Visiting other people’s parents’ houses has made me realise that many middle aged women who also have grown up children have the exact same taste in decor. Whether they’re mostly into vintage shabby chic or clean looking IKEA-esque designs, there’s definitely something about pushing a baby out your vagina two decades ago that directly effects the decor you scatter alongside your home furnishings. It’s almost like we were all born holding a Habitat catalogue from the future.
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Here are the nine most commonly occurring items that you’ll find in flats, apartments and houses inhabited by middle aged mothers. If you’re a millennial with more than one of these ornaments in your living space, you probably need to check yourself. Congratulations if you never saw these growing up, it means your family has taste.
Props to our parents; these overpriced scented candles actually smell really fucking good. They come in about every pleasant scent you can think of including your Ma’s favourites; Clean Cotton, Midnight Jasmine and Angels Wings (whatever they smell like). True, they could just buy a cheaper or independently made alternatives but then how will they brag to Barbara about bagging the latest release when she comes over? It’s all about the brands.
Sticks In A Vase
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This household decoration will forever remain a mystery to me but seemingly every middle aged woman in the whole of the UK – and possibly the world – is into displaying sticks in ornamental vases. Now the vases I totally get, but the sticks? It’s not like they even foraged these themselves; your own mother has exchanged actual currency for this crap. Shout out to the Mums who decorate their “pretty sticks” with festive lighting or tinsel at Christmas every year – very original.
A Big Mirror In The Living Room
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Or, if you’re a little bit posher, in the “dining room”. Because what’s better than accidentally catching sight of your wobbling chin rolls whilst you’re chilling out watching TV or sitting down to eat in your own home? Nobody needs that.
Bit off topic but does it look like there’s a shadow in the bottom right corner of the open doorway or is it just me? Either way I’m spooked. This photo was taken in my childhood family home, a building that I’m now going to have to burn to the ground. If that fucking mirror wasn’t there then I wouldn’t even be speculating over this.
Your School Photo
The only thing worse than having to relive your awful primary school photo during your braces or awkward hair phase are those horrendous professional family photos taken either in a pure white studio, sometimes with props. You’re pretty sure the photographer has Photoshopped your brother’s eyes open because they look absolutely terrifying.
When you haven’t lived at home for a while, it’s important to know that’s how your family friends and long lost relatives will remember you forever. Perhaps consider swapping all the pictures of your face to some of your more recent selfies to jog their memory; all you’ll need is a printer, some A4 paper, scissors and PVA glue.
Really Terrible Framed Typography
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Inspirational, house proud, cheaply made typography makes me cringe more than anything else on planet Earth. Surely nobody actually believes this shit; these aren’t real mantras. Your Mum doesn’t adhere by her “Keep Calm And Carry On” poster, she has definitely shouted at an overstressed and underpaid sales assistant before over a complete non-issue, refusing to drop it until she spoke to a manager. She wouldn’t be able to chill out over a minor inconvenience even if it was tattooed into her eyelids as a constant reminder.
Don’t Knock It ‘Til You Try It But If You Do Knock It, Clean It Up. That’s one I just made up, see it on a toilet seat near you sometime soon.
The only thing that annoys me more than signs claiming that “ANGELS LIVE HERE” are the carved embodiments of these winged creatures staring at you from every corner of every room. They don’t offer you protection, a lot of love or affection because they are made out of wood. They are not real.
Angel decorations at Christmas time makes sense, what with the story of Bethlehem and everything, but all year round is a bit much. Silent night, holy shite.
Either your Mum is in a cult like in ‘The Wicker Man’ or she’s planning on sending her youngest child down the river like Moses. I don’t like it. They make me feel weird.
Tacky AF Throw Cushions
How about you “throw” them in the bin, haha. If the terrible typography doesn’t make it from the framed photos in the house to the throw cushions then you’re likely to be looking at some shockingly bad sketches of pugs in bow ties, stylised illustrations of cartoon women or printed photos of Meditteranean landscapes. The sort of tat you’d find on a stock image website. The only positive to these repulsive pillows is that you can fart on them on as you take a seat.
Decorative Plates And Bowls
No offence but why would you buy a set of plates that nobody can even use. Every mother on planet Earth seems to have a “good set of china” that never sees the light of day, spending its existence resting on mantelpieces or stored in a dusty glass cabinet. Failing that, they’ll own a huge bowl full of wicker orbs or pot pourri that will be placed sadly on a coffee table somewhere. It’s honestly cruel to bring a plate to life only for it not to reach its true potential.
Although it could be worse – your Mum could be the sort of person to keep your umbilical cord as a decoration. Never seen anything more grim in my entire life.