Monday, March 30, 2015

A retreat to spaces and places where the past is loved and knowledge was a quest ...

"As for the condition of the world which is devolving in front of our eyes faster than the speed of light, one simply has to sigh, retreat to spaces and places where the past is loved and knowledge was a quest rather than a google"

So wrote "home before dark" a sometimes and always pithy commenter on this blog, in response to the first post about Geoffrey Bennison.  As usual, her comments gave me much to think about and coincided with my finding the photographs you see here and having the idea I express below. 

The idea of retreat is so commonplace nowadays especially in bedroom and bathroom design – so mainstream, in fact, I wonder whether using the term is more reflex than conscious choice. Serenity and retreat are words that so often go together in copywriter's puffs that the eye glazes over. I feel rather they should be banned from any blogger's writings in the same way no-one ever should write or say "to the next level." But, Regina Grammatica-mode, notwithstanding, I shall shut up about it now and come back to that at a later date.

So, let me say again, I'm not overly-impressed with the state of interior decorating and, rather than continue to bleet, I want to investigate within the limits of my own aesthetic education and social values what and I think is of real significance. In other words, I want to clear away the dross and get down to architecture, the Maslowian instinct to decorate, the balance between commercial and aesthetic pressures and, maybe, just enjoy myself. If I occasionally lapse into professor mode, I hope you will forgive me.

The two photographs are by Thomas Heimman and are from Dezeen here – one of the most interesting and occasionally irritating blogs about design.


  1. Replies
    1. ArchitectDesign, thank you. I'm at a loss to explain the mess that's being touted as original design. Some of the rooms being cooed over make Queen Alexandra's study at Sandringham look minimal.

  2. Well, Professor Blue, you honor me. By the way, I view retreat as a verb—the choice to go inward or at least with others of like mind. As always, I look forward to your most lovely polysyllabic, sometimes terse, always informative observations. Maybe you should start recording the luncheon conversations you have with your former professor and beloved mentor. If not, do know, I wish I were a fly on the wall!

    1. home before dark, thank you, but it's the other way round – you honor me. A weekly chat with my 91-year-old, sharp as a tack ex-prof is something to look forward to. She was telling me last week about meeting the woman who began the whole kitchen design movement. I'll write about her soon.

  3. That is certainly an astute comment from "home before dark". Retreating can also apply to one's garden, I find, especially if serenity follows.