Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Imperfection and contrasts

I love clean-cut, minimal interiors. There is something with it that I’m instantly attracted to. It pleases my eyes as I flip through the pages of glossy interior design magazines and coffee table books. On the one hand the interiors are elegant in a glamorous, high class, expensive way. There are shiny objects, fluffy fur and champagne galore. On the other hand these interiors can be elegant in an understated, subtle, back to nature way. Large white surfaces add a backdrop to wood textures, woollen blankets and an otherwise muted colour scheme.

As much as I love the look of these clean-cut, minimal interiors I could never live like that. Mind you, I’m an organized, tidy, champagne loving girl, so it’s not that I would make a complete chaos with my presence. But I think that just me being in a scene like that, would make me feel like I ruined the perfect picture. Like being underdressed for a fancy cocktail party, if you understand what I mean.

I love homes where you never feel underdressed. Unpretentious yet style conscious homes where you can sip cocktails in your sweat pants. Well, no, hang on. That is taking it too far. Sweat pants is never ok unless you actually work out. Hanging around the house wearing sweat pants is just too cosy comfortable and so darn unsexy. There are other loose-fitting, comfortable alternatives available, like cotton dresses, linen pants or even a silk bathrobe.

Let’s get back to the cocktails. I’m not taking about the multicoloured, super sweet cocktails with little umbrellas in them. I guess they are ok if you have an itching sweet tooth and a love for kitschy food and drinks accessories. Think classic, timeless cocktails a la Dry Martini, Margarita, Mojito and Manhattan. I prefer a Cosmopolitan, with an extra dash of cranberry juice. Most of all I prefer champagne, but that is a whole different story.

The best place to enjoy the Cosmopolitan is sometimes dressed up at a fancy cocktail party and sometimes in a crowded big city bar, but most times it is best enjoyed on a Friday night in front of the fireplace in my second hand orange sofa, that was bought for 450 kr at Fretex, while resting my feet on the wooden, stained stool, that was rescued from an abandoned mountain cabin. I listen to anything from the Magnetic Fields and Zero 7 to Detroit Kobras and Violent Femmes, while I catch up on international lifestyle magazines with light coming from candles, IKEA and Artmide lamps.

I like to think that an unpretentious yet style conscious home is a place you can enjoy Cosmopolitans, champagne, beer, wine and other juices. It is the home of someone who has great interest in anything visually good, like arts, design, architecture, film, and also music and literature. This home is an eclectic yet elegant contrast of styles; old design classics, prototypes from up and coming design students, vintage grandma-like nick nack, walls filled with big print photographs and book shelves brimmed with films – classics and blockbusters. The CD collection is a nice mix of contemporary pop music, underground hip hop, experimental jazz, violin concertos and old school rock and RnB.

Pierre Bourdieu would have loved to do a field study in this imperfect mix of high culture and popular culture. Ugly stuff meets pretty stuff, and we love it.

This is a little something I wrote recently, for a new international magazine that unfortunately didn't hit the shelves after all.


  1. astrid, this is a great piece.
    I agree, my favourites are white surfaces with natural textures. I have been feeling like painting all our furniture and floors white for a while now... I can't paint the floors but we're lucky to have all white walls.

  2. yeah. astrid! i agree!!! eventhough io love those minimal, organized homedecor magazine pictures... i rather my own house has a relaxed atmosphere to it... i love it when my home looks like we live there and enjoy ourselves, rather than a magazine picture!
    unfortunately i've been moving homes a countries a lot lately so i always have to go with whatever there is in the place we are renting... but have managed to give our spaces the homely yet stylish look (the thing i love the most is the mix between old-vintage furniture and fabric mixed with modern objects, and so on... mixing styles).
    I really enjoy reading your posts

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. oh, I do agree so much with you... from interior design to non-sweet drinks to unsexy sweat pants! great article astrid - it speaks from my heart!


  5. thank you astrid, you speak from the bottom of my heart:D!

  6. i like what you wrote. :^)

    there are a lot of styles that can be labeled as this or that, but i think the ones i am drawn to (and what i have in my home) can't be labeled easily. it's in the mix.

  7. I am happy that I found your blog today, I am amazed at your excellent English. I think I will come by soon again. I like it here.



Related Posts with Thumbnails