Sunday, January 30, 2011

90% classical 10% cool

Home again... It was a whirlwind trip to Paris and Maison et Objet, but well worth it. We met lovely people and saw really beautiful things for the table and home. For Your Tabletop, my new website, made some smart purchases, which I am very excited about, but like a child anticipating an unopened gift, we now wait for them to arrive here in the states. Waiting for me at home, however, was the March issue of Veranda! I really enjoy reading the editor's page of magazines because it informs me how the issue was put together. Was there a theme, a point of view seen in the various editorials in the issue...? This page lets the reader in on the thought process of the editor and instructs the reader not unlike an audio guide at a museum instructs a visitor.

Veranda's editor Dara Caponigro's page did just this! She even went so far as to bold in blue capital letters the magazine's thesis statement for the month: "BEING AUTHENTIC IS BEING YOUR OWN AUTHOR", which she attributed to Meg Touborg, of Rose Tarlow Melrose House. Let me run with this thought: Authors create stories, and this is how I see the concept of  'home'. It is the manifestation of a person/family's story- their history, if you will- and hopefully, as with history, it is well-told!

As authors of our own stories, we can constantly create new, more compelling story lines. Hopefully these stories will have hospitality and generosity, especially around the table, as a theme, and if your story currently doesn't - as the author, you can change this! Remember, it doesn't have to be fancy, just authentically you.

This authenticity was shown throughout the issue as each designer and architect worked their magic to help the respective homeowners tell their stories. The piece that stood out for me, however, was the editorial on a historic Tennessee home, Boxwood (need I say more?), realized by architect Gil Schafer and interior designer David Netto: classicism and irreverence perfectly combined, or as Netto said of the project, "Boxwood is about ninety percent classical and ten percent cool". And, based on the photographs, I'd say that was a winning combination!

When telling your story in your own home, it's tough to carry off "100% cool"- it can come across as gimmicky. But ten percent is doable, you just have to decide what that means for you. That ten percent is what makes a home eclectic, as opposed to eccentric, which nobody wants! Schafer's quote on his website says it all, "Creating places that enhance the enjoyment of life." So, here's to creating places that tell our history- our story- and in the process enhance our lives.


  1. Thanks for this, Bob. Full disclosure: I live with him and I still learn new things:) I can only guess how many people are benefiting from you sharing your story about Tabletop.

  2. I think I can do 10%! Not much more than that....but I definitely feel better about myself and our home now that I have a reachable goal in mind! Thanks friend :)