I've stolen this headline from an article I just read about my living room in the premiere issue of the new online home magazine "House of Fifty."
A few months ago, the editor-in-chief Janell Beals emailed me about doing a possible feature.
I just found your blog after wanting to find the person behind the living room I included in my latest ideabook written for Houzz. I selected your room to be included in a piece on how bringing floral patterns into a room can introduce a bit of spring all year long. I particularly liked your room because of its interesting mix. However, for some reason a couple readers decided it was time to bring on the criticism full force.
The comments left on the ideabook started a conversation between my husband and me about subjective design, which led to me deciding to write an article for my upcoming e-zine on this very topic.
I emailed Janell back that I found it kind of amusing that someone would choose to get so worked up about pairing a zebra rug with Peter Dunham's "Samarkand" fabric...and to write whatever she wanted. Absolutely.
Well, the premiere issue launched today and I think Janell's article is fascinating because it addresses something that I notice happening more and more frequently in the blog world.
I'll let her tell it:
"Why is it often difficult to experience disagreement with another's point of view without getting upset? Is it not possible to express that one would not have made the same choice, without tearing down what another has done? Why is it so hard to have a difference of opinion and be comfortable with the fact that not everyone shares our point of view?"
Let me make this clear: I'm SO NOT offended whether people like my house or not. It's small and weird and colorful (like me) and if you're a beige-on-beige addict, I would kind of expect you to run screaming from it. And that's fine. Because one's home is a visual autobiography of the people who live there -- not anybody else.
Here's the bigger issue:
1. Why are the personal choices of total strangers such an affront to some people?
2. Has it become impossible for us to co-exist peacefully if someone has a different point of view?
3. Why is it still so darn hard for us to celebrate each other's differences?
Janell goes on to write:
Perhaps a key to being okay with a conflicting opinion begins with not only being comfortable, but secure, in our own; understanding that there is nothing to be lost by accepting and hearing another's opinion.
Obviously, this is one smart lady.
All this got me thinking and, as usually happens when I start thinking, my thoughts turned to England.
In her book "The Anglo Files", Sarah Lyall writes of the cheerful streak of anarchy that runs through the British personality.
The British may be conformists, but paradoxically, they also demand the right to be left alone to practice their individuality.
In England, you have some of the most upright and proper people in the world living side by side with some of the most peculiar people in the world. All are secure in the knowledge that they are doing what feels true for them.
(Banksy, "Old Women Knitting Punk Slogans")
You have to love a country in which being "a little Brit different" is not only accepted as a legal birthright, it's borderline canonized.
The Marquess of Bath
Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow
My friend Amanda Eliasch
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a speech to write and a royal wedding to prepare for.