The Comforts of an Imperfect Home

I have lots of juicy novels and books piled up on my nightstand, perching patiently for my busy life to settle down.  With summer just around the corner, I am happily adding a few books to my collection.  I look forward to a little pleasure reading while catching some rays under the pergola or during rainy days in the screened in porch.  One book I am ready to dive into is written by Deborah Needleman, the Editor In Chief at the Wall Street Journal Magazine, called Perfectly Imperfect Home.  I have admired Deborah since the days when she founded Domino magazine, and her approach to the sometimes stodgy world of interior design is refreshing.  Since taking the job at the Journal, she has turned the magazine into an informative and stylish read.  When I heard that Deborah was writing this book on the subject of interior design, I knew it was a must-read for me.

Last week, I had the chance to meet Deborah in person and hear her speak about her philosophy behind the book, while I was reporting on the happenings at Spring Market at the Decoration and Design building in New York CitySpring Market is an opportune time for interior designers and those in the industry to come together and see new products while sharing ideas about what is happening in the industry.  It was interesting to hear Deborah’s take on the meaning behind current design trends.  Deborah explained that trends for her are like a temperature read of where our collective society is and how all of it influences our home and decorating.  Deborah’s approach is to design with an imperfect attitude and with an eclectic mix of both high and low price ranges and styles. She strives to make your home look happily lived-in, approachable and balanced. She advises to lighten up luxury decorating with casual items to make it feel homey.  Deborah encourages people to embrace imperfection and to infuse your home with personality through natural means of travel and interests.  I took a big sigh of relief at hearing those words, because quite frankly there is nothing more unattractive than a space where we feel unwelcome.  I am not a fan of showpiece homes with roped off quarters and overly decorated spaces.

My own personal little trend or favored color is my love for and fascination with the color blue.  Of course, out here on the east end of Long Island with beautiful light and the sparkling ocean surrounding us, it is only natural to want to use the color blue in our home.  I have been hearing much talk about many colors of the rainbow being popular, but I long to cover my home in every shade of the cerulean hue.  I just returned from a visit to the Dash and Albert annual Memorial Day tent sale near Great Barrington, Mass. and picked up two bold and interesting striped rugs for my living room. Both had various shades of blues and browns.  I enjoy the durability and quality of these rugs.  The fresh colors and stripes add simplicity, which will anchor the space, yet balance the seriousness with antiques by adding a bit of whimsy.  The prices of Dash and Albert rugs are quite affordable too, and I especially like the quality and color selections of their outdoor rug collection.  I appreciate the ease of being able to hose off the outdoor rugs when they get dirty.   As I load the new rugs into the back of my car, I think this may be what Deborah was talking about in her book.

Another great find for me while at Spring Market was when I viewed a newly released fabric line from Robert Allen Fabrics called the Naturals Collection.  This collection has a good, eclectic assortment of fabrics in neutral tones with an emphasis on blues – from light ethereal hues to more indigo and navy tones.  There is something soothing about the entire line, and the many patterns work well together without feeling as if they overly match.  It does not take much to get me scheming and planning to combine my new rug purchases with a few of these new fabrics to create a truly happy room, where I will calmly settle in over summer and hopefully find time to catch up on my reading.

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