Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making a home

I do not know about you, but the older I get, the more I feel home is that very spot on earth, the place, where I do not need to have to conform to anything, do not have to fit in, but do so love to be utterly comfortable, that I will be able to forget the year I live in....
Like a shell, fitted to my body and soul. No need to compete, certainly not anymore to be at the designing front line at all times. Not living in 'up-to-the minute' decorating trenches.
I want to slide through time, looking at old things and new ones, living side by side, lay my hands on chipped china with a past and cutlery with patina. It's my history. 

Moss from the forest, driftwood from the beach and lavender from the market...

I love to remember years gone by and dream up future days. 
Often I buy things because they remind me of things I've almost forgotten. Books, letters, photographs.
I particularly love old photographs, not only of family or friends I know, but people from long ago. Somehow I connect.

The Savannah bride from 1919 found a new home here.

I want to live with all the books I have read and all the leaves and flowers I have pressed, the stones I collected and the cicada, picked from the drive way years ago, which I love to see under glass. 

Some of my collected vintage books and old letters.

Since I was a child I have collected old books and letters. 
There are small drift woods from my first tropical vacation and the baby shoes and dresses from the children, collected in small boxes in my tiny closet. I can't bare the thought of them in the cold or too hot attic.
I feel Georgian in my four poster bed and Edwardian at my desk. 
I acquired new bedding a few days ago, absolutely 'now', and somehow it fit's right in with the old things and vintage prints I found at a New York flea market years ago. No need to change anything else.

Fourposter a la mode!

I often dream of big changes, but I take no severe steps to make them. Something holds me back. Gently, I feel history's pull. I am not lazy.
I think myself back to the nineties, when we bought the red leather couch and matching chairs with it, reminiscing about my thoughts back then, of all the little hands going to mess with them....Now I laugh a little about the matching part, oh what! The little hands have become big hands, almost over night!

Feeling rather English here...

With all the pink going on for years, these might feel dated to some, but they aged gracefully, small scratches telling stories of dog paws. I cannot part with any of them. They are all well loved. They are somersault proof.
Call them classic....timeless.
Changes come slowly in our house. It's not that they are not welcomed, but I consider these changes more like growing. Growing up and growing older. A carpet here, some pillows there. A lamp moves from the family room to a bedroom and back to the dining room. Like old friends, they are trustworthy and yet often feel like new!

Through our dining room window two years ago. Little has changed.

The dog has claimed the ottoman as his prime spot, which sits right in the middle of our music room. It is the room where we read, talk and play piano. I have tried to change his place, so I could have a coffee table, but then, why shouldn't he be there, when we gather round? He too is comfortable. The table moved close to the piano....

A little cramped, but we all want to be in here!

For years I wanted to change things, but now, that I am slowly able to do so, I feel like not really to want it anymore....

80's kitchen made to work!

Well, I can part with the "historic" bathrooms (here I draw the line - no pictures)  and the freaky old kitchen with broken hinges and missing doors (hence the skirts), but the changes do not have to be gravely. It would not work with the spirit of the house. 
Maybe it's because we are in the middle of life. Not starting out with all new plans and not old, to not want to change anything at all anymore. But comfortable in the middle. Having achieved equilibrium....
It's a wondrous feeling.
As I opened the latest 'Elle Decor' last night, what did I find? Suddenly red everywhere! Sofas, chairs, walls.... I guess we made it through a trend loop! Old is new again! But do I really care? 
Perhaps I should wait with that kitchen a few more years....
Is not this real life?

All images by V.Zlotkowski


  1. Making a home requires love and that you have given to your home. I find that each and every year, my love grows and my taste for simplicity also lures me to live less encumbered. I find comfort in coming home and in tossing out things that I no longer need nor want. Perhaps it is a sign of the times, but I find myself needing less, being happier with living a more "edited life"-
    Wishing you all the best as you create a home full of love and put it into words and images. Thank-you for sharing with me!

  2. My dear Victoria,

    You have really inspired me with this post. Thank you so much for this sensuous post. Like you, I prefer old furniture and clothes (things that have been broken in) because they represent so much history and memories which we associate with them over time. They are endlessly appealing whereas the new object seems to me lacking in character.

    One of my friends recently decorated the whole house in art deco style...very minimal chic. I feel so cold going into the sitting room. I think I'm too crude to appreciate such refined taste. I like the saying; "A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless". ~May Sarton

    Life is a circle. We always tend to go back to where we started. We cherish these items we collected over the years because they tell the stories about us. Good luck with all the slow changes..I think they will look fantastic whatever you do.

    Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  3. Love when what is old is new again! I tend to do what I like more than what's in right now....before I never changed anything but since moving back to US my eyes are opened to all kinds of beauty and a home can be made anywhere you want. I love your red pieces.

  4. Love your red chairs. I agree with you that changes you once thought you wanted to make at some time, aren't such a big deal anymore. Feathering your nest with history and comfort makes for a very happy and comfortable home.

  5. Hello Victoria:
    Oh how well we can identify with what you write here. So many houses are simply that...places where objects are displayed but no-one really lives in them and they are certainly nothing like a home.

    Your rooms look so wonderfully welcoming. They have interest, things have been chosen with care, connections can be made with the contents and, above all else, your house has a soul.

    We are certainly not ones for trends, apart from setting our own. Over the years we have come to appreciate that pretty much everything we own has been in and out of fashion at least twice over. Now we are vintage, so is virtually everything which we own!!!

  6. What a lovely home! The red chairs are marvelous! Enjoy the fabulous weekend ahead, Kellie xx


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