Lots of anxiety insomnia this morning. I don't know why but it started last night and, although I was able to shake it for the most part, it managed to wake me at 6 and then proceeded to take over my brain and body and here I am, awake but still really really tired. I read some quote yesterday about change. Lemme see if I can find it. Oh yeah. Here: "What if I told you that 10 years from now, your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?" Spoken by someone by the name of Karen Salmansohn. Well Karen, I have to say that it is the exact opposite of this that keeps me awake at night. Change! I need it. I am so not scared of it. I am, on the other hand, deathly afraid of things staying the same and this is what woke me from my slumber this hot, hazy morning. And this is what kept me stirring until I finally gave up, padded into my kitchen and started some coffee. Just stuck in that miserable old spot of not knowing if I should work on learning to be happy with the way things are, or if I should be working harder to change things. Even though I just don't know how much work one girl has to do. I am ready for something, anything really, to just be handed to me. No work necessary. No begging, no pleading, no cajoling. Just a little change? Please?
Anyway. Enough of that boring old conversation. I'm pretty sure we will be sitting here, you and I, having it again this time next year.
You know, I have noticed something over these past few years as I've gotten deeper and deeper into the world of interiors. All of this looking at magazines, blogs, images, what have you, has taken what has always been a wee touch of the OCD (by "wee touch" I mean "huge-smack-you-in-the-face OCD") inside of me and magnified it fifty million times over. The days where I curl up on my couch with the latest issues of Elle Decor, Living Etc., House Beautiful, etc etc are some of my most and least favorite. The photos inspire me to no end but I almost always end up in a big, melting pile of frustration, frantically setting about to source things for my house. It seems that no matter what I do, how hard I try or don't try, my apartment never looks like those images. Pull my freaking hair out. And you know what all of that is? Styling. By a professional styler stylist style-ly style making person. If I wanted my house to look like a MAGAZINE I'd have to be after it all day, putting things out that I'm not using and buying gigantic arrangements of flowers and pods and pussy willows. Making bowls of Christmas ornaments and casually tossing perfectly slouchy Louis bags on my bed (which, by the way, would be piled high with 13,000 down comforters and at least 1,500 different blankets, all ethnic and/or cashmere). My kitchen counters would be rendered unusable due to the sheer volume of vintage cutting boards laid out, all covered with beautifully halved figs, perfectly worn gold cutlery, and the loveliest of tea towels.
Is this real life?
No, not for most of us, it is not. Styling can be both very good and very bad. Some of it is just plain stupid.
Oh hey you guys, what a pretty kitchen you have. But there is A DOG ON YOUR COUNTER. Yes, silly, I know.
Which is why I really appreciate looking at real people's homes, untouched, unstyled, unfussy. I want to see what people's houses look like everyday, day in and day out. Sure, it may not be as pretty. But it's real. And I really think that's what design is about. Creating spaces that people can live in, day in and day out. Most people I know, actually all people I know, don't have time to create magical wonderlands in their homes every week (Martha-I am NOT talking about you here). Doesn't mean they don't look damn good.
Wanna see some of my favorite spaces that I look at and think "This is probably what this house looks like everyday. Just maybe cleaner."?
Ok. Here you go.
This home tour of Abbey Nova has become a fast favorite of mine. It embodies everything I'm talking about here. It is designed impeccably but it still looks lived in, like, on the everyday lived in.