I really liked this article by Simon Sarris about what we grasp for versus what we get in domestic settings. I’m definitely receptive to the emotional (and even spiritual) aspects of our build environment at the moment, for some reason.
Handcrafted objects, textured colors, unpainted and unpolished surfaces (my walls show their raw plaster), natural materials, sunlight and shadow—all of these are signs of life. Life accepts the imperfect and the changing. The domestic need not be flamboyant—though sometimes it is magnificent to be so—after all my kitchen and Laquy’s are far from neon. But no kitchen or home should look lifeless. The design cues of the modern home are grasping at a kind of modernist perfectionism, and become flat because all life is removed in the process. Professional atmospheres (restaurant kitchens, warehouses, operating rooms) are antiseptic, often they need to be, so they simply banish life.
Intimacy is not clutter, but the proper demarcation of space. To lure back enchantment, we must learn to create the nook, to appreciate the wilder garden, to consider the power of shadows and small spaces, to welcome living materials over insensate ones. There is no formula that can easily arrive at intimacy, only a sensitivity to context that can be cultivated. If we look beyond the economic and utilitarian world, we will find a secret one waiting for us.
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