Someone forwarded me a link to a recent interview of Alexa Hampton in the NY Times. She said some very intriguing things that I’ve been thinking about more.
Here are some snippets:
Alexa says: “I heard someone say they hated the trend of making rooms look like hotel spaces, and I disagree. When I talk about having my bedroom and office feel like a hotel suite, what that translates into isn’t that it is impersonal and cold. It translates into, “I feel as though on holiday, catered to and taken care of.””
I fully agree with Ms. Hampton here. Great hotels always influence the way I view design projects. Every time I stay in one I want to package the feeling and reproduce it into something that can be experienced daily. We should feel indulged and transported in our own homes. The bones of a room should promote restfulness and create an air of transformation. There will be plenty of room for personal artifacts when this is done.
Alexa on modernism: “[Y]ou begin with modern in your youth because you can’t afford swags and jabots. You can afford a West Elm parsons table, which can look chic in your orange room with your geometric fill-in-the-blank. As you get money, you collect and get stuff. And stuff when it gets into critical mass needs a setting that embraces it, so things become more elaborate.”
Personally, I somewhat disagree. First, I think the overall trend in design is toward simplification. I always harp on this, but we live overly stimulating lives and so we need interiors to be a bit less present. Second, and on a related note, having a child for me has been motivation to peel back. I have been paring down at home so that all the stuff that accompanies having a child does not add to a feeling of chaos in my home.
Alexa on her socialite parents: “I am a homebody, while my mother and father were very social. It’s a different universe now — people don’t live the way that generation lived. Dinner parties? I don’t know a lot of people who throw those.”
A dinner party perfect dining room by designer Alexa Hampton.
I think what Ms. Hampton says is true. I also tend to be a homebody and rarely entertain anymore. But I LOVE dinner parties! I think we should start a movement to resurrect them. And redefine them so they fit the way we live today.
One small example from my life, we started a ritual of having Sunday brunch with my cousin and his kids. We take turns hosting, set a big table with china for adults and kiddie plates for our tots, and cook way too much food: omelets, pancakes, huevos rancheros, scones, banana bread, fruit salads, whatever seems fun. Then we engage in a few hours of eating and some playtime. And we always feel so happy and full of joy and food when we are done.
How are you redefining home and entertaining to fit the way we live today? Please share!