I’ve always had a knack for collecting and curating things, making little vignettes that draw you in and make you want more of the details and texture. In this new house, I had an entire wall void of furniture and so I found this giant Ikea shelf for just $75. It’s 72″ square, with all these lovely holes begging to be filled. But the challenge in this is to make each cubby a little unique, but not so much that the composition doesn’t also read as a whole.
Of course, I love my books; I have crates upon crates of anything and everything to read. Some are vintage volumes, like a 1940’s guide to typesetting. I have a 1950’s guide to sewing dresses. Others are New York Times bestsellers, books on spirituality, happiness and medicine and books in Spanish. Many of them were from my childhood. E.B. White, the Boxcar Children, and many others. Newer favorites are The Devil in the White City and The Seamstress: A Memoir of Survival by Sara Tuvel Bernstein and Robert Kolker’s Lost Girls. The books are both organized by color and subject, with color taking precedence. There’s something dignified about books. They make you seem well-read, well-traveled and worldly.
My very favorite objects are the white coral bookends on top, supporting navy leather-bound photo books. The books have cotton paper and little lines where you can include a caption or description. You’ll also notice my collection of antique cameras. The oldest is the Kodak Eastman 1929 vest pocket camera with the bellows (top right). Next to it is a camera that has a detachable silver flash that unfurls like flower petals and holds and blur flash bulb. The one in the top left , weighting the books is a Brownie. The glass fish on the top left came from Puerto Rico and the shells came from Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Wrightsville Beach, NC. The cherry box holds the cremains of a loved, long-lost dachshund and the sea grass cube holds knitting needles. Stacey’s beloved old fire extinguisher is near the center, the brass now tarnished and scratched with years of abuse. Her firefighter/EMT books support it.