Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

Creating Space with Soul

April 1, 2009

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Nothing makes you reflect on life’s profound questions like packing all your worldly possessions into boxes. As I look around my increasingly bare apartment and think ahead to the new space that we will soon occupy, I wonder: how do you breathe life into empty rooms? What makes a house a home?

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Is it the photos and paintings on the wall, records of faces seen and moments passed?

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Is it the books on your shelves, their pages telling not only their own tales but also stories of who and where you were when you read them?

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Is it the smells from the kitchen, the fragrance of birthday cakes and holiday pies, the scent of life’s celebrations feted through food?

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Is it collections acquired and displayed, the pieces coming together over time until they threaten to take over curio cabinets, mantlepieces and tabletops?

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Is it turning nooks and crannies into opportunities to delight and surprise, taking seemingly useless corners and making spots for reading, napping, sipping tea?

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Is it finding the light, exploring the best sun puddles for taking photos, growing houseplants, whiling away the afternoon?

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Is it creating new routines, discovering where the olive oil should be kept for easy access, determining exactly how many appliances you can store on the counter before you no
longer have room to cook?

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Is it the sounds through the window as you sip your morning coffee, the call of birds and the hum of traffic as the world starts its day?

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Is it learning the idiosyncrasies of the bathroom, perfecting the exact rotation of the taps for optimum water temperature, remembering to close the shower curtain that extra inch so you don’t flood the floor?

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Or is it the warm bodies that share the space with you, the ones you carry in your heart no matter where your next move may take you?

Of course it’s all these things and more. So tell me: How do you make your house a home?

Image Credits: 1. Domino 2. Source Unknown 3. Tiny K 4. Roland Bello 5. New Moroccan Style 6. Simon Bevan via Desire to Inspire 7. Urban Eco Chic 8. Found Style 9. Domino 10. Found Style 11. Found Style

Warm Fuzzies and Why I Blog

March 14, 2009

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Some mornings I wake up and the thought of spending another minute at the computer makes me want to head right back to bed. But then I get a comment like the one I received on yesterday’s post:

“I’m so glad I found this blog, a friend sent this to me b/c I’m getting married next year and thanks to you I might have a DJ (fingers crossed), and I just booked Max Wanger to take the photos. Then I spent an hour on YOUR blog and loved it! Very inspirational. My boss hates me today. Thanks so much.”
—Nina

Knowing that my little corner of the internet is helping to connect cool folks to all the awesome art and design talent out there makes even the dreariest of blog days worth it. Just don’t get fired ’cause of me, okay?

P.S. I tried emailing you Nina but it bounced back. But I always love to hear from everyone via email: anne@annesage.com!

Image Credit: Twig Hutchinson

Making Me Smile: Plain White T’s

March 10, 2009

This is sort of beyond my usual purview, but it’s been a bummer of a day and I really need cheering up. This video from the Plain White T’s is just what the doctor ordered; I’m a sucker for a catchy tune, a simple hook, a cute guy with a guitar, and a sappy/happy ending. Throw in a few puppies and I’m a goner.

Now I’m off to snuggle with a hot water bottle and Season 2 of Lost

Thanks for Everything, Domino.

January 30, 2009

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By now we’ve all heard the news. In fact you couldn’t go anywhere this week without encountering discussions of Domino’s imminent demise. Reactions in blogland have ranged from ‘good riddance’ to ‘good God, no!’ but I for one have avoided the topic altogether–simply because talking about it makes it feel real, and I don’t want it to be real. Domino wasn’t always a perfect magazine; indeed, as my passion for design has evolved, other publications have replaced it as my favourite. But Domino was the magazine that sparked that passion, and as such it will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Cassandra said it beautifully when she described Domino as ‘the one magazine to make design accessible and simple‘. Truly, holding an issue of Domino in your hands was like holding a key to a world previously open only to an elite few; the magazine was an exuberant and approachable trail guide for discovering the vocabulary, the references, and the courage to find your own design personality. Domino espoused a boundaries-free approach to decorating—blurring the lines between interiors and art, fashion and photography—thereby encouraging readers to find design inspiration wherever they darn well pleased.

