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Disavow Inauthentic Simplicity

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Late Fall Afternoon Sun / Charlottesville, VA / October 2005

One of my favorite sections of the paper is House & Home in the Thursday New York Times. This past week they did a story on Dan Ho who has written a book called Rescue From Domestic Perfection. I love his philosophy. He has "downsized" his life from a 1,200 square foot house to a rented apartment in Greenwich Village that is one-quarter that size and his message is basically that we don't need all the stuff that we're told we do. "At the core of his philosophy is the belief that our relentless attention to renovation and reorganizing, to building and rebuilding, distracts us from the more demanding work of becoming better partners, caretakers and friends. Style in Mr. Ho's view, is unstudied, capricious." (NYTimes, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2006, p. F1)

Some quotes from Mr. Ho:

  • Candles don't set a mood, people do.
  • Perfection is a cheap caricature of style.
  • Folding socks is a waste of time. Get rid of those you don't wear so you can find the ones you're looking for without resorting to solutions like drawer dividers.
  • Tableware is more stylish if it doesn't match. Mix family china with newer pieces.
  • If you have enough sheets towels and blankets to warrant an entire closet I can guarantee that you've missed some really good opportunities to do something else.

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