|Minimal to the Max: Stephanie Clayton takes us on a style journey at Odyssey Home.
Wear. Dwell. Live.
That's the subheading for my blog Odyssey Home- the "home" of personal style and design. I realize the name may give an impression that my blog is all about home decor, which I do feature, but truly the focus is on personal style in all areas. I started the blog in early 2009 as a way to visually document my outfits and, occasionally, home decor; and as a handy way to connect with similar-minded individuals.
I work in the visual arts and this means I am sensitive to aesthetics. I believe good taste is, or should be, consistent, whether in clothing, architecture, furnishings, or other areas in which style plays a role. It's about having a holistic approach, really. I have a tendency to reinvent myself, although now in my 40s I believe I have reached a point of consistency. That's the good thing about having been an adult for a while – you evolve into this person with tastes and tendencies honed by years of living, paying attention, and caring about what you put on your body and what you bring into your personal space. Hopefully things start to fall into place as you become discerning. Obviously there is more to life than personal adornment and home decor; but these things make life a little more beautiful and interesting.
It took getting older to fully grasp my admiration of and desire for simple elegance. Are we all this way? As we age, do we often feel compelled to eliminate the extraneous, the noisy bits, that create chaos? I do. I have – or rather, I am (ridding my life of the visual noise, that is). As an aside, an international relocation of epic proportions can help with this. I'm only slightly kidding. But seriously, it works.
My home style preferences include a mostly monochromatic palette, clean lines, interesting textures, and the use of natural and man made elements such as wood, metal, glass and concrete to create subtle contrasts. I like what is modern, minimal and light but there has to be a bit of weight, mystery and darkness. (Enter the “color” black.) The marriage of form and function...Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic...an almost brutal beauty – these hold great appeal. Architects I greatly admire are Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van der Rohe, Le Courbusier, Richard Neutra to name a few. I have finally grown to appreciate a well-designed ordinary ranch house, that ubiquitous mid-century humble abode which I once deemed boring and characterless. I very much like the modern, casual grandiosity (is there such a thing?) of Wright's Falling Water.
I am inspired by others who share my philosophy about design and aesthetics. Some are “of a certain age”, others not quite; yet all are mature bloggers well past the era of dorm room taste and Urban Outfitters decorating. Here are some of my picks for truly inspirational home design and interior style blogs:
|A Clean Well Lighted Place: Exploring the World of Minimalism via Annalessa Leino Karlsson
Kim and Jo, owners of Desire to Inspire, describe themselves as “interior design junkies” who are always in search of the perfect room. And can you believe they've never actually met in real life? My favorite posts are their Monday's Pets on Furniture in which readers submit photos of their pets lounging on furniture.
Chantal Spanicciati is an allied member of American Society of Interior Designers and the founder of Meta Interiors. Chantal states, “We are passionate about evolving space into functional artful environments through a sophisticated balance of color, textures, and streamlined proportions.”
Wabi-Sabi Style is dedicated to tranquility, natural simplicity and subtle elegance. On her blog, Lisbeth Williams states that she “loves simple, tranquil and harmonious spaces in tune with nature and our times.”
|Minimalism Sets Its Sights On Cozy. (Photos courtesy of Mo+Mo Living, Desire to Inspire, and Meta Interiors)
Edited by designer Michelle Wentworth, Mo+Mo Living Online is a visual haven for the modern minimal aesthete. Michelle defines Mo+Mo Living's ethos: “pare to what is essential, valued, and beautiful; revere simplicity, beauty, and order; purchase with consideration to aesthetics, sustainability, and quality; live with style, awareness, and eco-consciousness."
|Wabi-Sabi Style. (Photo Source)
Of course there are many other bloggers writing about home design who have inspired or left me in awe of their talent, energy and brilliant ideas – including these chic women, in their 40s and are as chic as it gets. Judy Aldridge of Atlantis Home has a showcase house which she often features. Think eclectic mix of retro glamor with a subtle Texas flavor. She also posts delicious vegetarian recipes, her unique and edgy personal style, international travel and vintage treasures. And let's not forget the shoes. “FF” of Faux Fucshia is a contemporary domestic goddess if there ever is one. She brings champagne style and Australian wit to the blogging world with a distinctive nod to the classics. Oh, and she never under-cushions.
For more personal style and decor inspiration be sure to add Odyssey Home to your blog reader.