Monday, April 9, 2007

How can you love a Tudor?

It's hard to love a dark Tudor when you like light airy spaces. Tudors are famous for having, like, maybe 3 windows, and in my neighborhood, none facing a useful direction to catch any truly gorgeous glow from the sun.

I think my solution is to paint as much of it white, white, white, add light from many sources and add some beachy elements inside that keep the place looking more like a vacation house than some relic from another time. There are a lot of familiar accessories (finger coral, a gourd vase) but they don't seem ripped from the pages of Poverty Barn. Something about Pottery Barn's arrangements are like cartoons of how we live... ("Look! I have an entire room dedicated to wrapping gifts! Look at my craft table ... The placecards at my dining table are little slate chalkboards! How clever I am!").

Gambrel's arrangements are so grown up and, although I am sure he and some assistants shopped carefully for each piece, the whole thing looks like you could have carefully assembled the room yourself, over time, editing every year, and keeping the best and that which continues to define you over time, after trends fade and you cling to what you really love and makes you feel, singularly, at home.

God bless Steven Gambrel who provides my latest inspiration. You can see more of his great work at

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