Things We Love

At one point I emailed a fellow blogger whom I admire a great deal. Frustrated and antsy, dissatisfied and disgruntled I lamented every room. “I love everything, but what is wrong?” “I think you need more stuff,” or something similar came the reply.

Hmmm…yes. Good stuff. It needs to be culled and collected, gathered and grouped. Never a fan of minimalism, I practiced it for a long time as it did not seem wise to place good things in the reach of curious, and often sticky, fingers. But here, the cup does not runneth over, but the vintage is so good.
Images from The Way We Live with the Things We Love by Stafford Cliff and photographer Gilles de Chabeneix.
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19 thoughts on “Things We Love

  1. Minimalism is a funny thing, everyone kind of wants it, but few people can live with it. A former neighbor at the condo was decorating the lobby when I suggested adding something. She said, "You know David, I'm really minimal." And she said it with that tone, like fewer is always better. When I shot back with "I've been in your house, you're not minimal" she couldn't argue.

  2. These photos show that sparseness (is that a word?) is not minimal, it is simply knowing when enough is enough so that the individual elements in a room have enough space in which to display their character. Have a great week-end.

  3. I have the perspective that every corner, wall and surface does not need to have something in and on it, I like the empty space…guess it comes from studying art. The empty space is as important as the filled space.

    Hum, perhaps I like this approach because it drains the wallet a bit less as well!!


  4. Try some good old fashion layering. Bring more texture into your home… go shopping in one of the wonderful local stores you have blogged about and look at how they layer. Bring a couple of things home on approval and see if you "approve".
    While I admire minimalism, I can't live with it.
    Good luck.

  5. I believe that the decorating trend toward minimalism contributed to the recession!! LOL! Yes — many lovely shops and antique malls simply withered away when folks started to say "Oh, darling — you just need ONE thing on your mantel!" Or those decorating shows that tell everyone to clear out their clutter! So — we need to go back to having "stuff" — but — as you rightfully point out: "Good Stuff" I'm afraid on my budget — I'll be at the thift stores! Thank The Stars for Eddie Ross — who make thrift shopping seem chic!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  6. You said it well…culled and collected, gathered and grouped. I learned that long ago from a friend with impeccable taste.

  7. minimalsm is hard to live with, I agree, but the more is more concept is also a recipe for disaster if not done right. It's about balance and everything making sense in the context. Whether your working with color, tones, shape, negative space etc.

  8. If the architecture or lighting is mediocre, then adding or subtracting things won't always help.

    (Not saying that's the case here, just that people try to use things, or the editing of them, to solve problems that need bigger solutions.)

  9. Some of my favorite design books are from Wim Pauwels. The belgian aesthetic and minimalist nature of the styling makes it easy to envision my own collections in each room. My husband, while perusing the pages said he was shocked that I would like these stark rooms so much being a professional hunter and gatherer and all (I am a prop stylist)

    My response to him was….blank canvas darling, it's just a blank canvas and I am ready to paint!

  10. ELEGANCE IS REFUSAL. Can't remember who said it, but it stuck.

    It doesn't say, BE MINIMAL.

    2 different quotes entirely.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  11. Mrs. Blandings,

    I copied these words in a journal some time ago for counsel in moments of indecision. Somehow, they seem apt.

    "There are those who spend lifetimes in houses that have nothing to do with who they really are. They may be perfectly designed, yet if they fail to reflect the personalities of the people who live in them, the very essence of intimacy is missing and this absence is disturbingly visible."

    -Rose Tarlow

  12. Anon – this is an interesting observation and I do think I have some lighting issues. Was just struggling with it this weekend. Thanks for the thought.

  13. Even though all our boys were very good at living with my 'precious things', often their visiting school chums were not. Football's let slip in the direction of venetian glass in moments of 'accidental exuberance' etc. So I culled & stored, ready for the moment when they had all left home & I could lose the minimalism. That moment came & much to my surprise, I'd grown to quite like a little less. I need to be reprogrammed.
    Millie ^_^

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