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Domino opened our eyes to the endless possibilities of design as a force for social good. From uniting style with sustainability to showcasing independent designers and artisans, Domino played a huge role in the emergence of the now thriving green and handmade movements. Sure the shopping guides were fun and the pictures were pretty, but the lasting impression that Domino has left with us is a deeper appreciation for the power of design to make our world feel more safe, more welcoming, more like home.

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Domino not only changed the way we think about design, it has forever impacted the way that we speak and write about design. With a roster of editors and columnists who felt like real people—like friends even!—Domino’s talented staff approached their subjects with equal parts gravitas and good humour. Their message? Don’t take this too seriously. Have fun. Create a design experience that is both intimate and inclusive, that learns from the past and that looks to the future, but that above all reflects your truest self.

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The result? Page after page of gorgeous interiors. Subtly communicated lessons about design history and ideas for respecting that history while making it our own. The feeling that we too could paint our walls, set beautiful tables, find joy in our homes–without having to be paragons of domesticity. As I flipped through the pages of my old issues last night, I revisited images that I have come to know and love from the portfolios of my favourite photographers: Paul Costello, Mikkel Vang, Ditte Isager, Roland Bello. Had Domino not attuned my eyes to the magic of a well-composed room, an unexpected color palette, a surprising source for inspiration, I would not have the ability to appreciate these photographers’ work now. So thank you, Domino, for opening the doors to this world of history and harmony, empowerment and play. You will be greatly missed.

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All images courtesy of Domino Magazine.

Le Sigh…

January 14, 2009

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How much more work would we all get done if we had an office as lovely as this?

Of course it’s possible that the soft ocean tones might inspire more beach outings than actual work…but I’d be willing to take my chances.

Image credit: Rachel Whiting

Le Sigh…

January 14, 2009

COAST BEDROOM-09ASSRT.jpg

How much more work would we all get done if we had an office as lovely as this?

Of course it’s possible that the soft ocean tones might inspire more beach outings than actual work…but I’d be willing to take my chances.

Image credit: Rachel Whiting

January Doors: Passion and Play

January 5, 2009

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Lest the meditative tone of this morning’s post leave you thinking that I am a calm, cool cucumber, let me assure you that this is not the case! Though I’m feeling romantic about the symbolism of January as a time of contemplation, I am also all for leaping before you look, for diving in with your eyes closed, for passing through the doors of the new year with nothing but blind excitement for things to come.

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I’m all for riding your bike inside, even though you just mopped the floor.
For leaving your umbrella at home, because wet hair can be really sexy.

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For indulging in a case of tunnel vision—because sometimes your way is the only way to
get the job done.

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For hanging your own artwork on the wall and never telling a soul that it’s paint-by-number.

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For painting your house a riotous color, even though you know you’ll be sick of it in a month.

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For using the heirloom fur coat your grandma gave you as a throw rug
(no, Mom, I promise I haven’t done this…yet).

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For calling in sick and napping all day, simply because you want to take
your new duvet cover for a test drive.

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May 2009 be a year of exuberance and joy! And for the calmer face of Janus, be sure to read Volume One of January Doors 🙂

Image Credits: 1. Rudolphe Foucher 2. Domino Magazine 3. James Merrill 4. Paul Costello 5. Paul Costello 6. Annie Schlecter 7. James Merrill 8. Source Unknown

January Doors: Reflect and Renew

January 5, 2009

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The month of January is named for the Roman deity Janus—the god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings. Janus was traditionally depicted as facing forwards and backwards at the same time. This symbolism captivates me; I love the thought of January as the doorway to the new year, as a time for reflection on the old year past and for anticipation of the new year to come.

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In ancient Roman homes the two-faced bust of Janus hung over the entryway as a reminder to pause and honor times of transition and change. And though we don’t hang the bust of Janus in our homes today, we can still be mindful of the poetry and symbolism of January. We can pass through every door with a calm and quiet focus.

