Saturday, June 18, 2011

Did I find my aesthetic?

I've tried for years to nail down my interior aesthetic. I know what I like for exteriors and need no help there - in fact, I wish I didn't have such a defined taste in that realm. But interiors!? I can't figure it out. I love prints, I love vintage/antique, I love industrial, I love natural fibers, I love color, I love traditional, I respect modern. Ugh - if I pursued all that...we'd have one garish looking house.

I've tried to take style quizzes on various websites. I've tried to nail down the colors that I'm most drawn to. But everything I try leaves me in the same place: a persistent state of indecision without ability to move forward with anything interior. I also have a difficult time buying furniture or decorative items, because I have a fear that anything I buy will look out of style in 2 years max. And so: our house is spartan. And the furniture that we do looking a little ragged.

But, in the June 2011 issue of House Beautiful, I turned to page 84 and almost felt something clicking into place. The next 8 pages revealed a home that I would love to visit...or LIVE IN. The gorgeous spread is called "Simplify It" and the genius design is by husband/wife team Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller. After reading a bit...I realized that they actually designed Anna Wintour's house. Wow. And the fact that she actually promotes their work...and had them design the lobby of the Vogue office? Amazing.

So anyway, the house - called Dove Meadow - is a 19th-century farmhouse in upstate New York. The furniture is all vintage or antique (probably muy expensivo) and they manage to use color, prints and natural fibers in this cohesive, unpretentious, clean, earthy way. I love this house. Also...they are innovative: The curtains in the office are my favorite - "handkerchief-style curtains" affixed with two simple hooks (LOVE):

And I'm absolutely using the same idea for kitchen bar stools, but we'll do navy blue instead of red:

Anyway - check out the whole spread on the Carrier and Company website...or take a look at House Beautiful. I think my plan is to rip out the pages of House Beautiful and carry them around in my journal so that when I'm out at flea markets and 'antique' shops - I can be reminded of how all the things I love CAN actually work together. This house is exactly what I want to achieve in our I just have to do it.


  1. Yes, I would like to move here.

  2. Hi, Susanna! I found your blog through your mom's (she found mine and then I checked hers out...)

    You might like this book that I have on my shelf.

    The way I get around the crazy combination of style tastes in my house is themeing my rooms to some degree - 50's kitchen, 60's mod den, art deco living room, etc. And if you like something enough, you will always be able to find somewhere to put it - who cares if your friends think you are weird? (I have a hand chair - and it's just what you think - a giant hand, hehe.)