Outside Influences, Favorite Spaces, Unexpected Inspiration

Outside Influences, Favorite Spaces, Unexpected Inspiration

Tess Wilson
Aug 16, 2011

When setting up a new home or refreshing an established one, it can be invaluable to consult images of homes you admire. It can also be helpful to look beyond domestic spaces, and think about the places where you feel the most comfortable, the most happy, and the most at home…

The places where I feel the most relaxed and at-ease are ballet studios, lap pools, and yoga studios. I walk in and feel as if I am in exactly the right spot, and know exactly what to do. Beyond any love of swimming or yoga, this tells me that I'm happiest in very open places that are full of light and free of clutter, ideally with wooden floors and maybe even high ceilings. This is handy to consider each time I am tempted to bring home a new object (will it just get underfoot? will it make my already-small space feel less spacious?) or if I am ever tempted to rent a cozy, dark apartment because it had other appealing qualities. This doesn't mean a large space, just a clear space. In the great words of the lion from Creature Comforts, "We need the space to live, we need the space to feel like we are part of the world, and not a kind of piece of object in a box!" Pools and studios offer breathing room, room enough to move and think and relax.

Now, just when I was worrying that I could only be happy in a giant empty home that smells like chlorine, I remembered that my favorite restaurant in San Francisco is Pizzeria Delfina. This is a tiny space with a tiny kitchen packed full of extraordinarily talented chefs. There are bunches of chilies hanging everywhere, old Sanbitter bottles full of intriguing olive oils, bowls of marinating vegetables, and towering stacks of pizza boxes. It is crowded and alive and I love it there. It's crowded but clean and organized, and the hustle & bustle is calm and confident. It's likely that I will always have tiny homes, so it's wonderfully comforting to know that there is potential for happiness in the tiniest of spaces.

Images: Chrystie Street Ballet, Charles & Hudson, and Pizzeria Delfina via A Blog Voyage

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