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great dignity

Bill Blass' apartment

“What I have here is the result of a lifetime of collecting. There is no relationship between the things themselves—except that I like them. You know how American women choose to wear a dress and invest it with their own spirit: I admire that sort of philosophy, and when I collect things, I choose how they are going to look in my life. The way I decorated here was to surround myself with the things I love… and they all have great dignity.”

—Bill Blass

. . .

“He had a very personal point of view about decorating; his rooms were filled with objects and furniture that appealed to him. He put them together in a way that reflected his self-assured style. Then he’d say, ‘Forget about it.’ He had a nonchalant attitude.”

—Tom Fallon, New York fashion executive

Moonan, Wendy. “ANTIQUES; A Décor Collection, From Bill Blass.” The New York Times. 17 Oct. 2003.

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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

There are many flavors of minimalism: a 20-year-old single guy’s minimalist lifestyle looks different from a 45-year-old mother’s minimalist life. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.

Getting started is as simple as asking yourself one question: How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?”

—Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists

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Katharine Hepburn’s paradise

“Paradise to me is getting up at four-thirty or five o’clock in the morning. The house is absolutely quiet and I’ll have a big roaring fire and I’ll just stay in bed and have a great big breakfast: bacon, chicken livers, steak and eggs, that kind of food. And orange juice and a big pot of coffee. Then I just stay in bed and do my script reading or my writing or whatever I have to do. Then I watch the sun rise. From December 21 to June 21, right to left, you’ll see a sunrise in each window as the months pass. Oh, golly, Paradise.”

Bryson, John. The Private World of Katharine Hepburn. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1990. 45. Print.

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a case against lawns

Like the interstate highway system, like fast-food chains, like television, the lawn has served to unify the American landscape; it is what makes the suburbs of Cleveland and Tucson, the streets of Eugene and Tampa, look more alike than not.

According to Ann Leighton, the late historian of gardens, America has made essentially one important contribution to world garden design: the custom of “uniting the front lawns of however many houses there may be on both sides of a street to present an untroubled aspect of expansive green to the passer-by.” France has its formal, geometric gardens, England its picturesque parks, and America this unbounded democratic river of manicured lawn along which we array our houses.

Continue reading:

Pollan, Michael. “Why Mow? The Case Against Lawns.” The New York Times. 28 May 1989.

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incredibly careful in what he selected

Steve Jobs in his Woodside home, 1982

“What makes Steve’s methodology different from everyone else’s is that he always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things you do—but the things that you decide not to do. He’s a minimalist. I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around but he was incredibly careful in what he selected.”

—John Sculley, CEO of Apple, 1983–93

. . .

“This was a very typical time. I was single. All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that’s what I had.”

—Steve Jobs, reflecting on Diane Walker’s 1982 photo of himself in his Woodside, California home

Recommended:

McKinley, Jesse. “With Demolition, Apple Chief Makes Way for House 2.0.” The New York Times. 15 Feb. 2011.

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