In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

A note to a client

I am cleaning out 19,000 emails (this is not an exaggeration. there are actually 19,000 emails, dating back to 2006 in my ancient AOL account) and I came across this note I wrote to a design client.. and I thought it was good advice then and now for anyone considering Major Furniture Purchases.

This guy found an expensive chair and ottoman he loved, but didn't move on it fast enough and it was lost forever. So this is what I told him:

"Keep this in mind: furniture, well made, classic and something you love, can be with you FOREVER. It's versatile, movable -- economizing is not necessarily the best option. Better to get something you love love love, and keep forever, than something you like and will toss out in a few years when you find the thing you really love.

"Be deliberate in your decorating, and decorate for the long term. You are old enough now (I presume) to be investing in longer-term pieces.

"I wouldn't recommend this approach to someone in his mid 20s. But 30s... now is the time to start building the life and look you want to have - from Craigslist or fancy stores; only buy things that scream out: MINE!

"I feel quite strongly about making your home a comfortable and accurate reflection of who you are. If your home is well decorated, with things that function well, are durable, classic and most of all loved by you for whatever reason - form, sentimentality _ your home will be not just a place between work and play, but a destination in itself. Like a turtle shell. :)

"ie, if you see a chair and ottoman you love again, buy it, then look for a companion. Patience in the furniture hunt is a virtue. Don't waste money on also-rans."

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