People with personal style express themselves in all that they do, particularly in their manner of dress and decoration of their home.
Personal style is a topic of interest for me. I love to read books on the subject. Two of my favorites are I Love Your Style and the newly released Always Pack a Party Dress, both by Amanda Brooks. Reading Brook’s latest book reminded me of the similar principles of stylish people and stylish homes.
Being unique often means being understated and incorporating the unrecognizable.
Long before the time of Pinterest, I, as a teenager and beyond, kept notebooks with pictures of stylish people and stylish homes. Those that were most unique were my favorite. Artists, defined as fine artists, stylists, photographers, and the like, consistently fill my pages. These people always see things differently and never want to look like anyone else, be it in their style of dress or the design of their homes. Usually when seeing an artist, you see the person more than the clothes. They would not likely choose a dress that screams a certain designer or if they did they would alter it or accessorize it in a way that makes it their own, looking like themselves and not a designer spokesperson. This habit transcends to their home as well. When seeing their home, you don’t recognize furnishings as being from a certain company. If something is recognizable, it doesn’t jump out but rather is seen secondarily.
Two of my favorite examples of original interiors belong to equally original people.
My cousin Jan Barboglio is endlessly innovative. She started a line of clothing with her sister, my aunt Cristina Lynch. The line began as a line of all white cotton clothing inspired by their native Mexico. The line grew and expanded to include colors and formal attire. Although successful, they closed the company so Cristina could be home with her young children. Jan went on to design a line of iron home accessories made in México. This successful company features table top items such as hammered chargers to furniture pieces of large mirrors and beds.
Jan’s home was featured in the now extinct but much beloved, by myself, Metropolitan Home in 1989. Above is the living room. When people walk into Jan’s home, the reaction is similar. They stand frozen, mouth hanging open, looking around the space with wonder. Her house sets a unique mood. I don’t think anyone could be inside without being affected. At the time of this photo shoot, her ever-changing house was extremely white. It is still largely white, but now her dark iron pieces are a prominent feature.
The sitting room seen above is my favorite room. The simple banquette and few accessories make for a stark but intriguing environment. At a later point, this tray table held a larger metal bowl that was home to a goldfish. The fish met an untimely death being consumed by one of Jan’s young daughters. The bowl remained dry and empty for some time afterwards except for a rock sitting inside. Jan has a way of styling unlike anyone else. I never tire of seeing her latest creation.
Here is a picture of stylish Jan with her goldfish-eating daughter, Pilar.
Another intriguing home, that unfortunately I never had the pleasure of visiting is that of the late photographer, Deborah Turberville. This home resides in San Miguel de Allende, México. I first became aware of it from seeing a glimpse of its Moorish arches in Vogue or some other magazine. Once her book, Casa No Name, came out, I was able to see some of the interior.
The painterly blue walls and large santos hanging over the bed are certainly memorable.
The photos in Casa No Name will frustrate someone who is looking for straightforward magazine-like interior photos. They are in her typical style – blurry and brooding. They convey a mood, but not necessarily much clarity of the specific features which interior design enthusiasts crave. I highly recommend the book however. It is a unique creation with her handwritten pages, interesting stories, and sensual photographs.
I find México to be a very romantic country. Turbeville certainly creates that feeling within this bedroom.
The irreplacable Deborah Turbeville.
Casa V can help you develop your home’s personal style.