Ilse Crawford

“The senses are about being present in our bodies in time and space. Spaces that engage physically literally around us, slow us down and put our over-active, over-stimulated minds in their proper place.  They help us focus on the moment.  They make us more aware of our surroundings.  In short they enhance life.  They improve our well being.”

A frame of life p.175

Sometimes you have people bounce in and out of your life at various times.  I first learnt of Ilse Crawfordwhen I was in my late teens.  For some reason Elle Decoration in the 90’s meant a world of possibilities for a small town girl like myself.  At the time Ilse was the editor.  I subscribed for years and then moved on to other things just as Ilse did.  A couple of books followed for Ilse and the day dream of having your own space to decorate continued for me.  I lived in a number of flats and made desperate attempts to make them feel homely and my own.  Finally home ownership arrived and I have enjoyed putting our stamp on our house.

Last week I finally finished reading A frame of life.  I brought it last year for my birthday and to say I am a dipper when it comes to reading is understatement.  I have discovered I learn more when I read a bit here and there.  I am slow and I take my time to do what I call marinate on ideas I read about. So what started as a slow read became a bit of a gallop as I become absorbed in the ideas expressed in this book.

“I find truth is better and definitely stranger than fiction, no question.  It is far more interesting & I think you can learn more by studying one, two or three individuals, in all their eccentricities and then building a world around them than by looking at an abstract idea of people.  A case study of an individual is always more revealing.  My belief is that we need to prioritise the human experience.”  

A frame of life p.165

I had thought maybe being an interior designer when I was younger might have been my jam but felt uncomfortable with the idea of just making thing pretty.  This book outlines ideas and thoughts that have come from years of working in a manner which focuses more how someone lives, spends time and feels in a space.  A highly personal approach to interiors rather than concern about the latest trend in wallpapers.  I really like this approach.  It is something I have to a point tried to do in our house but now after reading this book want to think about more.  It seems to fit with the slow evolution of a house you have brought to making it your home.  I like the idea that working on an interior is something that takes time as you get to know your space, the history of the place and how you fit into it.

Cheatsheet is available in the form of a Netflix episode of Abstract which is a pretty darn cool series.


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