welcome to the
LAST GREAT LONG POST OF THE PEANUT !!!
before the SHORT ones BEGIN.
why is she YELLING ???
i guess i’m a liar liar pants on fire.
i said i’d only be writing short posts from now on.
and yes. i’m supposed to be RESTING ~ BA HAHA HAHA
no worries mate.
i didn’t slave over this one lately. all i did now was push the publish button.
here’s the deal.
this post is a DINOSAUR. the last of its kind.
i had already written this in the first week of august and am just now posting it.
as a matter of fact . . . the marine was in the mountains when i wrote it. so it’s been awhile.
that’s why it’s fallen under the wire before my new endeavor to write SHORTER POSTS begins.
man! and after re~reading this thing . . . i have to agree with the marine.
it’s just way too LONG.
my new endeavor is spot on. i was getting out of hand for sure.
so glad i’ve made the new rule of writing shorter ones !!!
if you’re up to it . . . here goes. and good luck old bean.
oh. and you men . . . you are let off the hook TOTALLY on this one! bless you! LOL.
‘ the last long old post ‘ on the peanut. where is the violin music when you need it?
” HONEY! I”M HOME! “
great words aren’t they?
a magic word.
we all want a home.
rented or owned. it matters not. so long as it’s ours.
we make homes. out of twigs in trees . . . and mother earth as in little burrows . . .
or wood . . . or bricks and mortar . . . or even sometimes cardboard.
some of our homes float.
like leslie’s and little maisie’s! and someday soon . . . island dreamin’ julia’s and little lucky’s!
or like the captain’s. his sailboat floats of course in the paradise of the florida keys.
and it’s home. just ask kc and charlie if you wonder about it! LOL.
and speaking of the captain who is a confirmed minimalist in the truest sense ~
he may give you a different slant on it. after all . . . everything he owns fits into a back pack.
well. maybe that little back pack is his home! still. he has a home.
i looked up several definitions of the word ‘home’ and this is my favorite . . .
“be it ever so humble ~ it’s more than just a place. it’s also an idea. one where the heart is.”
a home. and i’m thinking it’s quite cozy inside.
someone’s unusual home. although one must simply not walk in one’s sleep.
ah. i just love that definition. let’s hear it again . . .
“be it ever so humble ~ it’s more than just a place. it’s also an idea. one where the heart is.”
isn’t that just IT ? that is grand. and it came to us from an unusual source . . .
the smithsonian institute!
well . . . since they collect all manner of things i suppose they would collect the best idea of home.
do you know this lady?
portrait of mrs parish by aaron schikler
that’s a lovely portrait of mrs parish and her little assistant ‘yummy’
sadly she’s no longer with us.
she lived from 1910 to 1994.
she was born in morristown new jersey.
she is the one and only . . . “sister parish.”
nope. not as in the dear catholic sister who spatted your hand with a ruler.
her older brother gave her that nickname in childhood and it stuck.
she was born dorothy may kinnicut.
but her whole life she was either called mrs parish or sister.
to the world of interior design . . . she was mrs parish. always.
actually she was mrs henry parish the II.
she grew up in comfort. on the east coast. not wildly rich but definitely comfortable.
and i didn’t know her PERSONALLY of course!
but if you’ve ever studied interior design . . .
you do know who sister parish was.
and even if you simply have discovered her on your own and enjoyed books about her . . .
you probably will always remember sister parish.
because whatever sister stood for was unique to the art at that time.
study her and you learn to trust your own “eye” and also feel it’s almost more of an instinct . . .
you simply just know when it “works!” it’s never about rules or trends.
it just is.
and it’s the neatest feeling! it’s hard to describe . . . it’s like everything just happily clicks.
and . . . on the other hand . . . you know when it doesn’t! LOL!
i learned about true design simply as balance of weight and color and design ‘units’
rather than the ‘focal point’ that so many designers of today cling to.
sister felt that a home was to be LIVED IN above all. and that few people stand or sit
in ONE area and look at the room from that one perspective ~ viewing if from one focal point !!!
instead . . .
you create units of beauty as your eyes move about the room.
and the whole units flow easily into one another
and create harmony.
