Why Girls And Their Girls Love (Being Tortured By) Great Design

by Becky on April 5, 2013 · 4 comments

in Design, Travel


So last summer, the boys in our family headed off to the torture museum in Rothenburg, ob der Tauber, Germany.  No, really:  the museum featured instruments of torture throughout the centuries, and you would have thought that Christmas had come early or something, the idea of being an eyewitness to such gruesomeness was such an exciting prospect for the males in our family.  Me and the Eleven O’Clock Girls, we walked the streets and exclaimed over the architecture.

The girls in this clan love (did I say love?) to talk about design, a category that for us includes everything from architecture to textiles to furniture. Set us down in the middle of a European city, and we will exclaim over design–exteriors, interiors, stuff to sit on, lie on, stick on your walls, make your cooking tasks easier, reflect your tastes, speak to your soul. Typical dialogue when an Object To Be Admired comes into view. Me: “No. Way. Look. At. That.” Either of the girls: “Oh my gosh. Oh. My. Gosh.” Clearly, we need a course in How To Talk Appropriately About Great Design And Everything It Encompasses. In the meantime, we stay busy, looking, pointing, swooning, chattering, all the while sounding exactly like we’re from the San Fernando Valley (you gotta be a Californian to disrespect your fellow Californians).

Recently, I saw a painted wood floor in the back room of a boutique. Perhaps I should mention that painted wood floors totally do it for me. They excite me as much as the prospect of an afternoon imagining centuries of torture excited three cavemen I know well. Picture it: a black and white ‘area rug’ stenciled onto an unfinished wood floor. Design lovers, are you feeling it? One of the petals was with me at the time. She smiled indulgently when I pointed it out to her, dutifully respecting the raptures to which I was temporarily surrendering.

My point: me and the girls, we’re especially us when we’re deep in a Design Moment, if you know what I mean. Some people base jump from towers in Dubai for excitement. The Eleven O’Clock Gals, all they need are grand facades, vintage European linens, and reimagined wood floors. We’ve got those, we’re chatting it up! (While the boys are happily considering the virtues of nifty things that pull people limb from limb.)

(Photo of a favorite street in Montpellier, France, taken by Miss Lavender!)

Jen April 8, 2013 at 12:48 am

I love this story! I can actually see the three of you ohhing over some great design and deciding how to make it work in your home. Big hugs!

Becky April 9, 2013 at 11:29 am

Jen, you ought to remember Rothenburg! That’s where you found that fabulous tea set for Miss Betsy (unless my memory mistakes me). Wasn’t that an amazing little place? Hugs back! And besitos, of course.

Karen L April 9, 2013 at 9:14 am

You are speaking to my heart. Design, yes! My biggest struggle is that I adore so many different styles that I have a hard time really committing to one in my own home. To be able to get inspired in Europe… a dream. Beautiful picture – it’s absolutely gorgeous. My husband lived in Marseilles for a time, and we were able to visit years and years ago. Love it!

Becky April 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

Why, Miss Karen! I know exactly what you mean about loving so many different styles that you can’t commit to one in your own home. Plus, I inherited a bunch of furniture that was my mother’s, and I keep wondering about the best way to integrate it. What intrigues me are some of these European homes whose very oldness would seem to make them a nice fit for a family with kids. In some of the old towns we’ve explored in Catalunya, younger people are moving back, embracing the surfaces and patinas that go with all that age, and creating really cool places to live with kids. Of all the styles that speak to you, is there one that seems to get your heart racing? I’d love to know. xxx (an extra besito)

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