Interior inspiration

socialitefamily
Source: The Socialite Family.

I’ve been immersing myself in home design studies lately (one of my many obsessions of 2013). And suddenly Pinterest is incredibly interesting and useful to me again.

Primary online inspiration

Favorite books

Of the 30 or so I’ve devoured, these are my favorites.

I do wish our library had more books by the real, traditional designers (e.g., Dorothy Draper; even want to read Edith Wharton’s book on home design), but the hefty stack I’ve gone through so far has certainly refined my personal taste.

intothegloss
Source: Into the Gloss.

Opinions I have only very recently formed

  • I don’t really like American interior design blogs. For one, all of their homes tend to look the same; and two, I don’t like the way they look (every room is a different color; chevrons and Marrakesh patterns on every conceivable wall and rug; unnecessarily painted furniture, etc.). Three, not everything you buy has to be subjected to some DIY project. Often, it is good and pleasing to leave things alone.
  • Accordingly, white is the only acceptable color for walls. (Although I could tolerate extremely pale, washed-out colors in some small rooms. Or a light gray.)
  • We do not need more things.
  • Countries whose interior aesthetics I generally admire: France, Japan, any country considered part of Scandinavia
  • Beware of trends.
  • A room that looks like it was designed by someone is not a room I want to live in. Rooms should be real and livable and welcoming.
  • Deborah Needleman knows everything that is useful to know.
freunde
Source: Freunde von Freunden.

Home aesthetic goals

Aspiring to a home that is…

  • Welcoming and comfortable.
  • Outfitted with only the beautiful and necessary pieces. (Loving the Shaker dictum: “Do not make anything that is not both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, be sure that it is also beautiful.”)
  • Replete with allusions to nature.
  • Capable of eschewing the principles of wabi sabi. Whatever that means in actual practice.
  • Creative.

Again, have no idea how all of these things would be realized. But they are what I’m thinking about right now. I don’t pretend to know anything about all of this. But I like learning and forming (bizarrely strong) opinions just the same.

Certain slant of light

Feeling like fall.
Before.

Thoughts lately

♦ Been utterly consumed with the real estate market and interior design blogs. First, I could look at other people’s houses ALL DAY, and second, you know my disdain for DIY projects; it is wide and well-publicized. But I harbor respect for these crafty women. And I also don’t know if I have the internal fortitude to join their ranks. The thought of making a fall wreath for my front door makes me want to set something on fire (preferably said wreath). But knowing how to refinish an old table or install new cabinets? Such information could be very useful to me.

♦ Getting a new sister next weekend! Tracy, welcome to the family. Win, good job picking that one.

♦ Let me tell you what is NOT the best breakfast reading material: a book about slum life in Greater Mumbai. But it is a wonderful book overall — beautifully written without being sappy or overly simplistic — and I highly recommend it. I think everyone read it about six months ago: Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo. (And David Sedaris is right; it DOES read just like a novel.)

♦ Also highly recommended: This Paris Review interview with Czeslaw Milosz, from some time in the mid-1990s. Riveting. And the guy hung out with everyone who was everyone.

♦ Sometimes, I genuinely feel bad for moderate Republicans. It must really suck to have your entire political party co-opted by a fringe group of total wackos. Not that I’ll necessarily vote for them, but bring back the sane, moderate GOP!

And now we're in a different grade of color. #nofilter #fallsky
After.

Monday Snax with a slideshow

Shaun and Ann-Marie get married and we see a ton of other people!

Photos from our whirlwind weekend in Chapel Hill can be found here!

Snax:

Katsuya Kamo, Hairstylist, at His Home in Tokyo. I tend to shun clutter, but Kamo’s packed walls and cultivated collection of items really appeals to me. The beetles make me think of Prufrock. (The Selby)

Sachiyo Nakamura Exhibition in Tokyo. This showroom looks like a dream to me. I will always be in love with Japanese patterns. (Upon a Fold)

Interiors. I absolutely love all of these rooms and had to resist the strong urge to pin them all myself. (TeenAngster)

Hot Tea Is More Refreshing than Cold Tea. Wow, so interesting. So my Japanese host mom knew what she was doing when she repeatedly gave me piping hot cups of sencha on 103-degree days. (Discovering Tea)

At the End of an E-mail, Everyone’s a Valedictorian. Helpful suggestions on how to close your e-mails with more appropriate and tone-specific signatures. (The Hairpin)

Circles of Influence. A fun graphic showing famous writers who influenced other famous writers. (English Muse)

