My Home, My Self?

I was having coffee with a good pal the other day, and we were talking about interior design.

I was having coffee with a good pal the other day, and we were talking about interior design. She said that if an interior designer came to her house, the designer would have no idea what she likes, because her home doesn’t reflect her.

That made me think about my own home. Does it reflect me? (Years ago, I told another friend that my house lacked character and she said well, but there are plenty of characters living there!)

I recently heard Gloria Steinem say in an interview about her new memoir, My Life on the Road — which, in part, details her efforts to create a home for herself after spending much of her life on the road — that she really takes a lot of pleasure in building her “nest.” She told a design-savvy friend who’s helping her that she’s afraid to put pieces into the home or purchase new items, because she’s not sure they’ll go together. Her friend replied that if you include only what you love in your home, you have to trust that everything will go together; it’s all a reflection of you.

In this issue, we put a rather large accent on the self-expression concept as it relates to interior design.

We’ve got Ed Koza, who wasn’t entirely happy with his former home, even though it was, for all intents and purposes, picture-perfect. But a different style kept calling his name, until he gave in and “traded places.” He’s finally living in a home that truly suits him.

Then there’s Kathleen Chisholm McInerney, an artist who sprinkles her home only with what she loves — and isn’t afraid to let it stream forth from her front doorstep through her art-filled home and all the way back to her outdoor fireplace. In addition to a variety of art, she has one room that’s dedicated just to her collection of spiritual items — if that’s not an expression of her very soul, what is?

Flip forward a few pages to the story about the Whites. They used to live in a very traditional house with traditional design on a traditional street in Birmingham. A few years ago, they dove into a new, limited palette of silvers and grays, creams and white, complemented by clean lines and plush fabrics — which are all aglow these days, as they prepare to celebrate the holidays in their stylish contemporary townhome. The Whites had evolved into a new and fitting style.

I also applaud homeowner Sue Conway, who at this very minute is likely looking at a Christmas tree decked with MacKenzie-Childs holiday trim. Even though the homeowner likes to change up her holiday décor every year, there’s something about MC that tugs at her heart. So this year, she’s going with it once again. Why? The design, the colors, the shapes, and the patterns all speak to her.

These homeowners are inspiring, to say the least. See that desk in our closing department? I’ll be sitting at something like that in late December or early January, as I write up some interior-design resolutions — many of which will be 100 percent true to myself. Stay tuned!