Thursday, February 26, 2009

stuff...


photos: taschen london style & taschen new york style
In my head I live a minimal lifestyle. Just a few simple furnishings, only what I need. No clutter. Everything is well organized, but it's not difficult since there isn't much.

Now, for reality. I live amongst organized clutter at best. The challenge I face when trying to create the simple, clean, non stuff lifestyle is that I love stuff. I get excited around flea markets. Even if I don't buy anything, looking at all that is available gives me a thrill. There are memories in the stuff I have. Each piece is almost like it's own time capsule of a specific period in my life.

The things we own, the way we display them, the collections we decide to show are a part of who we are and have a very specific story to tell. Beautiful rooms are more than just architectural details, well designed furniture, great color choices and perfect flow. A room's character, personality are in the details of our stuff.

What you feel is the most mundane of an item you've had forever can be a work of art. It's all in the way it's displayed. A basic white bookcase filled with inexpensive garage sale finds (white pottery) becomes a study in placement and style. The ordinary is instantly extraordinary just by changing the way everything is perceived. Even a pile of collected books turn into something special when you take into account how you arrange them, what colors you place with or around them and how you use them. The less than obvious pile can instantly turn into the perfect place to perch your Sunday coffee...next to your favorite chair.

Honor the stuff you love.
-angelo surmelis

18 comments:

Nani said...

I must show this post to my husband... the defines me as the organized mess queen! I love piles of memorabilia and finds :)

DesignTies said...

I have WAY TOO MUCH stuff. I inherited other people's stuff over the years that I don't particularly love. Plus there's a lot of stuff that I've bought and when I look at it now, I wonder WHY??!!

I'm slowly working at getting rid of the stuff that I don't love to I can enjoy the stuff that I do love :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

david john said...

i could not agree more! interior for me are about collections, a person's perspective on their life, their interests, their passions. i love interiors that reflect the person, and the viewpoint of a designer!

by the way, im spotting some incredible lights in those postings! thanks, im a lamp junkie!

KYLE said...

I couldn't agree more. I too feel like I live in organized clutter. Unfortunately, mine doesn't always look as beautiful as these pics.

Patricia said...

I LOVE STUFF!!!! Too much. I do have to edit things out, especially since I live in a very small house. 900sf. It's a challenge, but I also like order so it forces me to be a bit more discerning when buying new things. I love your blog and the way you write!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post! My issue is knowing when it's time to get rid of something. How do you know when enough has become too much?

Jessie

angelo said...

Jessie,

I think that is an issue most of us that love stuff face. The short answer is, when the stuff you love no longer feels that way to you. When it's no longer a show piece and more clutter and disorganization. The key is to edit and understand the context in which your possessions are being used in.

Also, just because someone has over 300 snow globes doesn't mean you have to display every single one of them. Act like the curator of your own collection and store some. Change out them out periodically in order to keep the "collection" fresh.

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough, in my fantasy life, I'm living in a home that you and Peter Walsh have done an intervention on. Appropriate, as I manifested my Angelo/Peter admiration through Clean Sweep. I am decidedly anti-clutter and have a love for clean lines, amazing color and pieces that speak to me. My husband, I am convinced, would live in a house decorated with pastels, Nagel prints and clutter if allowed. God I love mixed marriages. But I keep working with him to honor the stuff he has that is important to him. One thing you guys never talk about is how much of a slow experience that can be. But I appreciate your guidance none the less.

Thank you! Brooke

Stephanie said...

I too love stuff and I agree-editing is KEY! You have a wonderful blog.

Whispering Pine Cottage said...

Its taken me a while to come back to Modern. Along time ago in the 50s my parents loved modern,my Dad was an artist and photographer and we had and Eames chair and an enlarger in our living room, so for along time I hated it! You are helping me at least appreciate it, after a lifetime of clutter. I have to admit the clean lines are very restful. I love the Taschen Press series! Thanks again Angelo, Angie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response. Have an amazing weekend!

Jessie

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

Your timing is impeccable. "STUFF" has been on my mind lately. I really enjoy the cleaner, simpler lines of today's designs, but I'm hampered with the memories and collections of the past. Looks like we have a relocation coming up for our family and I'm anxious to have a "do-over" to a fresher look. I guess a little comfort "stuff" isn't a bad thing. :)

imjacobsmom said...

Well put, I love stuff too. And that's too bad. It's hard to edit. I also have to force myself to change things up. I get comfortable with the way things are placed. I don't realize sometimes how long I leave things in their place until maybe I look back a photo and see it in the background..... Robyn

JuJu said...

I love this. I am so involved with my stuff and want to live a much more streamlined lifestyle. Edit. Edit. Edit. You are correct. You & your blog rock, hard!

lvroftiques said...

Ooohh that first picture made my heart skip a beat! What beautiful details! I also wish I could be a less is more person...and Lordy know's I've tried! But for me it's just not meant to be *sighs* No sooner do I declutter a room.... only to find another wonderful somethin' somethin' to fill it up with again! Durn it!*winks* Vanna

Chandra said...

I want everything in all these photos! AND, I want your chair and love seat that you have posted! I don't even want to see the rest of your furniture line from fear of buying too much.

Curse you and your good taste!!!! LOL!
Have a great weekend, Char.

mrsben said...

Angelo, re your fondness of 'stuff'. Oh, I doubt if you are alone on this one.

If it is any consolation, North Americans for generations have been accused of being materialistic in nature .....or more politely 'of having too much stuff'. As I am a big fan of 'less is more' I must admit, there are perks of having a large basement to accommodate the overflow.
SMILES -Brenda-

OCDesigner ~Athella said...

I like that...."honor the stuff that you love" ~Athella

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