Thursday, June 3, 2010

Best Sites for Room Porn

Like foodies, people who love their homes have favorite places to look for new ideas.  I've never been a Good Housekeeping kind of gal, but then people who market these kinds of things know that snobbery has always extended to our home environment, so there's no lack of fantasy rooms to stumble upon online. I don't think of myself as a homemaker and so have been surprised at how much I like to look at the cool things others have done, but as my friend Julia says, there's something to float everyone's boat.

One must be careful, or envy creeps in quickly.  The magazines and websites I like best don't make it seem like one must have a mansion to live a happy life.  It's the small spaces that intrigue me most anyway. What I love seeing are not homes that are "decorated" but that give the viewer insight into the life of those who inhabit the space.  Even if I could afford a decorator--out of the question--I'd never use one.  I can live with imperfection until I find the right thing on my own. My stuff is a combination of inherited antiques (none of them sufficiently valuable to finance my children's college educations with, in which case I'd quite likely part with them) and things I've picked up here and there.  I've got a couple of pretty nice etchings alongside framed art from the sale rack at Target. I found a lovely hall tree at antique/junk place in an older neighborhood near me, and there are a few furniture samples from my ex-husband's days in the business.  It's changed over the years and will continue to evolve as I do, but everything I have is meaningful to me. I make it a rule not to buy something just to fill a space. 

So, based on that, here are a few of my favorites:

Dwell has been one of my favorite publications since it launched over ten years ago, but I avoided it during my rental years because it made me long for a place that was mine.  Some urban, some rural, some big, some small.  But always, the house in here are those of people who do things their own way.  Wish I was half as cool as any of them. 

The New York Times real estate section has some great stuff if one is willing to look for it.  Not all NYC and not all palatial (this link is to a woman's apartment in an attic in Romania, for example) there are some really cool spaces here that typically show great use of little square footage.  For those of us who don't live there or in L.A. or London or Paris, the housing costs are sticker shock, but a great consolation for those of us living in the flyover states.   

When I first moved to Texas, my parents gave me a subscription to Canadian House & Home.  Delicious photographs, mostly of urban spaces or the cottages (what Canadians call lake houses) of those wealthy enough to have them.  Upscale and aspirational, but since it's Canadian these lucky owners seem to feel at least a little shy about their dwellings and their attendant trappings. 

Nestled In is a great blog that is, sadly, ended, but the beautiful photographs are still up for the time being.  It's based in Finland and the product of a couple of nesting women, who nest together, so it's definitely got a more feminine vibe, but it's a simple, thrown-together aesthetic a bit like my own. Best of all, there isn't a trace of chintz. Have a look while it's still alive. 

1 comment:

  1. Check out http://habituallychic.blogspot.com/ - she does beautiful work and profiles interesting women - highly recommend!

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