Home décor follows the seasons. There’s a reason for that. In the natural world, new plant life emerges in spring, grows, and then dies off in fall. Regardless of whether a person has a real interest in being outdoors, our lives follow the cycle of the seasons by default- just consider our shopping habits- end of summer school clothes, holiday gifts and who doesn’t need a new bag come spring?
Having been raised in the northeast, it was always a mystery to me how people could really celebrate Christmas in southern California. No snow, no cold, no overcoats or mittens. (For many of us, inclement weather is closely associated with that holiday) Places like LA or Hawaii indulge in glorious warmth and sun all year round obliged to see more than their fair share of convertibles, sleeveless tops and endless summer activities. Either way, we’re all dramatically affected by nature.
I’m crazy about plants and flowers outside in the garden and inside the house. Here in Connecticut, we’re still living indoors so it’s that time of year when I start shooting things like the last rose of Valentine’s Day, or the clippings from an indoor plant thrown outside one winter’s day. Nature has a way of making itself beautiful in the eye of the camera regardless of age or subject.
Historically, many artists have reveled in creating imagery drawn from the out of doors. Maybe there’s something comforting in the work because the subject matter is familiar to us. No explanation needed because we’re immersed in it every day.
Van Gogh was an artist from the Netherlands who lived in the mid 1800’s and whose art is called post Impressionist. Impressionism was a 19th century art movement of French origin that embraced the outdoors, and with it beautiful lighting and a sunny color palette. Some of those artists include Monet, Degas, and Pissarro. Incidentally, the Impressionists were considered rebels in their time as they rejected much of the official somewhat staid, government-sanctioned art of the period in favor of creating their own personal, often sensory impressions of the world around them. There are many reasons why the impressionist sensibilities have remained so important a part of our culture. I thought this video of Van Gogh was really well done- if you know any of his work, you’ll probably recognize some of the images.
Everybody knows what it’s like to walk into a store and immediately gravitate to something. Personal attractions often propel us forward- it’s how we move through life. Hopefully, you’re fortunate as I am to live with someone who, although very different, responds in similar fashion as I do to room design, layout and colors. We gutted and re-furbished our house one year after we got married. We learned a lot. If you can communicate openly, it’s a really good way to grow together- grappling with the physical space you make a home. In truth (perhaps mirroring the life of Van Gogh) it wasn’t always a bed of roses.
My home décor designs will always express a love of outdoors. People have sometimes asked, why florals, isn’t that limiting? How could anyone be limited by nature? Quite the contrary, it’s a haven for those of us inclined to lose ourselves in a quiet garden.
Do you not feel this every spring when good weather really hits? The First Day of My Life, Conor Oberst, a singer-songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska. This may be a love song but I get the same sensation as plants start coming up and warm air runs through the gardens. Thanks to my son Dan for the song.
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