The difference between OK and outstanding

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I continue to be fascinated by what in life moves me, what is different about homes and experiences that feel special. I came across the following riff that struck me:

From DeWitt Cheng, freelance art writer and critic, Bay Area, CA:

“ Jorge Luis Borges wrote,

‘Music, states of happiness, mythology, faces molded by time, certain twilights and certain spaces– all these are trying to tell us something, or have told us something we should not have missed, or are about to tell us something; that imminence of a revelation that is not produced is, perhaps, the aesthetic reality.’

… Borges’s tentative manifesto makes a good starting point– as long as we don’t succumb to mystical mush. Good visual art looks stunningly right and, in retrospect, obvious, or inevitable– yet it’s also continually surprising. It is a powerful paradox. How can someone have possibly made this? How in the world could it not have been made? “

This gets close to my own experience when I come up with designs for home restoration that feel right.  There is some mysterious sense of an ‘aesthetic reality’ that emerges, where the best of the original home and modern additions feel at one with each other. And the final design had never been immediately obvious.

Below is the traditional before layout of our dining room toward the kitchen. We knew we wanted to open up the wall between the two, but what took time was sorting out the details. Like how big of an opening, what sort of counter top, lighting etc. The sweet move we had never done before was adding the open shelves of oak to match the countertop. They add that unique touch that also adds cookbook storage, a sense of separation between the two spaces while still having an intimate feel. There also is more light and space with open shelves versus more traditional closed back shelving. I now look for most any opportunity to utilize this fresh design idea in new ways.


2018-02-23 14.15.52

From our perspective, what we have created feels profoundly different than the state of the home when we bought it. Yet the bones of the original home we did not change. Taking whatever time and consideration is needed to explore possibilities until a solution feels right is a quality that feels invaluable in creative projects. Both qualities that we can mistakenly think are in short supply these days.

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