Thursday, May 14, 2009

Appreciation of the imperfect

I'm very excited that Atlanta Bartlett's latest book, Easy Elegance is now available. I can't wait to get down to the bookshop and check it out. I have two of her other books - The Relaxed Home and At Home with White, and I'm sure this one is just as beautiful and inspiring.

To promote the release of her book, the publisher, Ryland, Peters and Small (who have cornered the market in beautiful books on interiors) has an interview with Atlanta on their website.

Atlanta has some great advice in her interview, so I thought I would reprint some of it here - the bits that most clicked with me.

What are your three tips for easy elegance on a budget?

1. Make do and mend! Most things you would normally throw away can be re-invented to create something useful. For instance old jumpers can be transformed into charming cushion covers, single stem flowers look stunning in old milk bottles and even a rusty old garden table could find a new lease of life as a bedside table. I once photographed a charming apartment in Paris where the parquet floor had sustained terrible damage. Instead of ripping it up and replacing it the owners repaired all the holes with little patches of tin which they nailed down. The finished result was a floor that breathed life and individuality whilst also being preserved to serve another generation.

2. Buy old instead of new where possible. Why cut down another tree to make a new wardrobe when you can buy a perfectly good second hand one instead that is well made, looks great and costs less?

3. You don’t have to fill your home with expensive objects, a few really well chosen items can go a long way. Mix more costly items, like an antique mirror, with utilitarian everyday objects, like a jar full of balls of string or pebbles, to create a look that is individual, stylish and of course less costly.

Atlanta goes on to say "The overriding message of Easy Elegance is be true to yourself......But Easy Elegance is also about cutting down on consumerism , appreciation of the imperfect and good functional design, all of which, I think, can be applied to any area of our lives".

I love the pared-down, simple elegant style that Atlanta Bartlett has perfected so well. I picked out some of my favourite images from her website to go with this post, all of which are from Atlanta's home. This looks like a home where you could slip off your shoes and live the good life!
Images Atanta Bartlett Interview Ryland, Peters and Small
all images are copyright © Ryland Peters & Small
Best wishes,


Leigh said...

I bought Easy Elegance a few weeks ago - you'll love it!

ness lockyer said...

I must have every image from her site saved!!! Love them to get the book, thanks for the tip off!
Ness xx

Sarah Arkanoff said...

I love the part about reusing what you have. It's so important! Great post!

Caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

what a great interview, Catherine! so true and inspiring! thanks for sharing!

sealaura said...

dear Catherine,
what a great interview and wordsof wisdom. I like the idea of appreciating the imperfect and the reminder for reusing and repurposing "older"items.

Just what I needed to start my day of tidying with. merci.

Daniella said...

omg! i'm going to have to look for that book. i love 'at home with white' and that publisher! sometimes I look at bookshelves searching only for the publisher to see what other pretty books they have out. lol. thanks for sharing! you have a gorgeous blog btw!

vicki archer said...

Such great and practical advice - I would like to read this book, xv.

Carol said...

I could not agree more. Beautiful.
I must check out that book, I have At Home With White, looking through the pages always gives me a new idea every time.
The three tips are the best/

Blair said...

OH, wow! I absolutely need to get my hands on this book! Sounds just wonderful.

Brenda said...

Oh yes, I love reinventing!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Catherine,

Sounds like a lovely book and will see if I can get a copy.
She has shared some wonderful advice and inspiring pictures.

Enjoy your weekend

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Thanks for the tip. I can't wait to see her new book. Atlanta's work is always so inspiring.

ana said...

I love your blog

My name is PJ. said...

Those images allow me to feel really fresh air on a summer morning. Thanks for letting us know about the book!

Millie said...

Catherine, I love her take on reinventing 'stuff'. Note to self -take this good advice & quickly!
Millie ^_^

mondo cherry said...

I had this book on my Mother's Day list, but got breakfast in bed instead!! Oh well, just need to find an excuse to buy it for myself...
Clare x

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