The big edit.

Seems the theme these days is that change is good. It better be, because it seems I’ve constantly been changing forever! I guess it’s the nature of being a creative person involved in the design business. I’ve often wished that I had been inclined toward a profession that required only a Blackberry or an iPhone to do business. No, I have always had so much stuff to schlep that it’s unbelievable. Sure, I could have presented my ideas to clients in Powerpoint, but that wouldn’t show them the patina of a finish on a chair, or the feel of a silk cut velvet. I needed to let them touch stuff. Understand the story of what they are doing with their home or nightclub or hotel. The magic has always been in the details, and to control the accoutrements that display these details in a way that I could have a clean slate in my office for each new project has always required change.

Among the crazy amount of ephemera I have collected just in the last few years that are waiting for a home are a set of hand carved and gold leafed Chinese armoire panels, a skeleton of the spine of an ornyx, a yet to be mounted deer rack, boxes of colored glass, yards and yards of fabrics from Venetian hand painted to faux snakeskin, six large boxes of trimmings and tassels, including antique passamenterie and antique woven brass tassels, a two foot tall cinnabar ram bedecked with turquoise, rocks and seashells from every trip I have ever taken…I could spend all day describing everything; this is just the list off the top of my head, and it does not include my basic furniture and decor. These are things I think are wonderful and just can’t figure out how to use them.

When I moved into this townhouse six years ago, there was enough room to hold more than all of it. There were plenty of closets to keep safe all the things like those I mentioned and not have an unkempt home. It was very manageable with just Louis XIV and me. The architectural charm of my building and the fabulous neighborhood pretty much caused to me resolve never to move again. That sense of permanence has been so important for me, because there is a constant revolution in my head of things to change – for my home and studio, things to change for my clients, the painting I haven’t yet painted, the book project I want to finish – how to make things better, nicer, more fun, more comfortable. I made myself a rule that when I got too much stuff, I would edit – I don’t want my life to be bigger than what I can manage – the idea of keeping storage places and to keep getting bigger and bigger houses has never appealed to me. I had other people’s stuff to worry about too, you know, and I just really don’t need the stress.

Then my Perfect Husband showed up, and, well, he is the photography, camping and skiing version of me – he has collections of so much stuff! And now we have the Critter – more stuff! They are the delight and loves of my life, but honestly the stuff has finally gotten to me. And the smart two story that started twenty steps up is a real drag. I have longed for “clean surfaces, Dahling” – all you AbFabbies will know what I mean. I have fantasized about a place where every single thing can be closed up in a cabinet and locked, so the Critter can run screaming through it and can’t grab anything off the shelves. A place with no nasty places to fall or hard corners to nick his little noggin. I informed my Husband that we have to do the big edit.

So the big edit is this – a condo two blocks away! We are now in escrow for the place – giant closets, totally groovy built ins and lots of storage in the enclosed garage and an elevator at this fork in the road is a dream come true. The place is SO seventies and I am already picturing a cocktail party where I dress like Jacqueline Susan. I have begun our new modernist renaissance and I love it! I am really having fun with bright colors and textures, and simpler furniture. Stay tuned for the shopping trips here and in the Alexandra Out and About section…

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