For most of my life I have avoided “old stuff.” I have usually been more drawn to newer things, and to contemporary decor and architecture. Not ultra-modern, mind you, but leaning decidedly more toward contemporary. However, tastes do change and, over time, I’ve developed more appreciation for quality pieces from the past. And, recently, I find myself drawn to structures and objects that show their history, items that have a delightful patina.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines patina as follows:
plural pa·ti·nas play \-nəz\ or pa·ti·nae play \-ˌnē, -ˌnī\
- a : a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color; b : a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
- :an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character
- : a superficial covering or exterior
During our recent travels to Florida, Texas, and Louisiana I found myself drawn to photograph buildings and objects that have “the appearance of something grown beautiful, especially with age and/or use.” In other words, I experienced the allure of patina. Old brick, aged wood, faded and peeling paint, chipped plaster, rust, worn edges, dings and scratches, stains, all make an object more interesting and tell a story of years of life and use.
I envy talented people who are able to skillfully incorporate furnishings and accessories with patina into their home decor. It’s a competency I don’t possess but definitely want to develop. Sometimes old things just look old, tired, worn out. Objects with patina are old but wear their age well. In fact, their beauty and character are enhanced by the age that shows. Decor is more personal and unique when objects with character are integrated and patina certainly lends character.
To this end, I recently ordered a copy of Patina Style, by Steve and Brooke Gianetti, which “gives insight into materials choices, methods and treatments that result in spaces that celebrate the beauty in the old, the imperfect and the slightly worn.” I will share what I learn from the book in future posts.
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