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We can cultivate a serene and welcoming space full of light, love and peace.

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We can greet the visitors in our lives with a smile and an offer of hospitality—whether their sojurn be short or long, whether they bring us good news or bad.

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We can peer around every corner and marvel at the mysteries just beyond our view.

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We can commit to a moment of study and meditation before jumping headlong into the fray.

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And we can stand strong in the face of the unknown, first acknowledging our fears and then moving forward with courage and determination.

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Of course, our doors and passages are full of excitement and adventure too—so stay tuned for January Doors: Volume Two later today!

Image Credits: 1. James Merrell 2. Marie Claire Maison 3. Twig Hutchinson 4. Paul Massey 5. Paul Massey 6. Gentl and Hyers 7. House Beautiful via Harmony and Home 8. House Beautiful via Harmony and Home

January Doors: Reflect and Renew

January 5, 2009

22.jpg

The month of January is named for the Roman deity Janus—the god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings. Janus was traditionally depicted as facing forwards and backwards at the same time. This symbolism captivates me; I love the thought of January as the doorway to the new year, as a time for reflection on the old year past and for anticipation of the new year to come.

[homepage_logo[1].jpg].tiff

In ancient Roman homes the two-faced bust of Janus hung over the entryway as a reminder to pause and honor times of transition and change. And though we don’t hang the bust of Janus in our homes today, we can still be mindful of the poetry and symbolism of January. We can pass through every door with a calm and quiet focus.

twig7door.png

We can cultivate a serene and welcoming space full of light, love and peace.

vogue7pagemasseydoor.jpg

We can greet the visitors in our lives with a smile and an offer of hospitality—whether their sojurn be short or long, whether they bring us good news or bad.

denmark10pagedoor.jpg

We can peer around every corner and marvel at the mysteries just beyond our view.

gentlh3door.png

We can commit to a moment of study and meditation before jumping headlong into the fray.

http--www.housebeautiful.com-cm-housebeautiful-images-12-bilhuber-vanity-xlg-64255195.jpg.tiff

And we can stand strong in the face of the unknown, first acknowledging our fears and then moving forward with courage and determination.

http--www.housebeautiful.com-cm-housebeautiful-images-6-simplicity-hallway-1107-xlg-27130797.jpg.tiff

Of course, our doors and passages are full of excitement and adventure too—so stay tuned for January Doors: Volume Two later today!

Image Credits: 1. James Merrell 2. Marie Claire Maison 3. Twig Hutchinson 4. Paul Massey 5. Paul Massey 6. Gentl and Hyers 7. House Beautiful via Harmony and Home 8. House Beautiful via Harmony and Home

A New Year’s Meditation

December 31, 2008

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New Year’s resolutions are a funny thing. They seem designed only to make us feel guilty and deprived: spend less, drink less, weigh less. So how about resolutions to have more, to feel more, to do more and see more? Resolutions like: at least once a day, close your eyes and absorb the world’s details through touch. Feel the cool rasp of a rock, the soft tickle of a feather.

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Keep fresh flowers in the house at all times, be it a bountiful bouquet…

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…or a single blossom.

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Bring fewer throwaway items into your home. Invest instead in pieces that you’ll have forever: a chair whose every spring squeaks a story…

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…a blanket that only gets softer with each passing year.

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Get courageous in the kitchen. Try a daring new recipe once a week…

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…and eat it at the table, not in front of the television.

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Treat every journey like a grand adventure, whether you’re going across the street…

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…or across the ocean.

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Eat more vegetables.

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Eat more fruit.

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Listen to your doctor, and get more calcium. But let it be a vehicle for more cookie dunking…

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…a means to more milkshake making, more french fry munching.

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Go to the beach more, even when the weather isn’t perfect…

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…and while you’re there make s’mores.

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Celebrate more. Raise a toast to even your smallest accomplishments. Throw a party and be your own guest of honour.

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Here’s to the tears and triumphs of 2008, and to the challenges and joys that 2009 will surely bring. Happy New Year!

All images courtesy of Con Poulos.