Tuesday, March 31, 2009
As a young girl visiting my relatives in Providence, R.I., I remember how slowly and deliberately my aunt would drive through her neighborhood at night. I thought perhaps she was just more cautious than my own mother, but I soon learned that she drove slowly not for fear of running over a small child, but because she wanted to see how other people decorated their homes.
Other People's Places (You down with O.P.P.?) are endlessly fascinating: the decoration, the paint colors, the wallpaper, the books on the shelves, the light fixtures. Who doesn't become a complete voyeur when given the chance to peek into someone else's living space?
Celebrity homes can either be especially intriguing, or incredibly boring. The homes of C-list celebs in In Touch, for example, often seem to have been decorated by publicists eager for their client to appear legit.
Chefs are curious subjects for home tours, because at least one room is their's and their's alone: the kitchen. But what about the rest of the house?
Exhibit A: The home of Julia and Paul Child. The above photos are from an August, 1976 Architectural Digest piece on the Child's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. What's so glorious about this photo spread, is that while we all know her kitchen ("the beating heart and social center of the household," as she calls it in the article), it's rare to catch a glimpse into the rest of her home: the living room, the dining room, the pastry room off the main kitchen, and the "grass-papered" music room. The Child's home seems especially familiar, warm, and thoroughly lived in - in other words, a home worthy of driving by slowly.