Interior inspiration

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.

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.
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.

Monday Snax

A view of the street from our study window. Not sure how our windowsill is that dirty. Don't look at it.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr., Day to all! I have the day off from work, but thought I’d bring you a bag of Snax anyway. I’m grateful for the long weekend and the opportunity to hibernate, read, and drink copious amounts of tea. I feel like I’m getting a cold again, which is absolutely unacceptable. I am never this sick this frequently, and so even the slightest bit of illness turns me into an absolute diva. Good thing I have an endlessly sweet and forgiving husband.

Snax in your tea with lemon:

The Charlotte. A handful of my creative, classy friends/acquaintances in Charlottesville just launched this beautiful design and lifestyle blog. I’m loving it and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Do stop in for a visit. (The Charlotte)

UFO Sighting Map. Angela is a genius; I can’t believe she actually MADE this: an interactive map of 15 years’ worth of UFO sightings in the United States. Apparently the aliens really like coasts? Check it out; I could play with it all day. (Slate)

First Few from Wellington. Grace is alive and well in New Zealand! Enjoy these fabulous shots of her first week there. I think she’s now en route to her first farm assignment on the coast. So excited for her; still having trouble believing that she’s actually living down there now. (Como Say What?)

The Hazards of the Couch. New study claims that sitting in front of screens will kill us all. Not even the gym can save you now. I need to get my cousin’s job: Searching forests for black locust trees and then cutting them down with a team of draft horses. No time for blogs if you’re doing that, and ergo, no time for DYING prematurely. (New York Times)

It Doesn’t Matter Why He Did It. A short and insightful piece from the New Yorker about the Tucson assassinations: Perhaps Palin’s crosshairs map isn’t responsible, but rather the body of violent political discourse, which has become acceptable. (The New Yorker)

Women of Istanbul. A beautiful portrait series from this amazing, world-traveling couple. (Mr. and Mrs. Globe Trot)

The Year of Journaling Fearlessly. A great article on the challenges of keeping a journal, from a Charlottesville-based online magazine that my friend Natalie runs. I aspire to this type of “fearless” diary-keeping and appreciate the writer’s shared insights. (The Curator)

We Took Him Home. OK, so you know I’m not a huge cat fan, but whoa. Reading this post made me seriously consider getting one. That first picture with her hand full of kitten? Killing me. (Fat Orange Cat Studio)

New Year Wishes. Reason #1,506 why I’d like to be a Japanese woman: They carry rabbits around on their shoulders when walking in the park! (Tokyo Times)

Gold as a Mindset. A simple iteration of the Japanese aesthetic worldview of wabi sabi: Filling the cracks of broken things with gold dust. (Wide Open Spaces)

And the Snow Fell Quietly. This is the kind of snow I can enjoy: From a window or a photographer’s lens. (The title also makes me giggle a bit, though. Who ever heard of snow falling loudly?) (La Porte Rouge)

A Love Story. A beautiful tribute to one of our family friends, who recently passed away. You can’t read what her husband wrote about her without crying. Thanks for sharing this selection from the blog, Megan. (Thoughts from the Nest)