On the Power of Restraint

Feb 1, 2021 | PROJECTS

One of ELLE Decor’s last covers was titled “The Power Of Restraint: When To Change Everything Or Nothing At All”. It is not often a designer gets hired to accomplish the latter, but here I was, on the « île enchantée », an island that has remained untouched and unspoiled through the centuries, in a newly acquired and lovingly restored 1665 cottage. It was breathtaking. It was an honour, a privilege, a time-traveling-pinch-me-moment-trick-of the-mind. The owners led us through the house for hours, describing in detail the fastidious and intricate work they had accomplished over the last two decades. Patience and perseverance were their sentinels as they lived in a trailer for 13 years before being able to move in. After years of dreaming, searching and fruitfully biding her time, my friend and client is to be the next generation custodian of the jewel she unearthed. There will be no power of restraint needed: every lime-washed wall, every mouth-blown window pane, every hand-forged hinge and planed floorboard, every tree-picked beam and painted piece of furniture had been chosen with an exacting eye, a keen sense of place and history…all burnished to a gleam. Passion was their elbow grease, love was their frame.