Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In Defense of Mason Jars (and other trends)

Just FYI—this post is mostly about chalkboards, but since mason jars are the objets of foremost derision in the world of the contemporary aesthete, I thought I'd lead with that.

Never has there been before, and perhaps never will there be again, an inanimate object that comes under such fire as the mason jar. What once was praised by the event and interior design industries alike for its rustic charm and homespun appeal is now synonymous with words and phrases like "conformity" and "Pinterest lackey." And while I appreciate aesthetics as much as the next girl with an Instagram account, sometimes all I want to ask the experts who seem to equate using a mason jar at a wedding with admitting to casting a vote for Donald Trump is,

Who are you to tell me whether I can or cannot continue to decorate with a mason jar? 

But the root of my frustration, I've realized, does not actually lie with these experts or their opinions. I'm really the one at fault for choosing to weigh and consider said opinions as seriously as I have been known to do.

All of this is to say that I recently turned one of the clean white walls in our home into a chalkboard wall. I struggled with this decision before deciding to move forward. Would I feel ashamed to admit that I had a chalkboard wall? Would people see my wall online or in person and think to themselves, "I wonder if she knows that was a thing like five years ago?" Anticipating this type of response, I found myself deprecating the wall in advance of any feedback the other night while at dinner with friends —"I know chalkboard walls were all over Pinterest in 2012," I said, "but I really like it."

I am so(oooo) tired of going through life apologizing for everything I like or don't. The truth is that I do remember saving a photo of a kitchen with a chalkboard backsplash like five years ago on Pinterest, but then I'm sure I deleted it because words like "so basic" started running through my head. Well, you know what? My tastes haven't changed. I still like that picture and others of that ilk. I still like the idea of being able to write our menu on the wall when guests come to dinner. And I'm loving having a place to create and recreate over and over again without a lot of time-consuming cleanup.

I LIKE CHALKBOARD WALLS. There. I said it. And to the bride who feels like she has to hide her affinity for mason jars and falsely embrace an avant garde chromatic vase, I say,

You use those jars as centerpieces and you wrap them in burlap and twine, too, if that's what you want to do. 

My point is this (and seriously, I am preaching to myself here): Follow old trends if you want to. Set new ones if you feel like it. Let's just all do us in 2017. Let's take a step back from social media every now and again, press the reset button, take time to figure out what we really like and what we're only trying to like because we're told that we should, and then stop caring what our imaginary audience of critics has to say about it. Ultimately and perhaps ironically, I think this type of personal aesthetic exploration will lead to the same end result that all of the experts say they want to see: variety, individuality, and fresh spins on what's been done before.

With that said, here's some chalkboard inspo!


Our New Chalk Wall + Inaugural Art
a fiddle leaf fig that's free and can't die? yes, please.

Other Chalkboard Art
Karley with a K. Todos los derechos reservados. © Maira Gall.