Saturday, June 22, 2013


Gone on vacation.  At least, my mind has.

The tropical islands have been my inspiration for a new design project.  But contrary to an idyllic retreat, the past few weeks have resembled typhoon season.  Tossed sketches overflow in the waste bin.  GPS routes trace a maelstrom.  Unattended laundry floods the hamper.  Even my neglected hair was a tsunami of overgrown layers.  (That is, until yesterday, when I could stand it no longer and took to the scissors.)

Inspiration: island living
I never dared sparkly, blue toes before but dreaming of turquoise waters spurred me on!

In other words, it's been great fun!  I love creative whirlwinds.  And the tempest is primarily caused by my deadline -- next month's vacation.  Looking so forward to seeing family and friends in the island archipelago we call home.  Like I said, my mind is already there.

Selecting possible materials for the bathroom remodel:
Pebbles, glass mosaics, and textured porcelain tiles.

Ahh, you can take the girl out of the tropics but you can't take the tropics out of the girl.  All my design visions begin with clean, modern lines.  But often, my Asian sense of the organic seeps in to soften the edges.  Perhaps that's why thoughts of pebbles and stones and a hint of turquoise waters have trickled into this re-modeling job.  

Nature is barely kept outdoors here, so it's made sense to continue the theme indoors.  And I know I'll be scouring the woods outside to find just the right bare branches to lean against the tiles.

A willowy Peppertree presents swaying branches
outside the two bathroom windows

Would you call that Modern Exotic?  Or Contemporary wabi-sabi?

At home by the trees and water.
I was running around town in 95-degree heat!

Either way, shouldn't we all design with our roots in mind?  Or at least, reflect who we are in our surroundings? Otherwise, there's no context or connection.  Just like purchasing some mass produced object from a Mall.

Last week, visiting friends were asking about objects in the house, from furniture to daily wares.  I shared how most have a personal meaning -- picked up from our travels, passed down through family, created by a friend, and so on.  I savor an everyday life infused with memories and sensations.  And, whenever anyone asks about something, there's usually a story to tell ...

What materials do you like to surround yourself with?


An aside:  For the young ones who think Mathematics has no bearing on daily life, think again.  Euclidean Geometry is profound.  It's the best way to calculate if a round tub fits in a corner, or if an oval one can rest diagonally across it.  Both calculations for this project yielded "no"!


  1. I envy anyone who can surround themselves with things they know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. Or items which all have a story, as you describe. This to me would be the ideal way to live. And I try and try... and succeed for short periods. Then after a while I am silted under with papers, letters, amusing little objects I don't have any room for, little gifts or cards from friends, books I mean to read, things that are just a little bit broken and I would like to fix... and then I am on the slippery slope again.

    The other thing that I'm trying to deal with, is that when I get a vision of how something should look, it is usually more expensive than buying from the mall - often MUCH more. I can actually afford it, usually, but if I spend the money on it, I start criticising myself for being extravagant, buying fancy tiles when people are starving to death, etc. And then I don't really like what I have bought nearly as much as I did when I was fantasising about how great it would be to have it.

    Despite this our home looks reasonably nice - so long as I get the chance to tidy up.

  2. Great post, I think we can't help but design with our roots in mind, even if only unconsciously, they shape how we see the world. Loving your blue nail varnish!

  3. Thank you, Ladies.

    Jenny, perhaps I failed to mention that our home is completely a jumble of mismatched objects, furnishings, etc. Eclectic doesn't even begin to describe it. And my collection of broken things to be fixed never seems to diminish in size. If it makes you feel any better, just today, my husband said of my home office, "Your room is a mess!" I have a feeling your home is beautiful and wonderfully interesting in every direction. :)

  4. My husband and I are from two very different parts of the world and we both are big in our personalities but quiet at the same time, if that makes sense. Our home is pretty empty but we are usually focused on our ongoing art projects. Sometimes I wish we had more Stuff, but usually this is just right the way it is. I love your visuals of the organics - and your blue polish!

  5. ..Or as I always say, once an island girl, always an island girl. :)
    Materials I enjoy stone, wood, concrete, steel.. I love your options for the remodeling project!
    To answer your question, what are Brazilian ladies wearing at the beach: The few I saw at or near the beach were dressed in boots, leggings or jeans, jacket - same as in town.

  6. Maybe we simply can't help reflecting who we are in our surroundings. Funny, I was musing on what the things in our homes say about us in my most recent post. I hanker after a more streamlined, less cluttered room of my own, but find it hard to let go of those things that carry family stories in particular. My excuse is that I have a flat's worth of contents in my room - and that I'm just waiting to live in a flat where everything would find a breathing space!
    What a great project to be consumed by. Mmm, glass mosaic and pebbles - a perfect water (and light on water) meets stone synthesis.

  7. Dreaming of being on an island right now!

  8. I think even often subconsciously we always tend to grab bits of inspiration from our culture, surroundings, and where we've travelled. I know that I do even when I am not trying to. I love your potential materials for the remodel. I'm hoping to grab a good ticket to paradise very soon. I miss the beach! :) /Madison

  9. I firstly thought that the wonderful image of your bathroom window was a batik panel how wonderful that it is naturally occurring. I love clean line and open space in my home. Also dreaming of our holiday next month. Xxxx


Dear Fellow Aesthetes, I love hearing your thoughts. I think the other readers find them valuable too! Much love xxx

You May Also Like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...