Usually, when I get a new issue of one of my favorite design magazines, my heart beats a little faster, and if I allow myself a quick flip through the pages, I get really excited when I spot a house or room that sings to me......I can't wait to sit down and really enjoy the magazine, cover to cover, reading and studying every feature.
Recently, however, when I got the May-June issue of Veranda, (and please note here, I LOVE Veranda, and don't remember feeling this way before) I actually felt disappointed, and then actually, well.....sad, truly, sad. (I know, weird....... if you are reading this and you don't suffer the same design disease that I have.)
This particular issue is filled with exquisite design, beautiful rooms in gorgeous settings, all created by excellent, well known designers. Somehow, though, they seem empty to me this month. I don't feel any soul or personality in the houses I see.
This room, designed by the fabulous William Diamond and Anthony Baratta, is a child's room in a beautiful Cape Cod beach house. It is colorful and delightful, creative and clever, but who lives here? Not that toys and books have to be scattered about, but who is the little person who gets to sleep in this fun boat?!
Just today I read about Rose Tarlow over at Habitually Chic.
Rose's book, The Private House, is one of my absolutely favorite design books - one of my design bibles, if you will! I have read it cover to cover and refer to it often when I get scattered and off track, which I do easily.
Habitually Chic quotes Rose - "There are those who spend lifetimes in houses that have nothing to do with who they really are. They may be perfectly designed, yet if they fail to reflect the personalities of the people who live in them, the very essence of intimacy is missing, and this absence is disturbingly visible."
That is how I feel with the houses in this issue - to paraphrase "....the absence of intimacy is disturbingly visible"
Now, granted, the story in Veranda is about how a husband surprised his wife with a re-do of their beach home, working with the two designers they know and trust. (Oh yeah, I'd take that surprise - no, on second thought, I wouldn't, I would have to be involved!) They love the water and the wife collects sailors' valentines. I am not saying the house doesn't reflect "the personalities of the people who live there" - I just can't FEEL it.
Forgive the redundancy, but here is another quote by Rose Tarlow that nails what I am trying to express:
"A house is what we design and decorate to suit an image of ourselves, and a home is what we establish by actually living there. To be at home in our house is ultimately the reward of all the effort and thought we put into that most private process of decorating".
This room, in a Charleston home, is exquisite. Designed by Deborah T. Lipner, it is gorgeous. I love the color of the walls, the lamps and the peek through the window to wonderful, old blue shutters, but it looks like a stage set to me - a very perfect stage set! It reminds me of a room that Joni would love to live in - only hers would be filled with books and art and treasures that reflect who she and her family are.
Is it just me? I love all sorts of design, and can appreciate the off beat, the classic and the finest of furnishings and art............maybe I am just a little "off" this week, but this issue just didn't nourish my soul like most do. What do you think?
A love letter
3 hours ago