Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Everything I Need To Know In Life I Learned in Home Ec Class

This is from Food For Modern Living (J.P. Lippencott, Philadelphia, 1967):

Attractive table settings are problems in color and design. However, instead of using a pencil and paint to make your design, as you would in art class, you use china, glass, silver, and table linens. Just as in any design, the elements that make up the whole must harmonize. Therefore, all elements should be chosen to go together and planned as a unit. The individual elements in your plan need not be expensive. Good taste is often simple. Care and patience often mean more than price. Edward J. Wormly, who is often referred to as the dean of American furniture designers, gives this excellent advice in this respect: "Just because something is old, imported, expensive, or published in a magazine, is no sign it's of intrinsic value or suited to your way of life." With the prevalence of status symbols in our lives today, it is wise to remember this idea.
A noted designer, Peter Muller-Monk, recently gave this advice to teen-agers. "Avoid the two extremes of being scared to be different or trying to be different for the sake of being different." Find what you, yourself, like best. It can be fun as well as a lesson with lasting usefulness. What is more, your selection of a good design that particularly appeals to you will bring you lasting enjoyment. A cup and saucer can be a thing of beauty. They need not be elaborate - good design usually is not. They need not be expensive - a graceful shape has no price tag. But beauty, in any object no matter how commonplace, adds to your enjoyment in owning and using the object.
Aside from studying the table arrangements in stores, you can also train your eye and discover your own natural taste by visiting the nearest art museum. Here you will find whole rooms done in authentic detail for a given country and period. How you feel about living in one of these rooms may tell you a great deal about what you really like. Often, it won't be the most elaborately furnished room that will really seem like a home you'd want to live in.
After visiting the art museum, take a trip to your local five- and ten-cent store. Look for things in the store that give you the same feeling you had about the things you saw in the museum. It takes a keen eye to find the exact things because in these stores there are many trashy designs along with the good ones. But the good ones are there; simple honest fine designs uncluttered with poor ornamentation.


  • At June 26, 2005 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you, Frank, for those words of housewifely wisdom.

    Oh, and by the way, I tagged you for a meme on my blog.

    You're it.


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