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So far, so British.

I have promiscuous decorating taste. I like a little bit of everything good. But I find that my own house is getting a bit more "Hazlitt's" every year and I think it's because I really only like to shop at Pacific Galleries, a local vintage/antique mall here in Seattle. I don't have the discipline or patience to map out a room or house all at once and then go buy it all new. Now, I don't hate that look. Show me a Brian Paquette room installed yesterday, with (nearly) all-new things and I will say: "YES. I am into that." But I think my hunter-gatherer instincts will continue to mean I come home with bamboo nested tables and old tufted mohair Edwardian chairs, and blue & white cachepots and the like.

And because of the Brians of the design world, and everyone's obsession with minimalism, brown furniture is, well, a steal. And so I kinda wish it would have a moment. I wish all the kids would trade in their air ferns and West Elm chairs and whatnot and maybe throw in some seriously old-school bits. Because it's all cheap and it can be so good and fun. I want to see all the kids in old tufted chairs, reading Jacobin and plotting campaigns for single-payer healthcare in their old-timey apartments with their fine old brown furniture. Or something like that.

(Susan Deliss / shot: Paul Massey)

And lastly, speaking of both politics and British decorating, here's a quick essay about how Karl Max kept house that should make you feel much better about your own place.

Q: Has your style become more modern or more traditional as you've gotten older?


I have dogs for whom, if they were human, I would have already secured restraining orders. They follow me constantly which I love about 80% of the time, and the rest of the time I have to sneak around to avoid them and hide. Sometimes I have my morning coffee in the bathroom. I sit on the toilet (seat down... I'm not a monster), cross my legs, and hook one against the shitty 70s cabinet, phone in hand to check stocks and news and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram. I can hear the dogs clicking nervously outside. I read on, trying to have a little peace. It's a thing.

Last year I went into the attic and realized: WOW. This is like... a room I am not using. The attic stairs are too steep for the dogs, so that works to my advantage. In fact, they're almost too steep and dangerous for me. But, bit by bit discarded old furniture has made its way up here. Last year after I quit my job (I since returned, but I had a nice 7 month fake retirement), I realized that one thing that made me completely insane was that I never did anything with my hands except type. I never made anything. I had spent 18 years working in a way that I often described as "bending spoons with my mind," doing a lot of things that were not visible to me. Everything happened sort of... theoretically. So I started making really bad paintings and bad carvings and bad prints. Now I am on to bad pottery. (It's liberating to do things badly. Also a late life lesson.) So the attic, like the bathroom, is my new hideout.

What's your hideout?

I'm back. What should we talk about?

It's chilly here... fall for sure, though we are getting a little sun today and probably next week, which is good.

How is everyone doing? How are you holding up under this fascist regime?

(Here is a photo from summer vacation. No reason to post this except that I am tired of looking at the last post. If you wanna go here, stay HERE. Highly recommend it and you're a 3 minute walk from this exact spot.)

What comes after this?

What comes after this look?
Are we there yet?
How many more years of brass, and naked-bulbed lights, and bent wood, and cheerful stools?

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