what would you do if you could design fearlessly? No constraints, no outer voices challenging your inner vision. Just the ability to reflect with an open mind and act on the first impulses you have. I’m a big believer in first instincts being the best, and we’re living that out in our house these days. My husband and I envisioned aubergine dining room walls and candlelit sconces as the backdrop for the revival of our beloved dinner parties featuring flights of inky-purple wine. I was nervous, but we did it!
We’re also watching our son and his girlfriend build a house. Our frequent text threads, iPhone shots, and video chats make this momma’s heart swell. (They actually want my opinion!) Professional pressure aside, my most sincere advice to these two has been to listen to their first instinct and try not to doubt it too much. More than once I’ve said to one or both of them, “I could hear in your voice how much you like that one. Don’t fight it. That little rush you feel means that’s your style.” If they start to doubt, I remind them of the first inspiration images they showed me and challenge them to believe in themselves.
As an editor, fearlessness is a quality I look for in projects to share with you. That doesn’t mean derring-do at every turn. Fearlessness can mean restraint and saying no. Fearlessness can mean loving traditional style and owning it, as I hope you do as our reader! Fearlessness can mean a designer and architect working together to design a house from the ground up so it feels like you the moment you walk in the door.
It can take guts to renovate a brownstone in a way that preserves its historical sensibility and expresses the musical vibe that is your ethos. A family business that preserves a craft for generations requires fearless vision and dedication. Traveling the world and bringing bits of that inspiration into your home—in pattern, texture, architecture, or accessories—requires listening to the connection between your eyes, your heart, and your memories. Purchasing handmade objects by local or international artisans supports and acknowledges their courage. Instinct is the key to mixing treasured antiques and formal pieces with contemporary artwork—don’t doubt the urge to juxtapose.
Fearlessness is the authentic connection to your own sense of comfort, regardless of what the so-called trends are. So sit with yourself and pay attention to your mind’s eye. Articulate what makes you swoon. That’s your fearless factor.