Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I have a propensity towards clutter. Never actually witnessed in my interiors but a constant threat without due diligence every day to keep the nasty weed at bay. Also, when you live in a small home, you have signed on for the job. I like to think of it as 'editing' a visual language. There are so many beautiful pieces of furniture, accessories and 'objets' that I long to possess but square footage alone dictates that I live with few items. So it's my design challenge to make the most of it, live with the things that I love and keep a good visual balance, which in turn helps to keep me balanced in general. Also, my creative spirit and desire to change my interiors seasonally, if not more often, fuels my accumulation of items. The budding of Spring outside inspires my need to change my environment inside. Changing decorative pillows with the seasons is an easy and inexpensive way to make big enough changes indoors. Wool and heavier upholstered pillows get packed away, wool area rugs rolled up to reveal more of the beautiful hardwood flooring, fleece and wool blankets stored in containers. Ah, I already feel lighter like editing down a heavy winter diet and preparing for lighter meals of salads and fresh local fruits and veggies.
Patterned Spring scarves of rayon and silk replace the wool and hemp items hanging on hooks in my bedroom along with shoulder bags made of fabric where heavier leather items used to perch. They too become a decorative accent I love to look at every day. I always crave floral patterns in Spring but need to invite them in in small doses and mostly modern motifs. In Vermont April is never really springlike and with snowflakes the size of quarters coming down over the weekend I went shopping for Spring pillows with a vengeance and, embarrasing to admit, spent hours sourcing them online at Anthropologie, All Modern, West Elm, Design Public, etc. I was overwhelmed to type in "pillows" on Etsy to a result of 95,000! That is just asking for stress, so after I placed about a dozen from the first 200 viewed in my cart, I was bleary eyed and needed to flee my little home that was starting to feel smaller and smaller. I walked several blocks to a local furniture store in my neighborhood that had a beautiful selection of high quality pillows and came home with one bud of Spring to start the transformation, a beautiful Spring green paisley on a dove gray linen. A bit pricey for me but a keeper. I made another trip to The Green Life ,a local Burlington shop featuring eco friendly bedding, housewares and lots of fun baby items, and found a set of pillow shams for the bed in a fun contemporary floral motif by Plover, on sale, even better. Three pillows later I realized that I had done a good deed myself by being green, powered by my own two legs to purchase, supported two local businesses and saved the environment from shipping items from the West Coast. That felt good. Two pillows on the divan calling out for a third or fourth to complete the look. Now if I can just find the last must have one in cream with a blue linear floral pattern........no, must edit, edit, edit!
Posted by Melinda Johns at 4:30 PM
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I suppose I am thrifty. I've always been this way, mostly determined by what was in my bank account at the time that I needed or wanted something for my home. My mother, grandmother and older sister before me had good taste but not a glamorous budget and they always managed to create an interesting and inviting environment. It was my oldest sister ,whose first apartment I loved to visit, who taught me the art of living large and making the most of a small space. As a child I loved to discover the carefully assembled objects and lounge upon her floor pillows like some exotic princess under a canopy of peacock feathers carefully arranged in the entryway. Everyday objects and found objects from nature become works of art. I could spend hours drooling over interiors in magazines full of outrageously expensive furniture and accessories, and sometimes I do, but the interiors that most often draw me in are those that have been crafted by real people with an artistic aesthetic who have found creative solutions to the way they live. One such design team, JamesPlumb, is among my favorites whose interiors are born of pieces well worn and dissected like a science project. I also have a yen for the cast-off piece or a desire to transform a duckling into a swan. There have been times in my life when I've had more money to spend on a more expensive find but nine times out of ten I'd still go for the cheaper model and I now realize it's part of the design challenge that fuels me. I feel satisfaction from getting something that looks great 'for a song'. I love when people visit me in my home and compliment my side table or divan and I tell them that I spent less than $100 for both. They can't believe it and want to know my haunts and secrets for sourcing such a find. My roots for sourcing objects began as an art student in college with a fabulous antique market nearby. Every weekend was spent pouring over stalls of collected treasures. I guess I take pleasure in making something look good that was orphaned by someone who couldn't see its shining talent. I fit right in in this day and age when recycled and resourced is de riguer.
Posted by Melinda Johns at 6:45 PM