Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

FY Eye

What a wonderful resource is the Web. Think about the wealth of information that is available at the click of a search button. Short of subscribing to every design, art, literary and music publication, there is no other way to better begin cultivating your eye. Or given the photo above, should I say “perfecting” your eye.

Today’s post on The House of Beauty and Culture is a perfect place to begin. And thanks to Peak of Chic’s timely question, we have the inklings of how to develop your own eye. Careful study of the past, your own or someone else’s, is essential to developing your taste.

For example, I had never appreciated Van Eyck until I learned how radical a departure his style was from that of his predecessors. Not that I’m rushing to fill my home with Early Renaissance art…. I still love the period between the wars — “Modern,” I guess (I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet.) But I understand the influence that humanism had on art. An influence that continues to this day at my “real job.”

Similarly, I am beginning to understand my design aesthetic a little bit better. And to see where the designers (at Ralph Lauren Home, for example), get a lot of their inspiration (re: RLH: John Fowler? Just a guess.)

But why bother at all? I believe that most people go through life with blinders on. Yes, take time to stop and smell the roses, but don’t forget to look at them, too. And while you’re looking, ask yourself why you find them appealing (or not.)

Perfecting your eye takes some work. I confess to envying anyone who can make a living as arbiter elegantiarum. For the most part, they’ve earned their stripes. I wonder what got them started and how they pursued their passions?

Where and how did you start to develop your eye? What or who are your inspirations for living an elegant life? And better yet, of whom would you ask those questions, given the chance?

Thus endeth the lecture. Back to the easy and elegant life. Next up: the Christmas Card.

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