The quiet, thoughtful framers left recently, and are essentially finished with their work. I feel like there should have been a more momentous “good bye!”, but alas, I waved from the front door as they drove off and mouthed again “thank you”. I should be happy that they are finished and that we can move on to all the things that follow, but those things that follow are messy, complicated, and consuming.
The air conditioning crew has been working, as well as the electricians. It took two hours for us to “hang” the mid-century Danish mirror we found in Michigan that weighs at least 60 pounds, in order to locate the sconces around it. But it does feel good to focus on shopping for all the items we will install in the house, now that the structure is set and complete.
It has been a whirlwind of decisions and yet… many of the items we’ve been selecting have been on our wish lists for years. Maybe we specified an item for another project, or maybe we’ve seen it used in other houses, and just wanted it. Like the metal roof, for example. Historically, it’s not an uncommon kind of roof to have in this neighborhood. Typically though, it was a corrugated metal roof, sometimes painted, and held up well against the wind and rain that comes in torrents some times of each year. We elected to use a slightly different version that has become more popular lately, that will hold up also against falling tree limbs (we hope not to have any more big ones like the neighbor’s pecan fallen during Hurricane Ike), and reflective of the hot sun. And the gorgeous, simple details that come along with it give it an almost rural feel. More akin to when this neighborhood came into existence than the bustling 4th largest city in the US that it is today.
There are always a list of items that hang around in our consciousness for someday when we are… that appeal to our senses, our sense of design, have some nagging right-ness with our aesthetic. And that short list doesn’t often change. Once something makes it on to the list, it’s on there for life. It’s a coveted item, not just a passing fad or fancy. I notice that right now a deep, rich, blue velvet sofa is appearing in magazines, but that item has been on my list for some years now, and I’m hoping I can incorporate that finally into my life. Other things are on my husband’s list that I’m happy to include. Like the light fixture that he’s wanted since a client bought one from Denmark a few years back for their stairwell. Our 1958 original PH5 is now on it’s way across the ocean via ebay, to hang in our stairwell, sculpturally lighting our way to bed every night. I hope it’s magical.
I collect Heath ceramics for everyday dining, but have loved the tiles for quite some time. We purchased some tile for a kitchen backsplash and then decided to save it for later. Well later has finally come, and I’m excited to find a home for it in our bathroom. It’ll give a rich quality to a room that likely will be mostly white, and I’m eager to start searching for a complementary stone to enhance it’s beauty.
What I’ve learned over the years that contributes greatly to ensuring the longevity of the investment in your home, is to buy what you love. Surrounding yourself with things that make you happy is not a new idea by any means. Rather than choosing items that are ill considered, are cheaply made, or ubiquitous in design of the moment, take some time to select items that really speak to you. Be honest about what those things are.
That’s not to say that the item has to have a long history, there is plenty of great work being designed and produced now, from people with skill and consideration. And while it’s exciting to be a part of something fresh and new, it’s equally as exciting to me to be a part of a rich tradition that is authentic and real.