I limped through the finish line of the January Cure, but I am actually super excited about this August one. I think it helps that this month is also about decorating — not just cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering. That's a big, big difference in my little messy mind. I'll be tackling a large room in the back of my house that's traditionally been a workspace, storage and all around all-purpose room.
This type of exercise is good for me, but difficult. I tend to analyze and deconstruct, so it's hard for me to come up with all time favorites and stick with them. My internal dialogue goes something like: "Well, let's see. I really love this actor, for this reason, but not in that one movie. But I did like such and such, and I think this is why...." Yep, it would be much easier for everyone if I just said someone like "George Clooney" and was done with it, right? Instead it's a long list with lots of options and disclaimers. I can't help myself.
List your favorites in each category:
- Actress: Patricia Clarkson (in High Art), Greta Gerwig (just saw Frances Ha and loved it)
- Artist: Alice Neel (quirky portraits), Ed Emberley (colorful, nostalgic)
- Writer: Louise Erdrich (beautiful turns of phrase), Jane Austen (great internal dialogue), Gary Shteyngart (self-deprecating humor)
- Music: The Head and the Heart (sweet folk), Led Zeppelin (genius), Passion Pit (dance-y, dance-y fun), Andrew Bird (can listen to over and over again and constantly hear new things)
- Restaurant: Anything Vietnamese
- Automobile: BMW 2002
- Movie or Television Show: Freaks & Geeks (teen angst), Lost in Translation, Bring It On (it's the poo!), Rushmore (the art direction is just amazing)
- Clothing (pieces, designers or stores): Where I'd love to shop all the time: Orla Kiely, Marc Jacobs, and the non-sale section of Anthropologie (all graphic, usually playful, and beautifully made). Where I actually shop: Uniqlo, Target, and the sale section of Anthropologie (basics, with an occasional fun thing).
- Furniture (pieces, designers or stores): Random finds from Craigslist, thrift stores or estate sales. I can't remember the last time I bought furniture from a retail store other than Ikea.
Choose three words to describe your personal style:
- Casual (I love thinking about my home, but I also don't take myself too seriously.)
- Random (I have a thing for stuff that I find amusing or interesting and can't always pass it up)
- Vintage (in my mind, vintage is usually more interesting, plus it's more affordable)
Think back over all the homes you've lived in, both as a child and an adult. Which rooms would you choose as your favorites and how would you describe them?
Favorite room from a childhood home and description: Sunroom in my childhood home in Orlando. A 70s Floridian extravaganza - full of sunlight, cool terracotta tiles, jalousie windows, lots of white wicker furniture, and plants.
Favorite room from an adult home and description: Current open living/dining/kitchen space. Open with high ceilings and lots of light.
Every home has areas that are "just right". Which three spots or things in your home do you feel are beautiful and feel proud of, right now, as is:
- Hallway outside our bedroom. It feels layered, colorful and full, with just enough interesting stuff, without being cluttered or overwhelming.
Whom do you consider a role model?
- Mary Sprague (Fascinating life that she's carved out for herself)
- Dolly Parton (I mean, come on! She is who she is who she is who she is, no matter what and with a sense of humor)
- Elizabeth Warren (great priorities, and she's smart in a way I'll never be)
A month from now, at the end of the Style Cure, how would you like your friends to describe your home?
- Interesting (lots of fun stuff to look at and linger over)
- Comfortable (as much time as I think about my space, at the end of the day, it's just a house and it should be comfortable for both residents and guests)
Given my long-winded and meandering responses here, it should be no surprise that my style is like my mind (this is therapy indeed!). It's not straightforward and easy. At its best, it's layered, eclectic and interesting. Left unchecked, it's an endless minefield of useless crap that overshadows any good stuff.
One obvious common denominator here is open, airy and bright. Otherwise, it's a grab bag. I just looked back over this post, and the word "interesting" keeps popping up repeatedly, so there must be something to that.
Ding! Times up for today.
(Image: Dabney Frake)