There is a quiet draw to the nostalgic image 40s and 50s housewives. Pretty, feminine dresses and comfortable, inviting homes. In today’s hectic world of sterile technology, we long for a “home” like that.
There is much to admire about the women who created those lovely homes. There was a strength born of willing deprivation and service in World War II. A longing for small luxuries in the growing prosperity following the war.
The time was also riddled with issues: women’s rights, especially with regards to employment, education, and wages. The Civil Rights movement was working up to fever pitch. We have accomplished so much in the intervening years, but also lost some of the gentler charm.
I have always loved having a beautiful home- not big, not grand, not new. Just beautiful. My perception of what is beautiful has evolved through life changes: marriage, our son, moving. Through out those changes the common theme is the combination of comfort, utility and avoiding clutter. For me, a “home” is made up of the meals, atmosphere and schedule within it as much as the building and furnishings.
With “White Gloves, Optional” I share my success and challenges at creating a home that comforts and nourishes while keeping pace with today.