My best friend is leaving! She's leaving California casual for the cosmopolitan crowds of New York. I guess loss is a theme for me this year. Her new abode is a tiny sliver of an apartment with huge rent. It has made me think about how much one can live without. You have to get very creative in a tiny space. When storage space is premium, rooms have to serve double duty. You have to make tough decisions about what stays and what has to go. I know I can't live without books and art. Luckily, my friend has an incredible flair for turning any space into a fabulously cozy nook and I can't wait to visit her.
I've been doing a lot of research on symbology for something I've been working on and am finding it completely fascinating. It is so interesting to discover the meaning colors have come to represent historically and it's effect on us--not only psychologically but physically as well. Imagine if we had to decorate without color!
"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawnmower is broken." James Dent
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summers day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." John Lubbock
"Summer afternoon, summer afternoon, to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." Henry James
"A summer's sun is worth the having." French Proverb
"A life without love is like a year without summer." Swedish Proverb
"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." Sam Keen
I just got my latest book acquisition in the mail today, Summers in France by famed interior and textile designer, Kathryn Ireland. (Oh, how I love packages!) It is a journal of sorts with lots of family photos and her account of searching for and falling in love with a rambling farmhouse (La Castellane) in a medieval hilltop town in France. Summers appear to include a riotous, never ending gathering of family and friends, trips to the markets and lots of rustic home-cooked meals (recipes included). I adore Ms. Ireland. Have you seen her on the program Million Dollar Decorators? Aside from talented, she is cheeky, exuberant and has a most amusing propensity for finding the perfect bra! I imagine her to be a delightful friend and the woman with whom you would want to share chocolate and gossip with over a glass of wine.
Crisp linen. Splashes of brilliantly happy color against a backdrop of white. Streaming ribbons of sunshine. Sand, pebble, stone. A myriad of greens. The palest turquoise and the deepest aqua. Relaxed, effortless, unarranged, serendipitous. What does summer look like?...Less.
Lounge: lie about, waste time, dawdle, fritter away, goof off, idle, kill time, laze, loaf, loiter, loll, pass time, recline, relax, repose, take it easy.
Wow, I could use more of that! Couldn't you?
I recently read that preparing a meal for another person is an intimate expression of love. But then, we knew that already. Perhaps you have a magical evening of coq au vin and candlelight that you have filed away in the emotional archives. (I really hope you do!) One need only smell the aroma of a favorite childhood dish wafting through the kitchen to bring memories flooding back of mom or a special holiday. A big part of my efforts in cooking have been to provide my children with just such memories. My daughter has gone out a few times with an Italian friend and it wasn't long before the requisite inquiry regarding her cooking skills ensued. Italian men do have their priorities. But I certainly wouldn't out her on my blog! I don't think it by chance that the heart of the home has changed over the years to become a natural extension of the living space replete with furniture meant for hanging out. It is best said by the writer, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher in her words "When I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and it is all one."
Words to remember having survived tax season. Even more calming is a flip through Atlanta Bartlett's latest book, Pale & Interesting. I love Ms. Bartlett's work and her books are a part of my cherished collection. Her rooms are always easy, soothing and never look overly done. In fact, they never look done at all and I mean that in the very best way. She happens to be featured in this month's UK edition of Elle Decoration along with a glimpse of her lovely new book.