a fascinating concept and one i’m so glad to have learned. it makes all the difference . . .
and a room looks lived in and loved. never “decorated.”
and it matters not if you have few things or many . . .
it’s that balance and beauty that counts.
courtesy: ny times article by william norwich
see this glorious room with the windows . . . trees . . . light . . . comfort . . . books?
well. she was born in that bed and she died in that bed.
not saying she lived in the exact same place all her life! but the bed stayed with her.
people used to do that. you only got rid of something if it broke down. but even then you
would more than likely get it repaired. nobody seems to do that anymore. it’s sent to the land fill!
but then those were the days of quality workmanship too. not shoddy ‘built~in’ obsolescence.
but i digress.
and i also see that we’re j-u-s-t maybe back to pontificating are we?
as least we’re recognizing it now old bean!
that room up there . . .
here’s another view of it just a bit closer.
it feels like such a happy room to me.
does it to you?
my bob would NOT have enjoyed sleeping in that bed.
LOLOL!! OH NO!!
our own rooms usually leaned more toward the masculine side i suppose.
i love the traditional look like this one above.
but then i also love clean finnish type rooms with lots of
white and nautral woods and rich texture. oh the choices! the choices!
but this is about sister parish and HER type of rooms.
i don’t think most men enjoy being ensconced in a lot of fabric hanging where they sleep.
unless they’re king henry and the castle is drafty. which is where bed hangings originated.
well. not just in king henry’s bedroom! but you know what i mean. they really were for warmth.
but definitely not bob’s style of living.
and i wanted him always to feel ‘at home’ and comfortable.
he always came first in my life. and he was definitely NOT an appreciator of the ruffled bed!
still . . . a richness . . . with texture . . . and color . . . can always be employed
and you can manage to please both sexes . . .
tricia rose comes to mind with her glorious natural linens. in earth and muted tones.
they are hand made and soft. and oh! so beautiful!
and economical since they’ll last almost a lifetime. well. a long long time anyway!
do check them out on her rough linen website. they are simply exquisite!!!
yes. the balance for the sexes can be done.
without feeling overwhelmed by fussiness or else too masculine.
we all know that old bean!
it’s just called give and take a little !
below is not a room of sister’s.
but it’s perhaps an example of how you could still capture what she stands for . . .
if you like her style ~ but not on such a grand scale as hers ~
and if you love her color and warmth and tradition ~ but lean more toward minimalism . . .
it does feels more simple and tailored . . .
and still very traditional ~ but lush with color and texture and patterns.
it’s quite a beautiful room really. simple. and elegant. but still comfortable looking.
and it’s based on her precepts for creating rooms for living.
and no sir!
it’s NOT pink! it’s a warm light melon hue ~ or the very lightest apricot perhaps.
but i notice it IS missing some books. please. just a few at least charlie brown! good grief! LOL.
. . . note the comfort . . . and yet the absence of clutter.
pillows for propping up to read a good book. room on the end table to hold your water or glasses.
nothing in excess but still very beautiful. a comfortable chair. a bench at the end of the bed
to hold robes . . . or perhaps to sit on while putting on your shoes?
nothing in excess. yet it gives the feeling of warmth. and coziness.
yup ! you can still have your tradition and cozy minimalism too. right there!
and i think sister might approve. well . . . just maybe!
i’m thinking it would be a bit too staid for sister.
a little too ‘ hotel room ‘ maybe? i would change the art work for starters. LOL.
you can always enjoy the comfort that is sister’s.
there are alternatives in any style.
and as many different ways as there are people.
isn’t that the happiness of it all old bean!
but for a morning type of room . . . and i do so love the morning time . . .
the light and vivacity of her very own room in her apartment in new york . . .
shown here again ~ is a lovely example of her traditional work.
this room is a happy riot of colors and mis-matched patterns
and yet it is fabulous.
at least those of us that love her think so!
and see the purposely mis-matched stripes in the carpet? that’s totally sister.
there’s an irreverence about her that you can’t deny. she never takes it seriously.
it’s supposed to be FUN!
and to the people she worked for ~ her very wealthy clients ~ she hopefully loosened their
starched backs and snooty noses just a little bit.
uh oh. pontification old bean. it just SNEAKS UP ON ME!!!
this is pure sister parish. she did that room. and she would stop me right there!
