Monday, August 21, 2006

The stylish witch

I've been thinking about style, or aesthetics - the way we dress the world around us. It's one of those areas of life that's trivialized as feminine (or is that feminized as trivial?), but an appreciation for beauty and the cultivation of taste have been regarded as virtuous pursuits since at least the Greeks. I don't confuse taste with expense; I think extreme wealth is in very bad taste. Indeed, I prefer the creativity evoked by economic limitations (but not poverty; poverty is just harmful - it ain't romantic). Sonja inspires me in her fervent commitment to busting people's preconceived notions about witches' aesthetic (although she may be more heathen than witch these days, but never mind - heathens probably have a worse image problem than witches). We're not all living in country cottages surrounded by herb gardens, or gothic industrial lofts, or our parents' basements. If you're a Pagan and at all interested in this stuff, leave a comment describing your own aesthetic.

I'm torn between a Japanese-inflected Scandanavian modern - wood, leather, and other natural (appearing) fibers, and clean lines - made accessible to a plebe like me by Ikea, and a more magpie, colorful, eclectic, somewhat kitschy, but never twee, style. (I couldn't begin to find a photo on the internet.) I think these styles capture different parts of my personality perfectly, and taken together - not that they work together - express my tastes pretty well. I like handmade things - quilts, clay plates and cups, paintings by local artists. I like bright color, and I like quirky.

And of course, there absolutely must be stacks of books.


Rubicon said...

yay! you rock :D I think both your styles can be incorporated; think modern but instead of industrial accents a la Dwell magazine, you could use natural textures.Since you love Japanese style then using natural textures and objects would be in harmony with that.

and not more heathen than witch. Always a witch first :) just moving away from "Wicca" again. It never seems to capture my imagination.

Rubicon said...

oh, and always a stack of books :) my personal style is minimalism meets pottery barn meets library chic meets artist studio :D mmm...books *drool* and just white everywhere!

Jenavira said...

(Reading for a while, finally getting around to commenting. Hi, I love your blog!)

I'm afraid my own instinct when decorating is to go for the "Victorian bordello" look -- lots of wine red and velvet and gold accents. Probably fortunately, that sort of thing is expensive, so I usually end up with a much more sparse look, accentuated with a few Victorian-style pieces and, of course, books. (The books are essential.)

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Nice question-it got me actually looking at my spaces for a change!

We've got externallly a small house , painted by Man in Earth tones, with a large garden, painted by Nature in Garden tones.

Inside, there's a fearful mixture of minimalist clean lines (I like) and Victorian-Weekend-Cottage(my partner likes), all in- you guessed it - Earth tones!

We do agree on fabrics though- suede and natural blocks of dark colour, accented by pure whote walls.

Terri in Joburg

Starfire said...

Hmmmm.... I think that even after 33 trips around the sun, I still haven't quite got a feel for what my own 'style' is. I think I've lived in something like 23 difference places in my time (and no, I'm not a military brat - I just tend to move a lot, or I used to), and every time I've just ended up going with what was there...

I guess I definitely like clean, uncluttered lines - although sometimes I like lots of softness and textures too. Sometimes I like cool, light shades; other times, rich, dark reds, purples and blues are what really inspire me. Sometimes I want cold, smoked-glass-and-chrome cleanness; other times I *need* life, warmth and at least a little chaos! Wherever I am, though, I like having lots of plants, and as much natural light as possible.

Aside from that? I don't know. I guess I could call myself 'adaptable' and make a virtue out of not having a style I can point my finger at?



sammy_bunny said...

My style would be mostly clean and uncluttered. Definately no "country look" with lots of ruffles and frills and knick knacks. I like saturated colors. I have some rooms painted dark red and a dark grey. I prefer metal and glass to wood in tables but if I have wood I like it dark. I don't have any witchy decorations.

Sybile said...

I like both of styles :)

really nice blog by the way :)

Inanna said...

Welcome, new commenters! Cool.

I do love the industrial look of stuff in Dwell. Right now I live in the second floor of a late 19th c. basic Victorian (not a "painted lady"). The floors are wood, the walls are cream, and there are some nice architectural details, thanks to the owner of the house who has an eye for such things. I've furnished with a combination of soft Scandinavian modern from Ikea and the bright, kitchy accents I love - art, vases, lamps, and so on.

I love hearing what the rest of you are doing.

Thalia said...

Hello Inanna--

I call my style of interior d├ęcor Eclectic Witch. I adore Victorian-type stuff (the more clutter, the better) in rich rich colors (a pet peeve of mine is white walls! I feel like I'm in an institution! So very unfriendly to me) and textures like velvets and lace. I can't get enough of the color mauve, either. Some day I'm going to live in a gorgeous gingerbread house in shades of purple and black with gold leaf picking out the details. Maybe I'll even have a garden of all black flowers, who knows... And it has to have a sense of humor, like the spice jars I made all new labels for, like "eye of newt", "toe of frog", "philosophers' stones" (the whole nutmegs) and all. It's gotta be fun, and cosy, and rich. Anyhoo.

Hey, nice icon. ;)