and Flea Market”. We have virtually nothing that isn’t “pre-used”. For instance, PJ’s oak pedestal table graces our dining room, and my mom’s old desk is in my bedroom standing in for a dresser…


    1. It gives me great comfort to know that that old table is still being used and appreciated today. It was old when I purchased it in 1973, and I used and appreciated it for many years. Be sure to pass it on to someone who will appreciate it, please.


      1. I was going to comment on Renee‘s Danish modern childhood furniture that if she could find someone who would appreciate it rather than donating it to charity often times charity put it over in the pile that is simply a five dollar giveaway pile and doesn’t yet appreciated or dealt with in a way that honors the coolness of the items
        No in North Dakota I understand you want will have a gellen in density finding fault who are Danish modern family within a 50 mile radius but you don’t need many you only need one


        1. It isnt a full set any more and it may not even be donatable, since it is starting to fall apart.


  7. My mother was a mad redecorator. It all started when she tried to convert an ugly old Victorian house into a stylish Colonial home like those she saw in House Beautiful and Better Homes & Gardens. My dad followed her instructions.

    Redecorating was their main (and almost only) hobby for five decades. In that time they both became skillful at it. And it was typical of their generosity that they volunteered to help fix issues with my sister’s home and mine.

    Only after I went to school on Arts and Crafts design did I realize that my dad did every project with Colonial design. I’m pretty sure he never knew that he was working in a style. He learned home handymen skills as a Colonial redecorator, and that was the only style he could do. I ended up with three rooms with Colonial style woodwork since my dad had helped me fix problems in three rooms.


    1. Our style might be called a slow drift from colonial/rustic to A&E. But our overall has always been eclectic, often by rooms. The room I am in right now is still rustic.


  8. A friend of mine who grew up in Indiana had furniture from her mother that was the epitome of 1950′-1960’s space race design. The living room chairs were in a pale grren with backs that tapered up to a narrow point and were about 5 feet tall. The were in Jetson’s style. I thought them hideous.


  9. OT: I made a run home and going back. Will be in and out today.
    OT: Smoke on the water just came up on my rock playlist. Yes. Love that bass riff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sort of related: building maintenance genius just told me that they are going to replace all the common lights with LED bulbs. Plus the grant they got from Whatever the power company is currently calling itself, same as in the Cities, requires replacing all attached fixtures in all apartments. So we get free 25 LED bulbs. Wonderful.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh yes, that is nice; LED’s are so much better than the “pigtail” CFL’s.
        course the numbers don’t make any sense anymore. What’s the equivalent of a 60 watt light bulb in LED terms?? It’s about 8-12 watts now. They’re trying to push “lumens”, but nobody knows what a lumen is. Or sometimes they do Lux. No one knows that either.
        I prefer the higher color temperature, the more blue-ish light bulbs. I don’t like the yellowish, warmer (lower) color temperature.
        And just because the LED will last “forever” doesn’t mean the rest of the electronics will. I write the date on most of the light bulbs I replace, just to see how long it lasts.
        LED’s are anywhere from 6 months to a few years and still going.

        The 6′ fluorescent tubes in my shop at the college will last, on average, 6 years.
        The 20 watt halogen house lights in the theater average about 2-3 years.


        1. Could you please do a light bulb primer talking about lumens and stuff to make it logical I love the fact that they talk about the cost savings but I’m not able to relate that could you please help me figure out how to turn that into dollars and cents for the people understand how much savings they will realize per month


  10. Reused/Rehomed/Repurposed/Recycled. I have a couch I bought in a furniture store, but the rest is just what I could pick up here and there.

    My sister’s house is the opposite. She doesn’t have any particular objection to used stuff, as far as I know, but her husband has a definite attraction for the new. They are always at IKEA shopping for new chairs and futons and tables.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw a picture of the settle in a book of American antiques, not realizing it was a settle, which of course is mentioned in many books, such as James Herriot. Alter I built it, with minimal power tools, I saw a picture of a settle in a book on English pubs. The arts and crafts piece next to it I built at Sandy’s request. I warned her about having to dust it.
    A woman offered me $2200.00 to carve another chess set for her. But the thought of carving 32 more pieces, especially 16 pawns, made the effort not worth it. It is the only time anyone offered me a meaningful price for carvings.


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