Love at First House
Love at First HouseNovember 24, 2008
Let’s just say that I knew the Virginia house I grew up in was different. [pictured above]
It was different because it was in the middle of town and there were no other children around, except my older brother and younger sister, and the house sufficed as our playground.
It was different because my mother, an interior designer, had a shop on the first floor and customers were always coming and going. Even the basement was part of her quirky creative factory, with its drapery workroom, racks of fabric memos, and library of wallpaper books.
And it was different because it was old and big and rambling, full of secret passageways, and flanked by what I called “the secret garden,” an addition of my father’s that consisted of a hand-laid brick wall, private grove of Japanese cherry trees, and big beds of flowers.
It was, to a very curious and romantic little girl, paradise.
There have been others, too, most recently a cottage in Birmingham, Alabama, my very first grown-up house, and one that I revived, bit by bit. [pictured below]
I have spent my life obsessed with houses and the beautiful things that go in them. Not for the false glamour of having “things”, but for the art and story behind the homes—the designers and the craftsmen and the ingenuity of it.
That’s probably why, after UVA, I ended up working for Cottage Living magazine and why I’m on to a new adventure here at Garden & Gun in Charleston, South Carolina.
I hope to use Belle Décor to post bits about the best of design—from fabric to shops to architecture—with the hope that you’ll stop by and share discoveries of your own.