Sunday, April 11, 2010
Home Decorating for the Elder/Elderly Goth
Well here we have a problem; if you are able to get around very well then decorating your abode should not be a problem.
Some Elder/Elderly Goths prefer to go Victorian, the reasoning is that sometimes if they are my age, they get a lot of old, old goodies from the Grandparents---I did, there is something wonderful about dinning off of a turn of the century (19th -20th) dinning table and chairs and having a wonderful side board from the same period in dark oak.
So you have a choice which for many Elderly Goths work very well and is not looked upon as strange until one looks at the little quirky things.
Another Style is Art Noveau and Art Deco. Each has their own brand of style depending upon what is the preference of the Elder Goth.
If one wants Edgar Allen Poe then the Victorian furniture is the best way to go, you can find beautiful reproductions from Victorian Trading Company and from antique stores, sometimes you can find even modern gothic type things from the Spirit Store just check on line, this is where you can find quirky things as well such as plates, spider web table cloths, curtains, valances. But if you want to go with Black Lace, wait until Halloween, by then there is a lot of black lace stuff to make into curtains, table cloths, to go over lamp shades, using roses and patterns and such.
Just remember that when the black lace is exposed to sunlight for a period of time it will fade to brown, so you will be forced to re-dye it at least once every two years.
One of the better things that is happening is you can get sheer curtain panels in deep maroon, dark blue or black as well and can use that as the first defense against fading with the lace on the inside facing your room.
Deep reds, or red maroons go well in the Victorian style and during the winter time can be warm and cozy without losing your Goth feeling.
You can paint or wall paper, but remember if your room is small, then dark colors will make it smaller, but if you want that shut in, buried alive feeling that Poe would write about, that would be perfect.
So what about dish and glass wear?
Glass ware is becoming more fun, I have a pair of goblets that are pressed glass that I bought new from Target during one Christmas period, they were red with clear glass stems, just perfect for that selection of Vampire wine.
But I have been seeing more and more color glass selections available from blue to purple to green, and occasionally black, although red seems to be the preferred color.
With dishware that is another story, again if you are going with Victorian look around, and see what you can find at the discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart, sometimes the Halloween specialty shops will come out with spiders and skulls for your dishware, but if it gets chipped or broken it will be hard to replace, I would be more inclined to save those for special occasions and use the ones you find at the discount store for everyday wear.
Sometimes you can go with a solid color for IKEA. Like all Black or all Red, or mix the two. This is fine for the Art Deco, Art Modern look or Corporate Goth look.
You can go to a thrift store, estate sales, or yard sales and find mis-matched old sets and use them for your Victorian look.
If you are going for the Adams Family or Munsters look you can have a lot of fun, there are some people who have taken it to the nth degree. Such as one family building a house to resemble 1313 Mockingbird Lane, with painted cracks in the walls.
There are those who if you have the money, will find an old Victorian and if it is not on a historic register, will restore it to its Gothic Glory. But that’s for another post.
If you are into Art Deco or Art Moderne you have a lot of options, it can give you an edgier look, all angles and such, anywhere from flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, and new.
One of the best Gothy films was Karloff’s and Lugosi’s 1930’s film “The Black Cat” the interior design was inspired, Art Deco Modern and sinister at the same time. Much of it will work if you have a large warehouse living arrangement, if not you can still do it on a smaller scale. The spareness is what makes it sinister.
If you want to buy new then check out Thomasville furniture for the Bogart Luxe collection, if they have discontinued it, check E-Bay, sometimes you will find pieces there.
The Art Deco Look is really geared for the Corporate Goth or one into metal, but you have to avoid grunge and the Great Gatsby/Daisy look.
Another place for Art Deco furniture is Fund Raiser “White Elephant Sales”, such places like the Oakland Museum have them annually, you can get great finds there for both Art Deco and Victorian furniture.
With both you really need to research first what you feel the most comfortable with, what will fit into your abode, and your budget.
Some Elder/Elderly Goths get lucky and find a wonderful Craftsman style house, with the entire mission or craftsman style furniture you will not have to Goth it up much as it lends itself naturally to a Goth style by simply being itself. Again research your subject and gauge your pocket book.
Some Elder/Elderly Goths love to go for the Halloween look all year round, which is fine but watch out for real spider webs, it can mean that you will develop respiratory problems.
If you are an Elderly Goth that is developing disability problems you will have to modify your abode to accommodate your condition. That doesn’t mean you can’t be Goth, you still can, but with deference to your limitations.
If you live in an apartment it may mean moving to a ground floor arrangement, which means totally having your former apartment fixed up to normalcy.
If you own your own home then it will mean remodeling; a single level house is not too bad, you can have a ramp installed on the front or back steps, and still have it look appropriate, and you may have to remodel the bathroom as well, unless your home has an old-fashioned claw and ball bathtub, the low slung down to the floor bathtub is the hardest to get out of, however the easiest to slide from a wheel chair onto a bath seat, but also the easiest to trip and fall out of. It would almost be best to convert to a wide shower.
If your home is two story then you are looking at converting the lower half to a bedroom and if you have an area for a bathroom remodeling that as well.
Sometimes an area that is called now a days “The Family Room” is best, one thing I strongly recommend is laying down linoleum flooring because if your elderly Goth becomes bedridden they will need to be bathed in bed, or you will need a Hoyer Lift to move them out of the bed onto a wheel chair for bathing, this is a wet and messy process, so linoleum flooring is a very good idea.
By having the Elderly Goth family member located in the Family Room they can still be part of the family experience. One needs to do things that will keep them connected and this helps them mentally and emotionally.
With my arrangement for my elderly parent, we lived and visited in the Kitchen/Family room (it was two rooms together), the linoleum flooring helped, and there was a big window that looked out into the garden, so my elderly parent didn’t miss out on all the outdoor activities or seeing the changing seasons. To add a bit of interest I put a humming bird feeder as well as a bird feeder for seed and bread crumbs, sometimes a squirrel would show up so I also placed walnuts for them.
This arrangement made them feel that they were still part of the family, and this is very important. Sometimes this is the area where you do not want things to be Gothiky at all, because of the importance of maintaining a positive mental outlook for the very elderly Goth member.
Remember even if you are an Elder/Elderly Goth growing old is not for sissies.