“my dear. you do not “DO” rooms!”
listen in to sister parish on the subject of “decorating a home”
” it is only my eye that has helped me. i am still hopeless with that thing called a scale ruler. i love color, but that comes very naturally to me. from the beginning i never followed trends. if i was aware of them i didn’t care, for i believed as i do now, that rooms should be timeless and very personal. but i certainly don’t have a “look!” just a mish mash of everything that somehow, by instinct, usually turns out to be a warm, imaginative “living room.” ~ sister
and by “living room” she of course meant . . . a room for LIVING!
whether it be the living room or bedroom or kitchen or porch.
that striped rug above is made entirely of inexpensive carpet samples !
see the humble quilt on the bed?
she was one of the very first if not THE first to use hand crafted livable art in fine rooms.
for a well made quilt is a work of art. is it not?
she even often used quilts as upholstery for sofas and chairs. so cozy !
as in . . . one of her own examples below . . .
you say . . . what pray tell is a supposedly born minimalist doing writing about a lady whose delight
in life was creating rooms that were full of light and texture and warmth and no small amount of clutter?
CLUTTER !!! YOU TAMMY ???
LOL! MOI’ ???
especially when here on the peanut i have continually force fed my posts with images of
my MOST FAVORITIST THING! as little jacob would say . . .
and he’ll be corrected out of that phrase soon enough.
but jacob and i are known for our exuberance about life! . . . and i love that he still says it . . . because it FITS!
and like the example below . . . well . . . yes . . .
usually it is my most favoritist way of living !
YES! that’s me old bean. it truly is. almost a little monk’s cell there.
simple. unadorned. save for the window that shares sunlight and rain . . . which are true art to me.
that to me is heaven. quiet beauty. soul satisfying beauty.
but i’m also a gemini.
oh i can see my marine rolling his eyes and patiently smiling from here.
and as i write this he’s with a group of people building a mountain hiking trail
in the high mountains of colorado!
you just gotta love that marine.
and . . .
he . . . being scientifically bent . . . casts aspersions on that ‘pseudo science nonsense.’
no. he’s too kind to me to call it that. but that’s what he’s thinking. and i know it.
he merely smiles.
well. i don’t care. i’m a gemini. and that means duel. and often multiple!
yet each is totally authentic. at least at the time! and they’re all me! all i ? crap. i hate grammar.
grammar is not my most favoritist thing.
gemini is the sign of the ‘twins’ and mercury of course. and i am both. authentic and mercurial!
and that explains how i love minimalism. as well as loving the gentle art of interior design.
i don’t really see them as incompatible at all!
it’s how i can especially love sister parish’s “eye” for creating beautiful comfortable light filled rooms.
and yet . . . the rooms of hers that i truly like are the ones she did for herself and her family.
the over~the~top ones she designed for her wealthy clients . . . well . . . not so much.
i find them MUCH too formal and opulent for my simple taste!
for their lifestyle however she was probably spot on.
so why do i like sister parish then?
it’s in “the bones” of her style.
what always comes through in her rooms is a sense of abandonment of rules!
the mixes she puts together. and her color. those are the things i like about her.
whether very dearly and very happily cluttered as some homes are . . . as most people’s are really . . .
i can truly appreciate them . . . even being a minimalist.
alas . . . but . . . as it were . . .
i would go claustrophobically nuts old bean to live there!!!
you know me well enough to know that! LOL.
yet visiting them in person . . . whether it’s my friends’ homes . . . or in books . . .
or in posts like these . . . i find them totally delightful!
i know. i’m not the norm. i am happily abby~normal.
i admit i believe in a way of life that is . . .
simply this . . .
having just enough of what you truly love and need.
yet . . . i still find that
sister’s rooms always seem to be rooms borne of comfort . . .
with wonderful order . . .
and most importantly . . . they’re always friendly. never rigid.
even the over~the~top ones i don’t care for. i think it’s the light in them that i must appreciate.
they all seem to have a wonderful light.
i love ALL beauty. wherever i find it.
it’s beauty that feeds our souls in this hard life i think.
