Tamara's Interview: Sophisticated Yet Casual

Tamara's Interview: Sophisticated Yet Casual

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Tamara Gavin
Oct 23, 2014

Alright, I am dying to put a room together in my house, so the timing of this fall's Style Cure could not be more perfect. We've been renovating our little house for what seems like forever, and we are now just about to put floors in my favorite room in the house: the family room/sun room. This means I can finally style a room after living with bare walls, stacks of boxes, and temporary furniture for the last year and a half. Anyone who has lived through a renovation knows just how frustrating it can be to not have a place to put anything, to not be able to have guests over, and to live in constant chaos!

With how slow things have been moving around here, I'm really happy to have these assignments to help me speed things along. I've already given a lot of thought to my space which you can read more about here, but I never interviewed myself, and I can now see what a valuable exercise it is. Here are my responses:

1. List your favorites in each category:

  • Actor: Norman Reedus, David Duchovny, John Hannah
  • Actress: Keira Knightley, Jennifer Garner
  • Artist: Lola Donoghue
  • Writer: Louisa May Alcott, Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Music: Jack Johnson, Bossa Nova, 90's alternative, whatever Anthropologie is playing
  • Restaurant: Bintliff's American Cafe in Portland, ME, Sunny Point in Asheville, NC, or Clinton Street Baking Co., NYC
  • Automobile: I really like the '05 Jetta that I drive now. Maybe an 80's Toyota Land Cruiser for a good adventure somewhere.
  • Movies/TV Show: To Sir With Love, Romy and Michele’s Highschool Reunion, Sliding Doors, Little Women, Alias, Walking Dead
  • Clothing (pieces, designers or stores): Zara, Madewell
  • Furniture (pieces, designers or stores): ABC Carpet and Home in NY, Dwellings in Asheville, Atomic Furnishings in Asheville. Anything tufted, leather, velvet, brass, or Moroccan-inspired.

2. Choose three words to describe your personal style:

  • Sophisticated
  • Heirloom
  • Global

3. 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: My bedroom as a middle-schooler. I sponge painted the walls myself, strung multi-colored Christmas lights, and had an iron daybed with a quilt made of denim squares. I had a hamster, piles of delia*s catalogs, and I remember frequently playing the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack.

Favorite room from an adult home and description: I really loved my bedroom in the Brooklyn apartment/loft I lived in. It had high ceilings, tall windows with deep sills, a private balcony, wood floors. The walls were a crisp white, and I've loved white walls ever since.

4. Whom do you consider a role model? My grandma

What three adjectives describe the qualities that you admire in this person?

  • Wise
  • Patient
  • Frugal

5. 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:

  • My craftsman front door
  • The view of the trees out my kitchen window
  • The fireplace in the living room

6. A month from now, at the end of the Style Cure, how would you like your friends to describe your home?

  • Inviting
  • Bright
  • Sophisticated, but not fussy

The results: After reviewing my responses, I can see that my style is timeless and classic, but also a touch eclectic. I know that I have expensive taste, but I also like the smell of dust, the patina of rust. I like things that are mature and sophisticated, but not too glamorous or fancy. I appreciate the lovely trends out there, but I know I am happiest with things that will age well; pieces that I can one day pass on to my kids. On one hand I feel it is hard to achieve this because I don't have the budget to buy heirlooms and antiques, but on the other hand I can see that I value patience, so perhaps my spaces will be a long time in the making, accumulated over the years. All the restaurants I listed were places with a great breakfast, so I think I tend towards bright, energizing spaces that feel good during the day. My taste in music shows that I like a breezy, light-hearted atmosphere; friendly and warm. And my preference for elements from afar like Morocco show that I appreciate having things around me that represent different perspectives and cultures.

(Images, clockwise from top left: 1. Bintliff's American Cafe via Urban Spoon 2. Interior with a Moroccan tray table via Matt Camron 3. Artist Lola Donoghue 4. Sliding Doors film still via Virtual History)

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