I have this weird personal quirk where I hate non-utilitarian objects. It makes me SUPER picky about the decorative stuff living in our home (and, as you saw in my home tour yesterday, it leaves our house pretty sparse). Still, I have a few things I just HAVE to keep that are a bit awkward. The weirdest of which is a 20″ blue titanium rod which held my broken leg together a few years ago. Its companion is a bloodied helmet. I can’t bear to part with them, but it’s a little weird to have a macabre reminder of a hard thing sitting around on the living room shelf.
You know what’s fun, though? Thinking about our possessions as religious relics. Creating an altar to us or our things, relationships, families. Making our own folk art.
This is our first challenge on Offbeat Home: Transform a shitty corner of your space into an altar for your neat things.
- Take a look around your home, house, apartment, barracks, dorm, hobbit hole. Is there a corner without a purpose? That place where the flow of the room kind of stops, no one ever goes, or things pile up like debris on a beach? Yeah: that place in your home that confounds your sense of style. When you’ve identified the nook, grab the camera and take a photo for a “Before” shot. Then set a bit of time and tidy the space if it’s cluttered. Dust a little. Re-home lonely items which have been dropped there for lack of a better option.
- If you don’t already have an item in mind, don’t get too flustered. I’d choose something which looks cool, even if it means nothing to you. If you can manage to find a thing which LOOKS interesting AND has pleasant associations — all the better.
- Now get creative and combine the two. Make your revered object a cozy space in which to live and be pondered. Give it a home. It can be totally secular, or silly, or pagan, or a memorial. Use whatever materials make sense — paint, cardboard, books, glitter, carefully jigsawed particle board. Need ideas? How about religious relics? Altars? Plaques? Trinkets?
Get to it! Turn an awkward corner into a place for contemplation. When you’ve got your befores and afters, send them up on our Flickr group and tag them with “Offbeat Altar Challenge”. We’ll take a look at the photos received by 9 am PST on Wednesday, March 9, and pull the most creative ones for their own little Challenge post.