whether in nature or in our homes. we need it like we need water to drink.
even the captain on his boat with nothing but his two furry ship mates and his back pack . . .
you know he couldn’t care less about how things ‘look’ or heaven forbid . . . would ever be decorated !!!
sorry. on this one i couldn’t find the source. but it’s so glorious and golden.
this one is the captain’s.
courtesy: captain fritter of the manatee fritters site ~ on my side bar ~
host and originator of this peanut blog.
or check him out directly from here . . . http://manateefritters.com
he is always capturing the beauty like this of the keys and sharing it on his own blog.
the sunsets above his floating home are among the most beautiful in this world.
yes. he definitely appreciates beauty.
i cannot but believe that we all do in one way or another!
then there are the artists among you!
even though not sister’s style . . . and yes i know. this is supposed to be a post about her. LOL.
but . . . allow me to digress.
i LOVE the ever~evolving and totally unique
. . . and very often . . . yet not necessarily always . . .
more bohemian lairs of true ARTISTS!
i find them fascinating and beautiful in their originality.
we have many friends here on the peanut that fall into that realm.
they’re as far flung as california along a water way ~ tricia rose
and to a southern state in a wooded valley ~ dewena
and to beautiful australia ~ vicki
and a glorious lake in ontario ~ cc girl
and the pine forests of oregon ~ elizabeth
and a picturesque village in florida ~ becky
and to the top of the world in norway ~ tracy
and there are so many others! but this post is already too long!
they’re always fresh and innovative and their rooms make it very clear . . .
an artist and a most creative person is in residence!
my vicki even painted a beautiful protective dragon surrounding an inner door.
the people who bought the house liked that dragon so much they wanted it to stay!
well. of course. they would. it was a very good and friendly dragon.
yes. i do love artists. they make merely living an art in itself.
you all know who you are! and the world delights in you
and your originality!
design was a first love for me. from as far back as i remember. YES! . . . EVEN most minimalist that i am.
a faulty explanation and a total paradox perhaps. but . . . still. the truth.
this is becoming way too much about me. it’s supposed to be about sister for pete’s sake.
why am i feeling i have to defend my love for design as well as my dearly loved minimalism?
i don’t even know old bean!
now here’s someone that knew her own mind.
we all know who this lovely lady was.
and if you’re a VERY young peanut follower and don’t recognize her . . .
she was an american first lady whose dear husband ~ the president ~ was assassinated in 1963.
and . . .
until their famous ‘falling out’ . . .
sister was commissioned by jacqueline kennedy to decorate rooms in the white house . . .
when she and president john f kennedy and their children were living there.
jackie was her own icon of taste and elegance. and i admired her very much.
but these two . . . jackie and sister . . . were two very strong personalities in their own right.
and sometimes that’s not a good mix. especially when one is ‘working’ for the other!
each lovely and talented lady had her own very strong opinions!
i believe sister at least managed to do the green room and the yellow oval room
and the bedrooms in the family quarters
before they forever parted ways.
the green room at the white house . . . circa 1962
the yellow oval room.
a cavernous room that required formality and utmost elegance. politics you know.
apparently you’ve gotta blow all the mover’s and faker’s socks off !!!
oh tammy. shhhh. where is your awed reverence?
BAH HAHA HAHA.
sorry. . . it left with snoopy.
yet some of sister’s familial touches can be seen. and she sneaked in a jolt of red for energy!
she made sure some comfy sofas appeared . . . along with all the Louis XIV and XVI.
way too leggy and formal for me ~
but for the necessary entertaining of the world’s politicians
and the truly historical importance of the white house . . .
no doubt appropriate i guess!
jacqueline loved all things french ~ and sister was duly instructed.
so you see that influence very much here.
in her own homes . . . not necessarily those of clients . . .
sister left to her own devices was more of the rumpled english country house feeling.
the one where centuries of dukes and earls and what~have~who’s have made
themselves totally at home among treasures from past centuries in historical homes of their forebears!
as in the duke of devonshire below.
cute little duke. napping in his cozy opulence !!!
but to him. it’s merely “home.” his VERY OLD family home. lol.
and that is the point of this post i guess.
it matters not whether you love lots of ‘stuff’ . . . though i will never fall into that category.
or . . .
if you live out of a happy simple back pack like the very minimalist captain . . .
the other end of the pendulum. which i will never fall into either . . . yet do not denounce!
i am a self described “cozy minimalist” i guess. i think it’s my own made~up phrase.
normally you wouldn’t think of the two together. but it’s entirely possible to achieve.
it embodies for me the wise words of another doyen of artistic living ~
mr william morris.
we’ve all heard his famous quote by now. and to me it is the most sensible.
