Monday, October 3, 2011

What I've been thinking.

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.



  1. I moved to Singapore with my hubby about 2 years ago - we only could bring a few suitcases of clothes. I like being streamlined but miss pretty things! but am already amassing new stuff :)

    xo Allison
    Spicer + Bank

  2. I love people who are curious. You're a student of your own school. That's wonderful. I just went and looked at the entire post (wasn't able to comment) and I love everything I see there. I saw that large envelope image a long time ago and have been collecting old envelopes with Cambridge postmarks and addresses to use a wallpaper somewhere...maybe.

    The image you selected is my favorite of the bunch. There's a whole lot to love. I was just talking to the stylist that was at my house about the nonverbal communication of materials and "things" -- their vocabulary, if you will. She looked wide-eyed an interested but not sure if she understood or just thought I was crazy. I'm going to do a post on that sometime soon. It not only helps analyze these things but it helps editing and selecting your own things.

    I'd also love to know what the collection is in the big jar to see how it relates to the other things.

  3. I love your point of view. An almost scientific approach to what makes things beautiful.

    Regarding things - when I was young and wanted something (obviously a non-neccesity) my Grandmother would tell me "it's good to want." And it is. For me, if I acquire things constantly I don't appreciate them as much.

  4. I have so much to say about this great post, I will email you!

  5. Don't worry - I go through the same thought process as you do when I see an interior. Also, I can't resist accruing things. Most of them are simple and inexpensive, but usually there is something which draws me to them, such as the shape, colour etc. At first I don't think I'll find a home for them, but I always do.

    Beth x

  6. Surprised you did not mention "aunt stuff and uncle more", your uncle Larry's pet names for your great-aunt Clara and great-Uncle Ben in this post about acquiring things.

  7. That's too funny. Yes, you are neurotic but I welcome you to the club. I remember even as a little kid taking note of the dishtowel hanging in the background of a scene on tv. We're sick Camille...face it!

  8. You are hilarious. Thanks for sharing your inner musings. I don't usually linger too long on any one photo, but maybe I should...I could use some help in the vignette department...

  9. I agree- hilarious, but I do that too...I think it's because I want to learn what I am drawn to about each space so that I can recreate it for myself or someone else! I have a whole board on pinterest called "Intriguing Spaces" - they aren't always pretty but, yes, intriguing in some way. I want to go back and look at them and analyze them the way you did here!

  10. What a great post! Definitely gets me thinking about why I like certain compositions over others now...

  11. Love this...sometimes I cock my head like a dog because I can not figure out why I like an image. It is kind of like a face...separately there is not much to a nose, eyes...a smile...but all together it can create beauty.


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