Small spaces. It's no secret that I love them. But small for the sake of being small can be its own demise. Merely shrinking a house down won't necessarily provide a well-suited home, just as off-loading all of one's posessions won't suddenly transform one into the grand ideal of minimalist. In houses both big and small, it's the design of the house as interpreted by the human experience that reveals whether or not the house fits as hand-in-glove. And it's the curation and editing of posessions to include only those with soul and meaning that provide for a well-suited life, (no label necessary).
It's believing that who you are is good, and good enough.
The accessory haul from the home goods store just to have something to fill up space like the magazines and blogs (and, yes, designers) tell you? Loves? Let's be honest. Mass-produced merchandise in an of itself won't give depth and meaning and value to your home or your experience in it, (it'll just make it look like a larger version of the styled end-cap at the home goods store). Made-up will always be just that.
Ask the talented architects from the one of the nation's leading firms, McAlpine, what the latest trend in home design and building is, and they'll proudly say they don't know. Say the words timeless, classic, and authentic, and they'll not only speak the language, they'll show it to you. Similarly, I read that well-known and loved cookbook writer, Ina Garten, isn't interested in what the latest trends in food and kitchen gizmos are, and, even more beautiful, she doesn't care. She prefers to purchase quality ingredients, cook them simply, and serve an absolutely delicious meal that will delight everyone at the table.
Have an interest in painting? In woodworking? In sailing? In collecting art or books? In cooking? There's your authentic. There's your imprint. There's your home. Ina writes about her white stoneware, and how she has a collection of giant white platters, not because she saw the look in a magazine and wanted to fill up space, but because she learned the value in using a platter, instead of numerous smaller serving dishes, as serveware for the whole meal. The whiteware collection, by default, became part of her signature decor. Similarly, this view of the sunlit corner of a beach house shows the homeowner's passion for painting right there in plain view, her life's interest and work, authentic and real. Art in and of itself.
So maybe the best decorating advice I could ever give is this: Look inward first, then let your home express who you are.
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