” have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful
or believe to be beautiful.”
possible problem with that . . . LOLOL!
some people fall into the trap of thinking they have to have
EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING THEY BELIEVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL !!!
which results in a house FULL of ALWAYS MORE STUFF!
even though it’s very beautiful STUFF!!!!
the idea of morris just means to be selective in our love of beauty.
he says let a few things capture your heart. and know when it’s enough.
but of course that ‘enough’ is a such a personal thing.
it is your own life after all. to be lived the way you want to happily live it!
here’s another of sister parish’s own rooms below . . . not a client’s . . .
and then also one of hers that later mario buatta ~ who is supposed
to be a nephew of hers . . . decorated very much in her style while having made a name for himself.
point being . . . sister parish is STILL influencing the world of designers.
after all these years!
and she even ‘happened’ into it herself only by accident.
she decorated her own home and all her friends loved it and wanted her advice and help.
which she freely and happily gave.
then the great depression hit and she and henry fell on hard times.
sister ~ being of good strong yankee stock ~ took the bull by the horns and started
her own design firm.
then she joined with her friend and they were
parish ~ hadley.
they became world famous and the rest is history.
she is copied still in the year 2013 ~ and will no doubt live on.
her apartment on 960 fifth avenue.
this is a quintessential sister parish room. the beautiful dark walls. her own room. by sister parish.
she was a past master at using color. and mixing many patterns. combinations that work.
it’s about scale. and picking up various colors in each.
the dark walls seem to act as a background just as a painting would.
everything becomes more than it is when in that light. so beautifully done.
she also combined modern with antiquities. she melded both with ease.
and they became friends. nothing is too frou-frou ever in her own rooms.
men were as comfortable as women were in her home.
though she and i do differ extremely in a few ways!
i would prefer a bit sturdier side tables. less spindly legs maybe . . .
more husband and children friendly.
and i believe her bedrooms seemed to be more the boudoir of the lady.
she and i differ there also. i think a man appreciates sleeping and loving in a room
that isn’t dripping with TOTAL femininity!
and even though a lady . . .
i’m not so fond of beds that are shrouded and crowned with heavy draperies either.
but ~ ornate as they often were ~
always in sister’s rooms . . . the most important thing of all . . .
it’s a room that ‘evolves’ . . . nothing’s ever too matchy~matchy.
it’s not ‘placed’ as so many decorators do today. . . which results in more like showplaces than real homes.
you could always get a book and a cup of coffee and curl up in a comfortable spot in sister’s own rooms.
leave the paper on the floor. play a card game at a table. have wonderful quiet moments . . . or
laugh and talk with friends. a convenient table nearby to hold a drink or a treat.
the rooms she did were grand because the homes of her clients were huge and usually grand.
though she did not live on that scale herself. at least not until moving to 960.
she did have that beautiful apartment for years on 960 fifth avenue and it was quite large.
i think she lived there after henry died. he suffered long.
and she lost a dear son when he was only middle aged. so she knew great loss.
but she had an indomitable spirit!
most of her rooms were tall there at her apartment . . .
some were more opulent and formal like that one above.
and some not so much.
here’s one of her own rooms later in her life for example . . .
it looks kind of like a favorite old aunt’s room. and she WAS old by this time.
but in its own way it bursts with the youthful exuberance of color and life!
i freely admit . . . i would go quietly CRAZY in my minimalist soul if you made me live there.
but I might could live there. i would simply just have to make a FEW little changes. LOL!!! . . .
i’d have to get rid of all the puppy pillows and many of the extra pillows and dozens of knick knacks!
but the colors are wonderfully warm and stimulating. and it speaks of comfort and a real life.
