This Saturday night, Luca was invited to spend the night at his friend Augie's house. He was unduly excited, and so was I. The last time he was there, I had spotted the most breathtakingly bohemian set of sofas I had ever seen and was obsessed with photographing them for this blog. Augie's parents kindly agreed, so we both showed up at their front door promptly at 4 pm.
This first photo gives you a sense of the charm of their house. So many of the elements I consider essential in creating a successful room are here: hearth, history, humor and the homemade.
It reminds me a bit of Charleston House, home to the Bloomsbury Group, with its highly personal mix of art and eccentricity.
(The Studio, Charleston House, photographed by Allen MacWeeney)
In a brainstorm to add some personality to a pair of second-hand George Smith sofas, Augie and his sister Lulu were set loose on them with a basket of colored Sharpies. That's right. As in "permanent marker." I think the results are nothing short of genius.
If I was a curator in the Textile Department at the V&A Museum, I would create a show around them called "Home is where the Art is." And if I was Todd Selby, I would hotfoot it over here pronto.
On this section, a lovely sentiment embraces you when you sit down.
And over here, you can make out the self-portraits of the artists.
I can't think of a more endearing way to preserve and commemorate childhood. Over time, these graffitied designs will become even more meaningful. Just like works of art, they fit in every kind of decor and would look just as stunning in a modern home as they do here in a more traditional setting.
Most of the big online stores carry a version of sofa or chair available in white cotton, or you can always recover a piece you currently own.
Right now I have Luca's artwork displayed on his closet door, but they're sadly beginning to warp and curl. I may have to go buy him a set of Sharpies this week and have him create his own graphic ode to youth.
Postscript: Augie's mother called me at 6:30 am Sunday morning to tell me that Luca had thrown up twice the night before. I'm slightly ashamed to admit it, but my first thought was, "Please, please, not on the sofas!"
(They were fine.)