Forgive the oblique, somewhat clunky reference to the American Songbook classic lyric in My Funny Valentine. I am not talking about the lips: “when you open them to speak”, but the EYES.

I was so inspired this week by a client’s appreciation for something beautiful and treasured. I brought her to a warehouse in the Bronx, where one of my vendors was selling out his vast collection of Chinese furniture and art objects. We were looking for an entrance hall bench, and found one straight away. While we continued to browse, we spotted some late 19th century Chinese embroidered collars, framed, and she pretty much swooned on the spot. Her love of such a masterpiece is informed by her upbringing and family history. Her mother spent time in China and dressed the girls in Chinese jackets when they were young. So, she had worn the clothes, and her eye became accustomed to the very special beauty of the minute stitch. The symbolism, color, shapes and impeccability of artistry are captivating and bring one into a world far away, both in miles and years. She purchased two pieces.

How does your history dictate what your eye holds as dear and treasured? If we all wear a long cape, which is unfurled behind us, there may lay upon this cape the impressions of our upbringing that impact our tastes and likes and dislikes. We may see the furniture our Mothers filled our childhood homes with. My mother wallpapered every single surface in the house! We would see glimpses of that first visit to an art museum. Perhaps we would see a bed of emerald moss in a forest. We might love the bold primary colors that were used in elementary school.

It is so interesting to explore, from time to time, this world of history with my clients. I am amazed by their strong desire for some things and equally strong aversions to others. When clients react with great enthusiasm, I am quite certain that there is a deep memory behind the excitement. I like to delve deeper for a few minutes, and find out just where that came from. Any information like this is potentially fertile for a design concept, and absolutely nothing is skin deep.

I would love to hear about what you consider a treasure and where you think that came from in your history. Let me hear from you! Let’s talk about beauty, history and your EYES.


  1. Katherine

    I love pottery and ceramics and glass! My parents collect it, and my daughter makes it. I am attracted to the deep rich tones of red and blue from one of my favorite NC potters.

  2. MarciaB1 Post author

    Katherine: It is amazing how the energetic of what is considered lovely is somehow, miraculously, passed through the generations. Send me some images…I would love to see the collection!
    ox M

  3. ralph

    it is so interesting how you can use your clients history to spark creative ideas for your designs-we all come with built in ideas for living.


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