The Simple Sophisticate - Intelligent Living Paired with Signature Style

"Our world is dominated by algorithms — by data collection that steers us toward a limited set of products and designers who have paid for the privilege of coming up first in our search. The result is that our taste has gotten . . . only more homogeneous, more limited." —Rachel Tashjian, style contributor to The Washington Post, in her article Whatever Happened to Having Taste?

The primary reason I wanted to begin with this quote is because the reality is all too real: good taste is often hard to find, and much of it has to do with remaining inside the box. Often this 'box' is the one we see frequently on Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok.

Enter interior designer Heidi Caillier, someone who didn't and doesn't play by the rules of social media, who didn't follow the trends, and trusted her own voice and eye.

To walk into a home curated by someone with exquisite taste, time seems to vanish, and the primary emotions one feels are comfort, awe and appreciation even if we don't know at all how they did it. Somehow, it all just works. A symphony of hues, textures, pieces, and details that appear as though they just belong together to welcome the residents of the sanctuary home each time they cross the threshold.

I remember seeing interior designer Heidi Caillier's work for the first time. It was the cover story of Rue Magazine in 2019. Caillier had designed a Seattle cottage guided by the charming Scandinavian aesthetic - simple, yet cozy, unique, yet functional, and with thoughtful touches of vintage to create a feeling of nostalgia. I became even more intrigued when I saw her work on a handful of Arts & Crafts houses both in California, Oregon and across the country on the east coast. Heidi was speaking my language (she embraces wallpaper!), as she incorporated the aesthetics that reminded me of English country with modern sensibilities for living well and thoughtfully. Check out a few of the homes here (one of my favorites - the kitchen!), here and here. And her entire portfolio here.

As Caillier is also someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, in Tacoma, Washington, part of my intrigue was her home base as rarely had I seen an interior designer from PNW that has their own aesthetic that wasn't wed to the stereotypical Portland or Seattle modern trends that never quite captured my definition of timelessness or comfort, or even warmth. With delight and immediate appreciation, I began following her on Instagram as she share glimpses into her projects as they begin, are in progress and eventually are completed. As she shares in her new book, just released on September 5th, Memories of Home, the portfolio shared in the pages of the book tells stories that are "nostalgic, romantic, creative, playful but sophisticated, and so incredibly comforting." All the boxes in my ideal of a sanctuary are ticked with that sentence, and indeed each home showcased demonstrates her objectives have met their desired results with each client's home shared, including her own.

As timing would have it, the topic of good taste, and the seeming lack thereof arose this month in an article written by style contributor to The Washington Post Rachel Tashjian, as I was pouring through the pages of Heidi's new book, it became immediately clear she understands and brings forth good taste in each of her homes, but how does one do that? Even if we don't hire someone or are unable to work with the talent and expert Heidi provides, how do we curate a home, and in very much the same way, curate a wardrobe and a life that is not guided by algorithms? Well, I think that question in and of itself is a great place to start. Let's take a look at eight key aspects of curating good taste when it comes to our décor.

Direct download: 365GoodTasteDecor.m4a
Category: -- posted at: 7:00pm PST

Prevention versus correction.

For a few decades now, or perhaps more than a few, stress management has been the term of phrase often used as we find a culture, and more specifically, ourselves nearing or reaching burn-out whether in our jobs or life in general, and while bringing healing and remedy to something in our lives that needs our attention for improvement is certainly valuable and a necessary skill to learn should we find ourselves in this state of fatigue and chronic stress, preventing such a state from ever being reached is a far more beneficial approach, and gives us much more enjoyment and yep, contentment for a far longer time throughout our life journey.

Similarly to stress management is time management, a term of phrase again that is used often but actually brings our attention to the wrong place. Living simply luxuriously is a drilling down and investing in quality over quantity, and this includes how we go about our days. Time management shares directives on how to squeeze more into the day, but energy management teaches us how to thrive throughout our entire day, something the former doesn't prioritize although it does keep it in the equation.

And here's the important detail to keep in mind, energy management is going to be unique to each of us because we are each unique individuals traveling during different periods of our life journey, experiencing different chapters of our life, so to focus on time management is to focus on a logical, concrete approach, but we are not stoic, robotic individuals. We have ups and downs in our moods, our physical abilities, our mental strength for focus, will-power, etc., and that is why shifting to energy management will actually solve the issues that stress management and time management are trying to address, but also ensure you are honored for the individual that you are.

Let's take a look at six habits to consider when managing your energy well through the day in order for you to thrive, enjoying each day even attending to tasks that are have-tos.

Direct download: 364EnergyManagement.m4a
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 7:00pm PST