You can keep your sunny, boho, California dream interiors all over Instagram. As soon as the internet agrees on what’s good, I’m gone.
I’ve long pursued beauty and good design, but I’m not sure what that means anymore. I’m bored with a lot of what I see, so much of it looks like class signaling or overt conformity. I’ve stopped reading shelter magazines because it’s all remarkably homogeneous.
My new place is a large-ish one bedroom with 11ft ceilings, a fireplace and a huge kitchen. I want the place to be an unabashedly, grown-up woman apartment. The kind of look you could only accomplish when you have no one to answer to. Comfortable, but not necessarily welcoming. More lair, less home sweet home.
How does one translate the aesthetic, ‘this woman is strange, but I’d like to talk to her a little longer?’ or 'I never know how to dress to go over there’. I’m not sure, so I hired a designer to help get it right.
It’s going to be dark. Not so dark you have to adjust your eyes, but you might trip on something. I’m finally pulling out the vintage lighting I’ve been hoarding all these years. Exuberant beauties from the 60’s with strange architectural shapes.
My wish list involves redoing the lighting, installing bookshelves, painting the whole place in various hues of luminous charcoal, and Barcelona tile for the backsplash and fireplace. The term 'scope creep’ came to mind when I started pricing herringbone floors for an otherwise perfectly acceptable bathroom.
I want to do a whole bedroom wall in silk, Chinoiserie wallpaper, but this brings up uncomfortable questions about who, exactly, I think I am? The Queen of England has been suggested. I secretly do think this.
On the other hand, I don’t make my bed with any regularity. Is a whole wall of hand-painted silk going to make me feel like a perpetually disheveled mess? It’s best if I don’t decorate myself into an emotional corner.
I intend to display my collection of birds’ nests. I’m careful to collect only discarded ones, many I’ve picked up off the sidewalk. I love them for their delicate precision and the scrutiny they provoke. The way people inquire about how I came to have them implies I put a ladder up to a tree and discarded the baby birds to claim my prize. I may be more adept than I think at setting the right tone.
One great thing about getting older is realizing how little you need to still feel whole. It makes the agony over picking out a tv stand feel silly. Still, I have to look at this thing every day, it ought to say something.
Which one communicates 'this woman is not at your beck and call’, and 'come with interesting things to talk about’? I can’t seem to find that on Wayfair.
I get hives when I see how furniture is constructed. Mostly veneer over MDF. The last time I bought a solid piece was my dining room table. The top alone weighs two hundred and fifty pounds. I have to hire four men to move it, and hope to god no one gets hurt. The cheap stuff has some practical benefits.
The truth is, I don’t know how much wherewithal I have to see all these ideas through. I like to imagine the audacity of the end result and then reap the rewards right in my head. Far less aggravating than spending months dealing with the minutiae of renovation. And, cheaper.
I’ll do some of it, though. I like being at home, and want a place that feels good to me. I intend to write my heart out and free myself up for more travel. In between weekly therapy, of course.