Disarmingly Incongruent

The blog break was caused by two things. The first was my weariness with making the boys wait while I scanned or posted or replied and the resulting sulking.

And the second was the buzz in my brain that was growing louder, “Why am I doing this?” The emphasis was on the subject and not the verb. Some would say this is typical.

In any event, this home provided the tipping point. You see, this is where I thought we were headed. After our mash with mid-century, every room a greatest hits, I thought we were on our way here.

Climbers do occasionally become part of the mix and a generation later they are “old guard.” I had an inkling that those precocious youngsters would eventually settle in with their elders – simply become part of the vocabulary.

Then I stumbled upon Bernd Goeckler’s home in Classic Style. Viennese chandelier, Louis XVI writing desk, German day bed, Beidermeier secretary and Le Corbusier armchairs. A lot has been said lately about incongruent chairs, but these seem quite comfortable in their Neo-classical nest. Published in 1998.
Unfamiliar with Mr. Goeckler, I googled him. Sakes. Already in the midst of an engaging exchange with reader Toby Worthington I all but wailed, “I didn’t even know who Bernd Goeckler is.” And he typed back, “So. You didn’t and now you do.” Or something like that.
And the book sat open on this page for two weeks. Each member of my original audience surely saw it but it elicited not one comment. And then I remembered why I was doing this in the first place.
All images from Classic Style by Judith Miller, photography by Tim Ridley.
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20 thoughts on “Disarmingly Incongruent

  1. We love you, you know!

    I found a hardcover edition of Dee's book… so glad a got distracted and didn't send the softcover.

  2. I so often feel the incongruous effects of this world which further draw me in to seek to extraordinary places and take each day as a challenge in the form and shaping of my blog. I liken it to a Japanese bonsai, clipping, shaping, pruning, and admiring it…in hopes that it will love me back by living.

    I guess chairs, children and spouses can also choose to do as the bonsai, grow with us, from room to room and from post to post.

    Cheers to you incongruity. That is the reason, I love you and your blog so much and if a break is all you need to identify or answer any doubts, then take breaks. You just keep getting better.


  3. Mrs. B, This is why I am a faithful reader. I care barely a whit about interior design, but love the English language and traditions. Thanks for coming back. Rebecca

  4. I second pve's comments two or three times. Please do not leave all of us (your faithful and loving readers). You definitely provide a light and lightness to this world. And remember–these are the dog days of summer just before the kids go back to school!! xoxo

  5. When we lived in New York and I worked at Cullman & Kravis I would frequent Bernd Goeckler often. Just going in would calm me down. You should put it on your next NYC trip list. I think it is on 10th. I love seeing all of the photographs.

  6. What is genius if not incongruence? If we make the assumption we know everything, everyone where is that mysterious moment when gobsmacking newness walks in and opens up a grand unknown way of looking at what we thought was just fine before then? Being challenged is what keeps us redefining what we know and what we really think. It doesn't mean we accept this newness wholesale and ship everything about the past to the dumpster. It is saying YES! there is so much to learn, so many new people to meet (real or virtual), so many of our deeply held prejudices and cherished ideas of what our world should be like, look like. Irritating? Sometimes. Hard to admit, accept? Damn straight. In the end, if we are lucky, our homes show the journey of our lives, our loves and our passions. It shows our "What we were thinking moments?" It shows our pleasure in creating spaces to enhance the possibilities. It shows a life and mind that created and questioned right up to the end.

    As for you, Mrs. B., I putting on my seatbelt and I'm just going to enjoy the ride!

  7. Hello, Mrs. Blandings! I only recently discovered your wonderful blog, and have been salivating over the pictures. I so connect with you and your love for incredible architecture and design. Know that we, out here on the other side of your blog, do LOVE & appreciate your great eye for design and detail, and are absolutely reading your blog. So, THANK YOU, Mrs. B!!!! my apologies for not commenting sooner!


  8. Oh…I am so right there with you! To find people who care and know about who this or that designer is, and why they are important….it seems like it wouldn't be that difficult, right? Well, it is. Blogging fills that up!

  9. Dear Mrs. B –

    Just a note to second the comments here. You brighten my day, not only with your eye for design but with your pithy observations and wonderful wit. It's like being welcomed and entertained by a really great hostess (calm and unruffled on the surface, paddling like hell underneath). You ARE appreciated. Many, many thanks!


  10. KMc – a perfect description – though I fear I don't really appear calm and unruffled, the paddling is spot on.

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