As a self-professed interior design junkie, my viewing of interiors has evolved/devolved into something like this:
(You can see more of this house here.)
Here's my thought process when viewing the above photo for the first time:
Ooo, I love this.... Why do I love this? I like the gilded frame with huge mat and tiny picture off-set with the little brown border. I like the navy, graphic quality of the blueprint. He hung them with no space between them. And off-center. Why did he do that? Interesting. I like it. I wonder if that's a menorah. Nice lamp. Tripods get me every time. It's turned off. Wonder if it came with the gold knob finial. I like the way the books are stacked. Are those covers on them? No, no, I do not like the covers. Books should be read, they're not just for artsy vignettes. Drives me insane when people put covers on them or worse, put them backwards in a bookcase. Or worse, tie them in a bundle. What's in the glass jar? Metal somethings. This picture was taken with the candles lit. That's unusual. I like the amber color of the votives. Like the wood base too. Wall is white. The whole thing reads neutral and old, but lines are clean. Hmm, no plants or flowers. Overall a beautiful composition. Picture was taken at a 90 degree angle, but just slightly off-center. Close-in and low down too. Chair was pulled out slightly.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this. I used to not. I used to just look, and if I liked it, and note one or two things that made an impression. Now I analyze everything. Is it neurotic? I'll tell you one thing, it has definitely helped me to define what I like and what I don't.
Now onto something else to ponder.
I read this interview of stylist Peter Frank in a recent House Beautiful newsletter. Regarding stuff, this is where he stands:
Have you always been thing-oriented?
I tried living a pared-down life for a while. I fell prey to the idea that it was morally superior. But I got back on track when I bought this house and started filling it up with the things I love. But I do a big tag sale every spring, where I pull out anything that looks tired or trendy and sell it.
Because in your line of work, there's always more stuff to be had.
Sometimes I'll buy something I'm shooting that I didn't even know I wanted, but I get attached to it. In that respect, my style is somewhat accidental. I do love things, and I love antiques. There are only four items in my house that are in production.
He makes me feel slightly better about all my stuff. However, I often feel the pull of living a pared down life. For more about that, click here.