Our senses often spark memories. How many times has a song transported you to an earlier decade? When has a scent reminded you of a faraway place? My friend Mary, for example, has an uncanny way of remembering what we wore at special occasions throughout our 20-plus years of friendship.
When I reviewed our fashion retrospective in this issue, I thought of that old adage, "What is old is new again!" With some tweaking and retooling, today's designs are influenced by the last five decades. While younger eyes see these silhouettes as new, I cringed at the sight of the powder-blue tuxedo that brought me back to the bad memory of a date showing up at my door. One photo made me think of the red taffeta dress I wore the night I first met my husband.
Like fashion, styles in interior design also draw from the past but are slow to change radically. One could argue that people are not as comfortable with having too many styles in their homes, because unlike an outfit, one room should work in unison with the rest of the house. (We all have friends who, one day, are rocking a very downtown vibe, and the next look like they are off to Millbrook for the hunt!). The best interiors need to flow seamlessly from one space to the next. And like fashion, the styles that seem to have staying power are those that remind us of something from our past. We feel greater comfort in purchasing a piece that bears familiarity: maybe something we have lived with or seen in a magazine. While designers may rework a classic wing chair to have cleaner lines, the bones of a wing chair are still apparent and recognizable. In our homes we prefer mild adaptations rather than the new and the unfamiliar. Even the most noted interior designers will often point to a favorite house in their childhood that inspires them to this day.
Our homes are an accumulation of our life experiences. Walk into any house and often one piece of furniture or work of art will be the catalyst for an unfolding memory. These emotional connections create lasting feelings in our houses. It is that connection to a favorite story that seems to have a pull on our design sensibility. While a snazzy outfit might make us feel great in the moment, it's the surroundings that we create that will continue to engage us day after day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Editor in Chief
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