“Be it ever so humble, home time is the best time. And because we cherish our dwellings, we have become a world of builders, home improvers and magazine clippers, longing to read about others like us.
Always on the lookout for new ways to work with awkward spaces or how to freshen up an existing scheme, I scour design books, magazines and Pinterest for ideas. I’m a clipper, pinner and curious about individuals who believe a house can never have too much personality.
“At Home With Town & Country” (Hearst Books, 2010) is Town & Country magazine’s first book dedicated to exterior and interior design. Its 384 pages explore the idea that houses, like people, are forever on the cusp of change and are records of a highly ephemeral art form.
People, who dwell in and with works of art are as varied as the homes they choose and the pieces they collect.
Eye for the exotic
Donghia, a self-described nomad, is an independent textile designer, home furnishings consultant and owner of a treasure trove of textiles.
Drawing on scrapbooks that combine written notes, sketches and photographs, she creates a flow of information that influences her designs while her design process informs what she collects.
“Everything I collect has patina, character and depth because you can see the human hand. I also believe things that are frayed and faded bring positive energy to a space.
Asked which one fabric she loves above all, Donghia answers without hesitation, “Linen. I love that it marks and wrinkles.”
The pair has a mutual affection of kitsch, from the pink Buddha coin bank to the Andy Warhol volcano print. And then there is Dora’s love of comfort, reflected in the modern-day opium den that is the library — with low Moroccan tables, a 19th century French chinoiserie daybed and velvet arm chairs.
“I have this rather Renaissance idea of collecting,” Manfredi said. “I think that things should be able to live together with certain rhyme and reason. The objects we love the most are the ones that represent different stages of our lives. One might say that not everything here goes together or is of top quality, but in my philosophy that’s not important. I think an obsessiveness about quality can be a bit stifling — it’s not heartwarming, and it also doesn’t tell you very much about the owner’s intellectual trip.”