Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow White's House: Elements of Style

You will find this little still life in my "Snow White" friend's living room: mismatched yet complementary lamps, a postcard on a tiny easel, a wooden statue, pottery bowl, and an African violet. Throughout her home you can find variations on this theme: art, light, and life, with flowers generally being a part of both. This isn't to say that every fabric is floral as well as every painting -- although a wildflower motif is very much in evidence, it's subdued. You notice it subtly -- on the lampshade -- on the napkins pressed under the glass topping a worn dresser.

"Snow White" was the first person I knew who collected old furniture, especially painted and distressed pieces, years before Shabby Chic became stylish. But I wouldn't call my friend's style either shabby or chic. She is kind to older furniture, thoughtfully arranging it so that you can appreciate the fine styling or unusual shape without calling attention to missing paint or other defects. For example, above, the floral botanical print complements and brings out the green paint on the dresser, but the glass and crisply pressed napkins minimize the shabbiness. And she has the knack for placing just the right amount of objects on a table: one would be too minimalist -- seven would be cluttered. It's little arrangmenents like this one that make "Snow White's" house a treat to those who will notice.


Wendy in VA (now in MD) said...

I am so enjoying these pictures! Very warm and cozy -- just lovely. :o) Thank you for posting them.

Midori said...

What a lovely arrangement. I too am drawn to friends' houses that have managed so deftly to combine art and light and functionality. Reminds me of the British arts & craft movement of William Morris. I think it makes us slow down and appreciate small pleasures a little more.

Kristyn said...

Very warm and welcoming... makes you want to sit down with a lap quilt and read a book.