What The Heart Sees

On a bookshelf in my house sits a large black portfolio filed with all the clippings from magazines and newspapers collected throughout the decades. I’ve been doing this more years than I’m willing to admit. I call it my Wish Book aka “The Book”. Sometimes, months will go by and I’m not wishing for anything ~ and then there will be times that I find myself tearing and clipping like a madwoman. I tear out rooms whose moods appeal to me, color combinations that catch my eye, new products on the market – fabrics and lighting especially, and pieces of furniture that I might someday own and even signature pieces of clothing and accessories. I’m doing this in a spirit of hope. Someday, I will build my dream house and I’ll need all these pictures to communicate what it is that I see, in my mind’s eye, to whoever will help me build that house.

A few months ago, something prompted me to confront “The Book”. I wondered what I’d collected over the years and was curious to see if my taste was still the same. It had become an anthology of my taste. There were clips from the 80’s when I was an engine living in Manhattan. I was amazed that I had acquired some of those pieces that I had at one time only dreamed of. There were clippings from the 90s when I was newly married and planning a home, and when I was attending the New York School of Interior Design and dreaming of the interiors I would most certainly design. I was startled and amazed to see how different my taste in those days was to me now. How could I have ever thought that I would like a bed, sofa, lamp, carpet like that?

Most surprising was to see how consistently I was drawn to certain things. Without being aware of it, through the years I had saved particular colors and shapes that I was drawn to over and over again. I began to see that it wasn’t that my taste had changed so much as that I had begun to focus more selectively on certain styles.

You will be amazed at what your eye and heart will tell you before your mind does.

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About Barbara Ashfield:

Here are my inspirations for living well and living with beauty – people, places, objects and moments. They make me see the elegant, and even the exotic, in the everyday and inspire me to infuse every day with elegance.