The April issue of World of Interiors arrived in the mail on Saturday. And as much as I'm enjoying the love troubles of Lily Dale in "The Small House at Allington"...
...I'm afraid that WOI trumps Trollope.
What is it about this particular magazine that arouses such heart palpitations in me? It's not just the glimpses into castles in Tuscany, flower-bedecked dower cottages in Sussex or F. Scott Fitzgerald-ish villas in Cap d'Antibes that make my palms clammy -- it's the life and soul that seep out from every photograph. Rarely does WOI feature people in their interiors, but one is still filled with the sense that the Aga cooker is heating up something fragrant, the sofa cushions are warm to the touch, and just around the corner there's an Alsatian snoring away on a kilim. It's high style that's inviting and embraceable.
This ethos of embracing unfussy comfort seems to be gaining ground lately. On Saturday, the "Off Duty" section of the Wall Street Journal had a wonderful article called "The Rise of the Personal" which documents the current passion for creative imperfection. "The [new] fantasy of the undecorated house is Tuesday morning as it is actually lived," as writer Katie Roiphe so brilliantly puts it.
Now don't get me wrong. I have massive reverence for interior designers -- Peter Dunham, David Netto, Nicky Haslam and Jacques Grange among them. To me, these decorators possess the innate knowledge that people want to live in homes that mirror their own passions and idiosyncrasies and not someone elses. They use their immense talents to create glorious possibilities for their clients, ones in which comfort, wit and sincerity are always in plentiful supply.
Continuing this same theme, I went to a party last Tuesday: