What’s Your Design Voice?

I’ve often wondered what my life would be like if I had a voice like Uma Thurman’s, I could have you know. She developed that voice out of thin air, well maybe it wasn’t thin, it could have blown in from the Swedish Alps. Her grandmother was Swedish, her grandfather German, and her mother was born in Mexico City. Throw that in a blender and see what you come up with for an accent. Don’t forget that Uma herself was born in Boston, mostly raised in Amherst where her very famous, Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies father taught. Now if an I-T Buddhist doesn’t have a voice, than I’ll Winnie-the-pooh myself back to the 100 Acre Wood and re-read the Tao of Pooh until I get it right.

Like the color orange? See where it takes you.

One thing is for sure, Uma may have been an uncarved block when she started, but she and her vague European accent catapulted her to stardom, and I for one, believe that voice of hers had something to do with it. Which got me to thinking about my own voice. I’ve never liked it that much, the sound of it that is. My passion is mistaken for anger, and my voice is loud, so very loud, that I’ve been told repeatedly, and much to my chagrin and personal humiliation, that as a result of it, I cannot be heard at all. That’s just disrespectful.

Gray – don’t you just love that sound of that color?

A voice is so much more than the sound that rumbles up from your chest, and whistles past your lips to find a brief moment of freedom before it winds its way into the ears of its intended, and sometimes those that co-opt it, as if they were part of the conversation. I sometimes do that in a beauty salon. The things people say, right out there in public, astounding. There are other types of voices too. My writing has a voice without ever making a sound, and so too does your fashion, and of course your design style.

A lot to love with texture.

The care you take in putting your house together says so very much about who you are, that if you were on the receiving end of an actual voice, you’d be begging for some peace and quiet.

Look at those birds, singing a pretty song.

Like my quest for Uma’s breathy, insert made-up country across the pond here, I want you to discover what your design voice is – in the way it will reflect the very best of who you are, and hope to become. Uma, cue the story boards to sell this production, well, to a producer. The storyboard is your ticket to finding that voice. Start clipping, circling, tearing, pinning, and gathering all the things that you like, and that inspire you. That voice will start to emerge like an opera singer hitting a high note. Go get ’em Tiger.

Townies: The Manse gets its make-over

Above: Exterior – White Cedar shingles, Door’s in Nantucket Red. Side deck, Home Goods Garden Stool, Restoration Hardware – Malibu Collection.

Since the 70’s its been a law office, a sometimes summer dwelling, a retreat from other major renovations, a spa, a home to more than a few spiders, and seen its fair share of paint and paper. It waited patiently, frankly with far more patience than I myself possess, for its day in the sun.

I would say all the waiting was worth while. The Manse, finally finished, gained a few inches in height, spread her wings a little to make room for a first floor suite of sorts, and a proper foundation – if you are going to build a nest, you really must have a solid foundation. It’s a miracle the old dame lasted as long as she did, sitting so indignantly on the dirt, but 230 years later, she landed in the pages of the Boston Globe Magazine.

Now owned by my youngest Sister, Jo-Jo put the architecture in the hands of my father, and the interior design in my hands – who else. The results are what I refer to as “cozy coastal”. The article provides details of the space, but just a few photos, so here is a bigger glimpse into the results my biggest project to date.

Resources and Additional Images to follow.

Doing Laundry Never Looked So Good: Hermesmatic

HerMAZEing.  Y’all, I’ll let you in on a little secret….”I Love Hermes”.  From belts to bangles, and miles of colorful scarves, I have a thing for the H.  It’s so classically elegant.  The designs so intricately artistic.  The brand so fantastically French it’s no wonder I am mesmerized by the House of Hermes.  Please, please whatever you do – don’t pronounce the H – it’s silent…”ermes”.  It’s tres gauche to make that American mistake.  Now you are in the know.

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Wash and Wear.

One of the things I admire about Hermes is their ability to stay relevant as trends and styles change, and fashion becomes more and more casual.  I remember the first Hermes scarf I purchased in my early 30’s.  I saw Madonna wearing it as a cute halter and I fell for it.  I wore that scarf all summer on Nantucket and felt like my ship had come in.

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Fuchsia over-dye.

Upon my arrival in Nashville, my incredibly chic friend Jennifer Borden announced that Hermes in all its brilliantness had a pop-up in the Green Hills Neighborhood, through this weekend.  Hermesmatic is a laundromat of all things, where one can bring their well worn scarves to be dip dyed in one of three colors of your choosing; fuchsia, violet, or denim blue.  The process is done on site and takes between 24 and 48 hours to dry.  I missed that window but don’t cry for me Argentina because while the dip dying of your own scarves was free for those that arrived on time – you can purchase already dyed scarves, neck and bow ties so there’s that.  Can you see my moratorium on spending sliding out that silky door?

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Branding genius.

Their quintessential color orange is splashed throughout the pop-up.  Washing machines, laundry baskets, logo.  It’s so brilliant it brings a tear to my eye.

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Be prepared to reinvent yourself.

While this is a limited engagement, I would bet you’ll see this service “pop-up” as a regular offering.  It’s too hip not to become an Hermes classic.

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Painfully chic laundress.

In the city that never stops singing – these scarves can carry a tune.

Happy Saturday.