Hello and happy new year!
Over the holiday season, I took my school's winter break as a much needed break from almost everything. I laid on the couch and watched seasons of television with my husband, played with my sweet puppy, went to visit my parents and brothers in Chicago, and caught (somewhat) up on the stack of books that had piled up next to my bed.
One of these books was The Perfectly Imperfect Home, a decorating tome written by Deborah Needleman, the founding author of Domino magazine. Domino magazine was out on stands when I was in high school and college, prior to when I began to develop a strong interest in turning my house into a home. When I first began to think about adding personality to my home, my friend, Cate, introduced me to her collection of issues of Domino, as well as the Domino book published after the magazine ended, which Needleman also had a great hand in.
The Perfectly Imperfect Home goes well with the tips and rooms found in Domino, but I love the emphasis in the newer book on living in your home. So many rooms and homes look beautiful in photographs, but have no trace of the life that occurs within the rooms. They look like the rooms at the Biltmore, an estate my husband and I visited this summer, perfectly preserved and untouched with meals, guests, animals, and any other trace of life. Needleman emphasizes thinking about your rooms as they will be used. Perhaps my favorite pieces of advice is that if party guests rearrange your furniture for conversing, to pay attention to that and keep that layout.
With the new year in mind, I decided to make some resolutions for my home this year going along with the spirit of The Perfectly Imperfect Home. My goals for my home this year include:
1) Layering with textiles: There is a wonderful chapter on "cozifying" that emphasizes how layers of textiles bring a sense of warmth to rooms, making you want to curl up and stay awhile. Obviously, when you're in the early stages of putting together rooms, the focus is more on finding those "good bones"- essential pieces in great condition with classic frames that will last you for years. I've been fortunate to find many of these items and have a good foundation laid in every room of our apartment. Now, I would love to focus on finding rugs, blankets, and pillows that, while not essential, add to the overall experience of those rooms.
2) Glamming things up: Many of the images I find myself pinning of interiors are beautiful, over the top, feminine glamour rooms. This is not realistic for myself, as it is not realistic for many people who live with a man or a pet. I can't have fringe, velvet, floral, gold, white everything. However, I believe that there are places where I can add a fabulous item here and there to satisfy this craving. Needleman mentions in her book how the contrast of a glamorous chandelier against a rustic table brings contrast, which can ultimately enhance your appreciation and bring focus to the items individually. This would not happen as easily if every item in the room fell into a them
3) Organizing beautifully: Another aspect of this book that I love is that Needleman doesn't skip over crucial elements of home design like organization. Although our home consists of just two people and a dog and is not filled with children, we still have to think about how we organize elements of life to have an easy flow on work days and to manage our chaos. Needleman brings up ideas for organizing items like remote controls, mail, kitchen utensils, bathroom necessities, etc. in beautiful jars, boxes, baskets, and bins, but never encourages sacrificing function for aesthetics. I love the realism of that and want to challenge myself to find those "containing items" this year.
I hope this post has inspired you to check out some of Deborah Needleman's work if you have not already! She is such an inspiring woman and offers advice that is so beneficial to those of us that want beauty and function in the same home. Check out The Perfectly Imperfect Home and let me know if you have any resolutions for your home in the coming year. I would love to hear about them!