Unclutter Your House ? Lessons from Pilgrims

By the time this blog is written, another seemingly irrelevant blog has raised some criticism at twitter. The Daily System from Pottery Barn looks dizzy and complicated not to mention it is also expensive. The point here is not about its design or price, but to use it as an example of uncluttering the house seems lack of logic. Unclutterring can hardly be achieved by adding another system on top of what has existed: The wall-attached daily system, by uncluterring items from drawers or tables, makes a declaration of modern clutter on the kitchen wall. As furniturlgirl (Alison Heath) on twitter has said: Products do not make for an uncluttered home. Uncluttering does. True, buying an antique furniture is still buying product, not uncluttering. But there is a big difference. Although cupboards or chair tables do not have the modern sleekness or fresh summer colors, they possess the virtues of what Pottery Barn lacks: the enduring value and permanence symbolism. By choosing enduring furniture, we are essentially committed to filter what can fit in and what cannot and make small adjustment around things stable and treasured, thus limiting ourself from impetuous shopping for "uncluttering" system. [read more...]

Period Rooms at Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace

There are three types of historic homes. The first is a historic home without historic furnishings, or without furnishings original to the house. The second is a historic home filled with the furnishings that were there when the original or notable owner lived there. The third is perhaps the most rare, historic furnishings that relate … Continue reading Period Rooms at Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace

Class notes from “Rethinking Period Rooms”, a series of lectures at BMA — 2. The Evolution of Chairs

The most interesting thing in the study of objects is that not only the styles inevitably change, but also the notions of what that particular object means to people have changed in a dramatic way. The rarity of fabrics in the 17th century made its presentation and preservation (such as linen press or kas) the … Continue reading Class notes from “Rethinking Period Rooms”, a series of lectures at BMA — 2. The Evolution of Chairs

Class notes from “Rethinking Period Rooms”, a series of lectures at BMA — 1. The Birth

Ironically, the American Period Rooms now displayed and treasured in the major art museums were born with little anticipation of being appreciated in themselves as art. Yet, even the notion that the period room was introduced as backdrop for displaying antique objects is not totally correct. In most cases, the silent rooms, dimly lit, cannot … Continue reading Class notes from “Rethinking Period Rooms”, a series of lectures at BMA — 1. The Birth