Feathering The Nest... One Twig At A Time
By Brian Wright a.k.a. Hillbilly Deluxe
A wise man once said "one man's meat is another man's poison," or as I would put it, one man's dead animal carcass is another man's trophy wall mount.
And that's just my point this month. Feathering your nest, one twig at a time, is in the eye of the beholder.
There's a certain pride we all get from creatively putting together a sense of style and substance when we decorate our favorite areas. Whether it be a complete home, cabin retreat, or just a small room, collecting and displaying items that have a particular significance is both fun and satisfying.
Just as a bird builds its nest twig by twig, looking for just the right twig for each layer, we humans search for just the right touches to create a comforting, homey, place for ourselves. An additional benefit is that our nest will bring smiles to the faces of friends and family.
I have two nests that are of particular importance to me, and both have an outdoorsy feel to them. My walk-out basement at my primary residence, which opens to a flagstone path leading to a small lake, is always a work in progress. Not a true "man cave," it must also accommodate assorted family and friends. Thus it is only lightly sprinkled with vintage fishing, hunting, and camping memorabilia. There is, of course, a fishing rod rack with poles for visitors, some classic outdoor books, and a small assortment of family treasures. However, the space must also serve as a media room for watching hi-definition television, a game room for cards and board games, and a wet bar for drinks and laughs.
The other nest is my quiet place — my retreat. Located on Table Rock Lake, it encompasses only 900 square feet, but the layering of twigs is quite special. My wife and I use it as an escape, and the feathering of the nest is quite deliberate.
Every twig (i.e., lamp, plate, picture, pillow, etc.) is carefully selected. Although the decor might be classified as rustic lodge, each item is unique and hand-picked with much aforethought. The littlest of details is examined and contemplated with great care before being deemed worthy of our retreat. For example, we can't just have any old napkin holder or fireplace poker — it must fit perfectly with our lifestyle and be approved by both husband and wife.
Although we welcome invited guests, both friend and family, our Table Rock Lake nest is feathered for our enjoyment. We have an emotional attachment to nearly every item in our hideaway. Whether it be an old hand axe once used by my wife's grandfather or a vintage Zebco 33 reel my grandfather used to catch catfish and crappie, we are surrounded by items that bring a smile to our faces.
The beauty of feathering your nest is that you can redecorate and/or change the theme anytime you want. As your priorities and interests change, so can your nest. Add or change items with your collectibles, family hand-me-downs, or store bought items. For those of us who love the outdoors, you're also likely to place some "found" items from the great outdoors as well.
In addition to your hand selected items, remember to create a complete feel to your nest with color, texture, and smell. Paint colors, throw rugs, and pillows should be used as the base of your theme. Ever notice how a certain scent can take you back in time and evoke memories? Use scents such as candles to enhance the feel of your nest.
If you're lucky enough to have a nest to feather — you're lucky enough. Whether it's a large lake house or a corner in your basement, enjoy the privilege of making it your own — one twig at a time.
For me, about the only thing likely to change at my Table Rock Lake nest are the entries in the guest book and number of dead animal carcasses, excuse me, trophy fish mounts, on the wall.
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