Monday, June 18, 2012

Memory Lane

I am, finally, making some more decisions about the (as yet still unnamed) house.  I suppose we can call this Phase II, which seems unambitious as we have been here a year and a half.

I was going back through my files, paper, you know.  They are slick, ruffled with jagged edges and a crease or two.  I was looking for a particular Brunschwig & Fils fabric.  (Discontinued, natch.)

Still, as each folder lay open on my lap a theme began to emerge.

So many of my older images I relinquished to the trash.  Too ruffled, too trimmed, too much.

But what was left was a series of tiny bronze knobs supporting a cushion, the most perfect upholstered chair, three shades of paint that made one room sing, striped grosgrain gracing a love seat and a cord atop a tape upon a pattern with nailhead punctuation, just to show that "more" sometimes is just enough.  Broad strokes are something, but it all boils down to the details.

From top, design Suzanne Lovell, AD some time ago, I did not note the photo credit; I believe this design is by Barbara Barry, Veranda? photography Dominique Vorillon; Suzanne Rheinstein, Southern Accents September, 2007; Domino, Sheila Bridges; Lee Jofa ad, Diamond and Baratta Collection, 2005.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Want Need Have

I like things a lot.  I don't think of it as an admirable trait.  In fact, I fear it's shallow, too rooted in the physical world and while I don't worry much about my status in the great beyond, I think I could be spending my energy and resources better in the here and now.

I don't know if that is why I so often pass on something I see and want, why I pick it up and set it down thinking, "I don't really need that."  It would be all fine and good if that is where it stayed, but what happens, a lot - more than I'd like - is that the thing takes up residence in my consciousness and refuses to leave.  A squatter, noisy and with a habit of poking, it won't go away.

So I go back.  Back to the thing.  There are three possible outcomes: it is there and I was right the first time - I don't need it; it is gone and is immediately elevated to "the best thing there ever was" that I now cannot have and mourning begins; or, we meet again and angels sing and I cough up what ever it takes to bring that wonderful thing, the thing that even in the not having has already brought me both torture and delight, home.

This happened to me recently in Atlanta.  Both Sid and Ann Mashburn's shops had been recommended by every stylish person who advised me on where to go when I was there.  I could not stop thinking about these black African beads at Ann Mashburn's.  I had a picture of them on my computer and I kept pulling it up and thinking, "I really do like those.  I'd wear them a lot, I'm pretty sure.  They're not expensive.  Three?  Five?"  So I went to the site and while there were lots of pretty beads, no black.  Clicking further, I also realized what I really wanted, needed as well, was this lightweight wool scarf to stave off the chill of relentless air conditioning.

I do hate to be a bother, but I rang them up and was flooded with relief to know the beads were still there.  A very nice young woman popped them in the mail and I had them by the end of the week.

The scarf has a lovely hand, drapes like silk and is long enough to wrap but not so wide as to be cumbersome.  The beads are light as air and fall to at just the right length and I was pleased with how they look against tan skin (add vanity to greed and lust - a lot of deadly sins for three skinny strands.)

I just can't stop thinking that maybe I need two more.

Part Two of my visit to Atlanta is now up at here.  Do take a moment to visit Sid and Ann Mashburn's site here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Southern Charm

Dear Mr. Redd,

Lately I begin my days with surly, grumbly children.  They grouse and groan about the tortures of their country club life: the practices are too early, the towels are wet as they were left in a heap and I do not keep sufficient track of the location of goggles.

They do, eventually, warm up.  Cheerful and chatty by mid-day, they stand at my desk and enumerate the places I need to take them, mystified at any sign of impatience that they are interrupting my "playing" on the computer.

At night they are exhausted.  The youngest lay their sun bleached heads upon their pillows, smelling of chlorine even if they have had the rare shower, and we read adventures of children in the Everglades or of a teenaged spy single-handedly saving the world.

After they are tucked in and I am able to relax, the sounds of my teenaged son laughing at marathon episodes of Friends in the background, I take care to do something really good.  I wanted to thank you for a few delightful moments spent with wicker and printed linen and a floral bedroom with a door painted the most delicious color green.  The work was not for me, I know, but the images inspire me and while my talent is not Redd-y, it reassures me that I am on the right track.

Devotedly, Patricia

New York-based decorator, Miles Redd, hails from Atlanta as you likely know.  I spent a couple of days in Atlanta recently and Suzanne Kasler treated me to a shopping tour of the city.  You can find the highlights on here.

Three images, top, the home of Jennifer and Dominic Moross, design by Miles Redd, photography Miguel Flores-Vianna, produced by Howard Christian, Architectural Digest, July 2012.  Kasler image by Pieter Estershohn.