March to a Different Drum


I was reading the Down to Earth blog  last week and Rhonda actually re-visited an earlier post from 2009 about how to start out living simply.  You can read it here.   In it she speaks about making your own choices rather than following a specific prescription for living simply.

The idea of being an individual and not slavishly following others really resonated with me.

It constantly astounds me how people are influenced by fashion and trends. It is not necessarily just about clothes but encompasses style of houses, interior decorating, colours and so much more.

Magazines are not generally part of my reading material, but occasionally I will flick through one when I am waiting for an appointment at the doctor or dentist.  The constant, subtle pressure to conform and consume jumps out from every page.  It is not only the advertisements but the articles with titles such as, “Gray is the New Black” which insinuates that you can’t possibly wear the black trousers you bought last year.

Everywhere you turn there is evidence of what is ‘in’ and heaven help you, if you actually consider breaking the mould.  Several years ago we were re-building our kitchen and we decided to have a look at some display homes to get some current ideas as it was many years since we had looked at what was available in kitchen design.  We headed to a display village of new homes – I think there were about 40 homes and we looked at the kitchens in at least half of these.  I was totally disillusioned as they all featured the same basic layout with the kitchen as part of an open-plan living area divided by a long work bench which often contained the sink.  The drawers all had over-sized rectangular handles with minimal variation and the decor was universally a bland grey/mocha palette.

People make fun of the 1970’s lime green benchtops which were ‘in’.  In fact, if you want lime green laminate or any other colour of the rainbow, you can get it in 2012.  However, you need to be prepared to do your own research and choosing by going to the suppliers rather than going to a ‘one-stop shop’ where you will be presented with a range which is really just a selection of variations of the current trend.

Whatever the product, idea, attitude or philosophy, do not feel obliged to follow the crowd.  Be an individual, buck the trend and make your own decisions about you and how you want to live your life.  It does not have to be based on the latest colours, mobile phone or gadget.

Do you swim against the consumerist tide and make decisions about how you live your life in an independent manner?

2 thoughts on “March to a Different Drum

  1. I agree about people being influenced by trends and never could understand the decorating magazines and shows that want you to buy a certain decorating chotchke because it is “in” that season. My home is eclectic, and has things in it that mean something to me.. like the marionette that my s-i-l brought back from Prague, the uncle’s WW1 helmet and sword, some antiques and books Ive actually read, instead of collected just as a decoration. My furniture has mostly been bought second hand at auction, and I like the way that things don’t match, but create a nice warm, lived in environment. I certainly won’t win any decorating prizes, though. For a peek at my living room:

    I enjoyed your post.

  2. Ha, your description of the lime green benchtops sounds like the kitchen in the family home I grew up in (along with sheer lime green curtains with ruffles on the windows)! Thanks for the lovely memories. Also, the description of the kitchen in the display homes sounds like our kitchen now (except the cupboards are all white), but this decor does suit my minimalist decorating style perfectly. I’m with you in making independent decisions and avoiding fads and trends. Most furniture in our home is decades old, some of it much older, and not following any particular style apart from our own, but I think it looks great because it suits us and because we keep it tidy and care for it all well. It’s quite amusing looking in home magazines as after awhile, I realise all the homes are decorated really in similar ways, and I have even noticed “unique” pieces and ideas being replicated in many different houses – so much for the sense of individuality they were striving for! I would love to see a decorating magazine featuring real, lived-in homes.

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