November 22, 2012

Chalet in the Air

A cell phone is stolen and a wallet the following weekend.  Bad juju. What more can be lost (besides faith in humankind).  The dispirited former owner wants to know. "They're just things," the buck-up voice says reassuringly.  And they are, with the very drastic distinction that they are yours.

In other settings, a voracity for more is just as criminal, but for those who live in a world of design, the collecting and procuring of objects is a pure pursuit, and losing them feels unavoidably personal.  

An interior is not just a refuge; it is the place to be unlike everyone else.  Not a place to manically shop for and fill up, but a fascinating accumulation of artifacts that represents our cultivated, ornamental DNA.

Whether the accessories are pedigreed or found, the furnishings new from the trade or bruised, familiar and comfortable, the houses we can't resist looking at are always the ones that feel like their owners, bearing the specific imprint of those individuals, like or unlike ourselves.  Acquiring things with no meaning seems to be a cruel abandonment of taste (and a terrible misuse of square footage).

I remember the first time I saw chalet “Gryffindor” I was instantly smitten.  The house had been built for an artist. But that was a very, very long time ago and by 2011 the place was in need of restoration.