Moving from a large house filled with the bric and brac of the entire family’s lives from fifteen years has focused me in one gigantic way: I want to keep this new house free of the immense amount of clutter.  I feel so behind the curve! All of the disciples of Martha and Domino have been  making a mantra/style out of the religion of spareness.  Perhaps the pendulum is going to swing the other way in the next decade towards an 80’s style exuberant and flagrant plenty and as usual my personal pendulum will be swinging the opposite way!

But wait-the English have devised a way to have both, that is a disciplined and clean approach to design that allows a chaotic freedom.  I’ve absorbed some lessons from pondering English garden style.  Not all certainly, but many gardens come precisely from that style.  Observe the formal and linear hedging-there they resemble the French.  But then what do they do?  They strew the interiors with a wild abandon of flora.  The long borders display this as well.  Face to face, but never matching, they are symmetrical in layout, but divergent in plants.

Perhaps the house can have the discipline of sparseness, but pockets of free fall STUFF. My European “picture walls” with art hung according to the rhythm of patterns and colors can be interspersed with a wall with very little hanging on it, nothing showcased but itself, creating another kind of pattern.

The kitchen which has been hollowed out is all at once a different space than I could have imagined.  With the removal of an outside wall, the new interior is suddenly larger and brighter and the focus has shifted to a different kind of plan.  A plan that may very well suit itself to being spare with concentrations of personal clutter…