Design a New Story

Fashion is an outward expression of who we are, what we want to tell the world about ourselves.  Our home does the same thing.  A little more privately perhaps, but for those that we do welcome into our homes, we want them to get a little snapshot into our soul.

I went to a wedding once (a LONG time ago) and I wore a black hat with a feather in it.  I was in a mood.  I remember a girl came up to me and said, "I wanted to meet the girl wearing the feathered hat."  We became fast friends based on what I was projecting.

Who are we?  How do we feel about ourselves?  What do we value?  There are stories in our stuff.
I was talking to a woman recently who was having trouble letting go of her (adult) children's things.  The girls had long moved out, but their rooms remained as if they had just walked out the door for the day.  "What is keeping you from making changes?" I asked.  Knowing full well the answer, I waited for her to say it.  It took some time, but eventually she got there.

"Who would I be if I wasn't these girls' mom?"  She asked.  "You'd still be you and you'll always be their mom," I said.  Her identity was so wrapped up in her children and raising them, she didn't know what to do with her next chapter.  She didn't even realize there was a next chapter.  If she kept the rooms like shrines to that part of her life, she felt like she didn't have to face defining that next chapter.  What a disservice she was doing to herself!  Time for a change.  "Out with the old you, in with the new you!"  I shouted.

Here's an opportunity to rediscover what you love, how you want to live.  Who you want to be is based on nobody else's needs but your own.  HOLY SHIT!  That can be scary!  She is going to have to dig deep, rediscover a part of herself that she put on a shelf, clear these rooms out, then decorate them for her new life, the life she wants moving forward.  She can keep a few important mementos to create a lovely guest room, as the girls will return, but moving on is what it's all about.

designer Lynn Lawson

Are you holding onto anything that no longer serves you?  When you look around your home ask yourself ~ does this express who I am now?  Does this express who I want to be, where I am going in life, what I am striving for, what I want to project?  If the answer is no, dig deep and decorate accordingly.


Thanksgiving Gratitude

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.  With gratitude, I am counting my blessings and taking time to enjoy my family.  My children will be with me and I am over the moon.  I am thankful for all of you too. Thank you for taking a little time to join me each week.

One of the things I am committed to doing is writing in a gratitude journal.  Every holiday season, I do a 'write it down, make it happen" post.  This is the same idea ~ if you write things down, they have more impact.

I am taking a few minutes each morning to jot down 3 things I am grateful for.  Join me, if you don't do this already.  It keeps gratitude alive all year long.

Don't overthink it, but be specific.  It can be as simple as. "I am grateful for waking up this morning" to "I am grateful I got to attend the art exhibit in NY that I wanted to see and as an added bonus was given a last minute theatre ticket to a great show."  What a beautiful day it ended up being!

Writing thoughts down deepens its meaning.  There is more of an emotional impact.  It helps reduce stress, calms the mind and can create greater feelings of happiness.

 It takes about 21 days to form a new habit, so commit and dive in.  Plus, it's an excuse to get yourself some nice journals.


Live Beauti~FULLY

ph 1: Rose and Ivy

Antiques move into the Future

bust of Liberty, 1890

I attended the 54th annual Winterthur Delaware Antique Gala the other night.  I do love looking at antiques, am always fascinated by their history, where they came from, who might have once owned each piece.  I picture these stunning pieces in a more modern setting more suited for today's lifestyle.  I am now wondering if antiques will stand the test of time.  I know they have thus far, but do millennials and younger have an appreciation for their provenance?  In an immediate gratification society where everything has become homogenized ~ can antiques survive?  I have pieces from my grandmother that are made so beautifully, I know they will last ~  but will anyone want them?  With future generations living differently and valuing different things, they also think of furniture differently.

Let's take a look at what I saw and how they might fit into a more modern interior.  Education is key as to why these pieces should be loved, preserved and handed down from generation to generation.

The multi colored plank chairs, ca 1860, would look funky and make a great focal point in the dining room below with nothing to compete with them.
 Samplers look like a cool Etsy find but they were made by someone's loving hands announcing a birth or new home.

A mahogany Queen Anne wing chair, ca 1750-60, with its sinuous shape is a perfect counterpoint in a room with  a more linear sofa.  Picture a hand painted storage chest at the foot of a sumptuous bed in an otherwise neutral bedroom.  This is a great example of taking a classic piece and moving it into the future.

Before cameras, tiny portraitures were painted in the likeness of the person.  Hanging a grouping on a gallery wall amongst other, perhaps more contemporary art, takes it to another level while keeping an "old world" feeling no matter what hangs amongst them. 

I love this set of  hand blown, graduated size and gradated colored glass bottles.  Just owning the set and displaying them together in this way already elevates it  ~ a contemporary twist to a utilitarian product with a humble history.  This collection would be at home anywhere!

Tiffany lamps are the epitome of everlasting beauty

Antiques, inherited or vintage pieces can be upcycled and made into something new with a little ingenuity.  Remember what they say ~ when you know the rules, you can break the rules!

An opportunity to create something personal, unique and modern is what respecting the past while moving into the future is all about.

Top designers are often inspired by the past and this informs the future.  If you see something that speaks to you, you'll always find a way to weave it into your decor.  As with all things, I believe a little goes a long way, though.

The tension between the old and the new is what's interesting and modern now.  An entire period room feels dated, an entire room outfitted by a big box store feels inauthentic.   Nobody wants that anymore.  The magic is in the mix.  Owning a piece with a history brings authenticity, warmth and interest to any space.  Reproductions just don't have the same patina. 

 Buy what you love, make it  the best you can afford, mix the high and the low, give your things space to breath, keep it simple.  There is your recipe for moving into the future with antiques.

Flowers for the People

Imagine you are walking around New York City, you are minding your own business, you turn a corner and BAM!  You are stunned by the random, totally doesn't make sense, magnificent, giant floral arrangement you see before you!  You can hardly believe your own eyes!  Who would do such a thing?  AND...thank you!

I was perusing Instagram and was led down that rabbit hole we all experience.  An hour later, as I was swooning over Lewis Miller's beautiful photos, I realized this is the man that created guerrilla style floral warfare or floral flashes, as they have been called.  I had heard of this, but did not know much about it or the about the man that created these amazing "drive by" displays.

 “Gifting flowers to New Yorkers is a simple idea that I have been thinking about for years,” Lewis says. “I am in the business of fantasy and flowers, and it’s my job to transform key moments in my clients’ lives into joyful, everlasting memories. I wanted to recreate a similar feeling for the everyday city-dwellers and tourists of New York City.”

Like theives in the night, his team stealthily puts together a floral flash. just before sunrise.  Lewis' calling card is his initials in chalk beside the installation ~  LMD X NYC

It is Lewis' random act if kindness, bringing beauty to the gritty city streets and making New Yorkers smile.  He usually "gifts" used flowers left after one of his lavish events.  He wanted to create an emotional response and in this age of social media, he created much more.

Every surface is fair game from trash cans, to statues.  No street is safe for a make shift floral display. Lewis thinks of it as "Banksy-esque" street art.

Where will Lewis strike next?  I hope I get to "happen upon" a flower flash!  If you hear someone scream with delight, that would be me encountering this lovely little reminder in flowers that beauty is in unexpected places, always.

If people take the flowers as they go by, better yet.

 Thank you Lewis for helping us Live a little more Beauti-FULLY!

ph: via Lewis Miller Designs