It’s a rainy Sunday and I’m alone in the store. It’s pretty dark out so not as light in here as it is on a sunny day, considering two of our four main walls are windows. John Mayer is singing about Slow Dancing in a Burning Room over the vintage Fender amp I had converted to Bluetooth. I sit at our 17-foot reclaimed wood counter, surveying the view.
Every piece of furniture in this space, whether for sale or used as display, is unique. That’s our calling card, I guess. I mean, why bother with the mundane? From the headboard that looks like old barn doors to the 10-foot sleek modern dining table or the low-slung vintage sofa that looks more Art Deco than Mid-Century to me… everything is individualistic. It’s not all vintage which is why we don’t market ourselves as a traditional antique store but it’s all either classic or edgy or innovative and it’s ALL well-built. We cringe at the term used furniture because that’s not what we sell. We seek out and sell that one piece that everyone’s going to ask you about or that creative grouping that really makes your space feel like home.
And, that’s my design philosophy. Individuality in design.
Robin and I recently moved from a 50’s era block house to an ancient-but-updated adobe that’s just “so Santa Fe.” It feels as if we’re seeing our belongings with fresh eyes because they look so different in the new space. The floors are Saltillo rather than wood, there’s a “great room” concept with high ceilings and clerestory windows rather than boxy rooms all in a row and there’s a tile-surrounded kiva fireplace rather than the square fire box & hearth style with a big mantle.
As I looked lovingly upon our cozy home this morning, from the comfort of my sofa, wrapped in an afghan, coffee in hand, I saw the things I love. Lots of us can say we love our furnishings, sure, but within our rooms I ACTUALLY SEE the things my family loves.
Example: I’ve recently started collecting farm paintings. My grandparents were farmers and the sight of their windmill down the road remains one of the best resemblances of HOME that I can think of. I’ve also got a burgeoning collection of old Chinese Checkers boards. Not only do I love the colors & composition: wood/metal/stars/jewel tones, but Dru and I spent half our childhoods playing marble games with our Grandma. She had the best marbles!
As I’ve mentioned, I have inherited furniture that I cherish but I also have things like my parents’ Acoma wedding vase and the turquoise & white Pyrex bowl my Mom made pancakes in every Sunday of my young life. And, I blend those things with Robin’s keepsakes like photos of his family and Native American heirlooms and we fill Ellie’s room with images and ideals that are important to her because THAT is what home design is all about.
Visual manifestations of what you love.
It occurs to me that I want to do so much more than own and operate a store. I want to inspire people to create a meaningful home. HOME, no matter where it is, should be the one place in the world that makes us feel whole. And, if surrounding yourself with things you love either because they hold special meaning or because you marvel at their look or touch or feel… then you’re halfway there!