At Home with Elke. Yes, please, glorious home in Provence! Doesn’t this also look like the setting of one of the recent Anthropologie catalogs? (French by Design)

10 Questions for Ellen Picker. Ellen is a friendly face around town and a great young photographer. The Charlotte asks her a few questions about work and inspiration and includes some beautiful examples of her work. (The Charlotte)

Frida’s Corsets. A sad but interesting detail from the life of Frida Kahlo. (The Paris Review)

Super-Saturated Colors. The juxtaposition of these dabs of color really appealed to me. Paintings by Michelle Armas. (Anne Louise Likes)

Catherine Campbell’s Tea-rific Illustrations. Campbell sketches sad-faced ladies in tea cups. It’s very charming. (ModCloth blog)

Voguepedia. People who know about fashion will have more fun with this than I will, but it’s still a cool feature: Vogue, in encyclopedic form. (Voguepedia)

Old Navy’s Performance Typo. It pays to have an editor around when you’re in the business of making graphic tees. (Mighty Red Pen)

My Dreamboat. I think John Travolta is totally gross, but this fitness book of his is probably the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. So serious! So much spandex! (Lucy Can’t Dance)

Who… Is… Hansky? I just love that this is happening. (Best Week Ever)

Monday Snax

This weekend has been a whirlwind, as we are house/dog-sitting for friends, and because we bought this:

Our new car

So. Yes. It is a lot of fun. Driving to work this morning was actually very exciting. Lots happening! Guion also got the part-time job he wanted at the Wine Guild, so we are thrilled about that. I’m still feeling a bit blurry and hazy from the weekend, so here are some Snax with a lot of caffeine:

A Night with Nettles. Grace took some photos of Nettles‘ recent concert at the Tea Bazaar. A very good show. (Grace’s other photos from the family trip to town can be seen here. For all the Baby Charlie fans out there, there are some amazing shots of him.) If you’re in town, come see Nettles on Friday night at JohnSarahJohn. They’ll be performing for an art opening by Matt Kleberg. (Como Say What?)

Yet More Charts That Should Go with Debt Discussions. Yes, the economy is tanking again, but we should cut down on the griping. See exhibit 1: Americans pay some of the lowest taxes of any developed country. (The Atlantic Monthly)

God’s Blog. God wrote a blog post and is subsequently subjected to all of the crazies on the Interwebs. Not even God can catch a break from those virulent commenters… (The New Yorker)

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga and Why It’s OK to Suck at It. Nina, who is so sweet, makes me feel better about being terrible at yoga. I should start practicing again. (Naturally Nina)

Mariachi Band Serenades a Beluga Whale. This is all over the Cool Lady blogosphere, but I will join them in adding my delight over this clip. It will make you happy. I promise. (Door Sixteen)

Felix’s Felicis. Natalie got a bunny, named him Felix, and broke my heart. I want a bunny! Not as much as I want a dog, but almost! I think Felix and Frances should meet and fall desperately in love. (Peregrinations of NJM)

The Last Thylacine. This is one of the strangest-looking animals I’ve ever seen. It’s a marsupial, but it looks so much like a proto-canid. Those stripes! Sad that it’s extinct. (How to Be a Retronaut)

How to Achieve Uncluttered Without Going Bare, Cold, or Minimal. Such clear and salient advice for people like me, who will be living in small spaces for a while longer. Highly recommended for renters like us who don’t want to live in a place that still looks like your college dorm. (The Small Notebook)

The Filming of Breathless. Guion is a huge Godard fan and this is one of the first of his films that I saw. It’s magnificent and these behind-the-scenes photos are really enchanting. (A Cup of Jo)

Document: Woolf’s Letter to a Young Poet. Virginia Woolf writes a brief review and encouragement to her nephew on his poetry. (The Paris Review)

In Which Vladimir Nabokov Navigates Hell for Lolita. Yes, the protagonist is very icky, but I think it’s one of the greatest novels of all time. Even Nabokov had a hard time convincing people of this, though, as you can see from his letters about the book, compiled here. (This Recording)

To Go-To Snacks of Literary Greats. A series of cute illustrations of what the big writers liked to eat while writing. I don’t think Michael Pollan can be called “a literary great,” but it is interesting that he likes to drink his tea in a glass. I remember seeing that on Food, Inc. and wondering about it. (Mod Cloth blog)

Good News for Wombs: U.S. Paves Way for Free Birth Control Everywhere. All I can say is: It’s about damn time. Look at you, America. Finally catching up with the rest of the developed world! (Good)