. . . even just as it is . . . how i would have enjoyed a visit!
you just want to get a cup of cocoa and cozy up and listen to her stories.
and you know she had some!
she loved to gossip about the blue bloods and celebrities she served.
yet she never was mean spirited.
she just found them very funny and she shared her experiences with them.
she had a dry humor.
and . . .
she is still influencing today’s best designers.
her client’s rooms were done with draperies that were much too formal for my taste.
i’m not particularly fond of ormolus and swags and valences. i like simplicity.
but that’s just a personal preference. we each have our own old bean!
i prefer simple curtains or blinds or shutters . . . easily opened to allow for cool fresh air breezes
and to let in precious light.
but then . . . she did very grand homes and apartments usually. and the client was to be pleased.
i’m sure she must have obliged. they were the ‘client’ of course.
and some people’s lives are just more formal than the rest of us. or it’s more to their taste.
to me . . .
as i think it was to sister . . .
is the belief
that a room is for living first and foremost. for a life evolving . . .
just as the family is that’s living in it.
above . . . 960 fifth avenue. her apartment. after her death.
her own apartment here . . . re~done by her nephew mario buatta in her same sense of colorful fun.
formal? a little bit. but also nothing too~too precious. you can imagine friends relaxing and laughing.
and eating wonderful meals!
and why oh why do i like a black and white floor??? i just always have.
she loved white wicker. as do i.
i think of her when i see this painting.
and i’m sorry. it was in my archives and i didn’t get a source.
it looks like ‘crabtree’ along the side there. the artist perhaps.
below . . . in my own words . . .
is what i feel sister was really about.
” she became known for her homey cluttered traditionalism
and a passion for quilts and painted furniture.
she layered rooms with an irreverent delight.
combining chintz and tartan . . .
patterns of both tiny and large . . .
dark woods with light woods and even painted pieces and brass and glass!
antiques with modern pieces just for fun and exuberance . . .
all of it worked magically! her rooms were never boring!
it all worked because of her joy for life . . . the famous joie de vivre as the french say.
that joy was embedded ~ not in the ‘design’ of the room
but in its reason for being.”
this is one of my favorite books on this self taught master . . . sister parish.
written by family members who knew her best.
it’s really a biography rather than a picture book. though there are a few pictures in it.
but there are many others now. grand picture books of her work.
such as this one by martin wood
this one . . .
by susan bartlett crater and lisa cameron
she is loved throughout the design world.
as a matter of fact . . . that’s how this post came to be!
dewena and i were talking about our mutual regard for her.
and dewena suggested we each do a post on her and link to each other’s as a tribute.
i said it sounded like FUN! so here it is!
dewena’s beautiful blog can ALWAYS be found in my side bar ~ ‘across the way’
but for your convenience . . .
i’ll give you her address at the end of this post to make it easy for you to visit.
and YES!!! dear heaven. I’M ACTUALLY ALMOST TO THE END!
dewena will be doing a post on sister parish next spring or summer. and link back to this one.
which should be fun!
she has a great book on sister’s work . . . that shows lots of pictures from sister’s
‘ cottage in maine. ‘
that sounds SO lovely !!! cool maine.
and i’m sure she’ll share wonderful and sumptuous pictures of sister’s rooms on her post then!
sister . . .
we bid you farewell.
you were a character!
and this world needs true characters. you keep us on our toes
by living as your authentic selves. and helping us to laugh at ourselves.
sister . . . you operated in a very superficial realm in a very judgmental era . . .
everybody worried about what everybody else thought back then.
too silly in the extreme !
now thank heaven . . . i think not so much.
now it seems . . . anything goes! and maybe you helped that idea along.
at that point in time you were a breath of fresh air. you took their money for services rendered.
but you taught them in the end . . . it really doesn’t matter all that much.
it’s simply LIFE that’s important !
i know this is a bit out of my normal type of posts . . .
and i hope you’ve managed to slog through to the end!
it’s been lots of fun. thank you dewena for the suggestion of doing it.
don’t forget to visit dewena’s place even now. her blog is wonderful always!
til soon old bean!
and may you always feel cozily and happily at home!
first picture on post courtesy:anaknusantara.com