A Novel Approach to Keeping House
First up, the latest issue of Charleston Home is at the printer!
Stay tuned—I’ll be posting previews next week to give you a peek at what’s upcoming. And we’ve got all sorts of cool stuff, from clever dining room ideas just in time for the holidays to fabulous supper recipes and a laid-back island house with just right amount of comfort to go with a dreamy, Euro flair. I think you're going to like it.
In the meantime, I found this book in a pile of review copies I'd yet to, well, review, and let me tell you, the timing couldn't have been better. See, after sending out the magazine, I spend a few days trying to clean up. My desk. My apartment. All the little piles I’ve made along the way, with a mental note that they’re for “later.” So in one of those piles was this, entitled A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of Misspent Life (Rizzoli) by Mary Randolph Carter. I dropped everything and opened it immediately, anxious to be let off the hook for allowing a-little-bit-of-everything to collect around me.
Inside, here’s what I found:
A chapter apiece on living with work, children, and pets; clutter in all its mayhem; the "purposeless room" (which the author describes as a "no-name repository providing refuge and safekeeping for the not-so-crucial but beloved treasures of life's overflow."); and more.
Lots of photos of boho-ish rooms styled in that accidentally charming way (which we secretly know takes DAYS of painful tweaking and rearranging per room to get perfectly imperfect. Meanwhile, you and I can get to imperfect in the blink of an eye).
Great tips throughout, including some on organizing, and how and when to get rid of stuff. And by stuff, I mean, all the crap that borders on hoarding. See, those of us who live in teeny Charleston single houses can't relate--every square foot is precious and we're not going to waste it on unwanted piles of magazines or fans that don't work.
Wise quotes. "Comfort is born out of use, therefore the most comfortable houses seem to be the ones that have been lived in." Well said. "Nothing beats a personal greeting, a warm hug, or an excited barking dog for getting a dinner or party off to a great start." True, but attention dog owners: don't let them jump, I probably dressed up for this. "I want my home to be comfortable, not perfect." EXACTLY. (And of course, there's a quote or two that goes a bit too far for my decorating and practical sensibilities: As in, "Never stop and think, 'Do I have a place for this?'" Yikes--I smell a mess.)
Anyway, it's a fun approach to keeping house and I recommend giving it a look. It should be in bookstores now. In the meantime, here's a few photos from the book.