I really appreciate conscious, intentional people. People who don't assume, who don't follow. People who ask, ponder, push, decide and act.
Over time I've collected people to admire who are purposeful in all aspects their lives, particularly about where they call home and how they make it such. Now, to share some of these fine specimens.
Byan Purcell & Lauren Manoogian: Integration
The stunningly simple Pennsylvania cabin built by Byan and Lauren became the DIYer fantasy home after being photographed and featured on a favorite blog, Backyard Bill. These are a couple of creators, in the most literal sense. Byan creates unique men's jewelry for the Brooklyn-based Witness Company, while Lauren has created some of the most flattering, comfortable knits on the market, as well as a mean patched denim and killer statement necklaces.
These two also created one of the most incredible cabins to behold, nestled in the Pennsylvania woods. Howard Roark would approve: that house belongs there. Those woods welcome its wood - even the epic outdoor bath is cohesive. Bits and pieces are strewn through the trees that could have been found there, or found for there, and then customized by two artistic spirits.
Not fitting the environment in, but fitting into the environment. What a way to save the world.
Lou Doillon: Abandon
French singer, model, actress and fashion muse, this multi-talented lady doesn't adorn some overly decorated penthouse or opulent hotel room, although she well could. She surrounds herself with things - things of family, beauty, inspiration, music and history. Plus, the lady rocks an enviably crowded set of bookshelves. And enviably sultry pipes.
She self-professes to put livability over... everything. No wonder then that she collects, collects, collects. Her flat homes countless vintage treasures, scores of family memorabilia and a sense of wacky belonging special to her alone. This girl gets continuity. She respects what has come before her without letting what was prevent her from doing her own thing in the what is and will be. And her own thing is pretty magical.
In her own words:
I love absurdity. I love pathetic people. I love silly people. I love angry people... I like losers... I hate perfection... there is nothing I can climb on... If it's very perfect, I don't relate to it... You only relate to what you are.
Preach on, sister Lou. Preach.
Amy Soderlind: Experience
This gem of a stylist and masterful wordsmith who authors my favorite blog bar none, Refuses to Label, has chosen to live in a refurbished water tower on one of the oldest vineyards in California. The buildings date back to the 1800s and have been thoughtfully updated and restored. With some notable exceptions. No internet. No phones. Can you imagine many others in the fashion industry with her level of skill and popular appeal who'd do the same?
Her rationale: who could need more than their man, their dog and some space to let things grow?
A true role model for balance. Passion is passion. Work is work. Life is LIFE. At home, distraction shows its face as a frolic with the pooch, a garden to cultivate or an instrument waiting to be played. What a welcome break from its frequent disguise as television programs, 'urgent' emails or that Book of Faces one barely knows.
A complete investment in being present. It's extraordinary. As a result, she and her home glow with a rare and lovely breed of satisfaction that couldn't be more well-deserved.
Lilah Horwitz & Nick Olson: Practice
Makers. That's how Nick and Lilah define themselves. Not as a photographer. Not as a designer. As people who want to make...anything. Everything. In their own conscientious way. Full of care. Full of them. Handmade by four hands, two minds and one vision.
In the video below detailing the house they built together in West Virginia, Lilah describes how they sat on a hill overlooking the sunset and dreamed of a house with a wall of windows so they wouldn't have to miss a moment of the sun's descent. A year later they built it. They made it.
My favorite quote from Lilah? " I never thought I could build anything so big, so, in a way, that calmed all my fears. When you build something like this, you think, 'Wow, I can build anything.'"
One house, one room, many windows. Bliss.
Bowerbirds sums it all up better than I could hope to. Tilt your head back. Eyes shut. It's time to dream of home.