Friday, March 27, 2009

Sensual Living

Another of my favorite home décor books that really isn't even a home décor book is Sensual Living by Claire Lloyd. Much like The Sensual Home, she outlines her own subjective and earthly pleasures with stunning photography and literary references.

These pages, from the Smell chapter, are accompanied by some lines from Proust. In A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, he makes the observation; ‘when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are all dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.’
I have such scent-memories from my own childhood, more enduring than my memories of sights and sounds. What are yours?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Sensual Home

In my attempt to return to a more simple, unvarnished aesthetic, I’ve revisited one of my favorite home décor books, which is really not a home décor book at all. It’s more, as the book’s tagline declares, of a ‘liberating your senses and changing your life’ book.

Some of the tenets that Ilse Crawford advocates are:
· One of the biggest luxuries in modern life is uncommitted time. Defend it fiercely and value it. Free time is not wasted. Your brain needs to filter through the daily assault of information and come up with new ideas.
· Have at least one room you think of as a decompression chamber; plan it as a haven from the stresses of daily life.
· Think tactile; what is the point of surfaces that don’t thrill your fingers? Choose sensuous surfaces such as wood, fur, leather, wool, cashmere, and linen.
· Make room for the things that have meaning for you.
· Art is a way of making sense of the world. Invest in a piece you really like and place it where you can enjoy it every day.
· Know your home in every phase of the day. Learn to appreciate and plan around how the light falls at angles throughout the day.
· Cooking is like love, it should be entered with abandon or not at all.
· Nothing completes a home like good friends.

If you don’t own this book, you really should.

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