you’ve got to start somewhere

For the third time, and without premeditation, I purchased a sofa as the corner piece of the interior design for my latest project, the Rye. I’m still deep into construction on this house, but a pattern has begun to emerge between my three projects. I buy a kit whose finished look appeals on some aesthetic level, even though I’m rarely attracted to the house as presented by the manufacturers. Still, as in a real home purchase, the lines of the exterior call my name and the interior is workable. I never have a strong idea of how I want a project to end. I dive in and let the house reveal itself, both inside and out, as construction proceeds. And there is no consistency in my design choices.

For house #1, the Beachside Bungalow, I went with a cushy, blue and white striped sofa with matching pillows that said comfort. The beach house offered that delicious combination of fun and relaxation and as soon as I saw the sofa, I knew it was The One. The rest of the interior design fell quickly into place.

House #2, the Westville began as a storybook cottage on the edge of town, but slowly revealed itself to be a sober, rural, turn-of-the-century farmhouse. An arts-and-crafts couch became the inspiration piece followed by antiques and the sort of “generational” furniture that would stay in a family for decades.

House #3, the Rye, took me for a wild, unexpected ride. This time, my wandering on Etsy led to a mid-century modern-inspired griege couch with the era’s clean lines. I went with it, filling the rest of the living room with 1950/60’s pieces framed by some ridiculously fun wallpaper.

Three homes (so far) and three completely different looks. If this were a psychological test, you’d think the results would be hard to interpret. But, it makes perfect sense. I’ve had a long-term and flexible love affair with all manner of interior and exterior design. I find beauty in high-rises and country estates, beach cottages, starter houses, and antebellum mansions. I am hard-pressed to commit to a favorite between Spanish-style, craftsman, Hawaiian, and mid-century modern. English gardens appeal for their romance; Japanese gardens for their serenity. Colors? Love them all. The inspiration palette for my current real home came from a Coach eau de parfum box I found discarded on the street. That’s a pretty way of saying I picked up a piece of trash and decorated my house around it. You’ve got to start somewhere.

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