Inspiration Library: Seasonal Home

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“The seasons have an inevitable rhythm, but this can be lost in our modern lives, especially in the city.”  I’ve been an urban dweller for my entire life and a resident of New York City for seven years, so these words, taken from Kristen Perer’s introduction to her 1998 book, Seasonal Home, hold a certain resonance to me. Throughout my life, I’ve constantly struggled (as I assume many have) to live in the moment— to detach myself from the trivialities and anxieties of daily life and experience the true beauty of the now. As we get older, this constant struggle seems to heighten: time seems to compress in upon itself, weeks and years truncating to mere blinks of the eye. Although this desire for moment-living might be as futile as it is trite, there are some methods I turn to in trying to make it a reality. I find that really, truly embracing each season (and all of the things that go along with them) is a wonderful way to slow down, de-stress, and smell the proverbial roses.

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Although it is a home decor book, this is really what Kristen Perers’ book is all about. Throughout the book’s beautifully photographed pages, one can find imagery, simple projects, and inspiring ideas for bringing the essence and romance of each season into the home. From light-hued airy styles for summer to heavy, earthy ones for autumn and winter, the book illustrates the importance of the transitory over the permanent and simplicity over perfection. By using ephemeral pieces of nature inside and allowing your space to morph and evolve with time and your mood, one’s home can become not just a personal oasis, but a reflection and compliment of the outside world.

On the surface, the book’s new-agey rhetoric might seem somewhat outdated, but the spaces and ideas within Perers’ book are fresh, modern, and wonderfully poetic. I’m not sure when I first encountered this book (it’s been a constant presence in my childhood home since I can remember), but every time I look back at it, its imagery and concepts seem as current and inspiring as they day I first opened it. As I continue to wage life’s constant battle against time and distraction, this book and its ageless truths about seasonal embrace always comes back to me. As the weather slowly begins to change from summer into fall, I look forward to falling deeply under the season’s spell: baking pumpkin pies, donning knitted socks, and taking walks in the crisp autumn air. Woolen blankets will be taken out of storage, pumpkins and gourds will fill my mantle, and warm candlelight will provide a counterpoint to the ever-dimming sun outside. I might not ever get to that elusive “moment,” but pausing to embrace the seasons, both indoors and out sure does help! Take a look at more photos from this inspirational volume after the jump! —Max

Seasonal Home is currently out of print, but you can get used editions very cheap on Amazon and Abe.

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  1. Julian Hazlett says:

    I bought this book when it was first published. It is still one of my favorite sources of inspiration.

  2. Melinda says:

    I just picked up a copy on amazon for $0.01.

  3. Andrea says:

    This is one of my favorites!

  4. Chris says:

    Wonderful suggestion! I probably would have overlooked this book.

    May I also suggest:
    The Simple Home: The Luxury of Enough by Sarah Nettleson
    The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
    The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton

  5. kim says:

    This is my favorite design book of all time! Timeless!

  6. virginia says:

    I picked up that book and many others at Tuesday Morning. Still one of my favorites plus the ones below:
    private places by judith wilson
    country week-end homes by cristina montes
    the kitchen design planner by fay sweet
    country and modern by dinah hall and a few terence conran books…

  7. Critifur says:

    Is no one a bit worried that this house is gonna burn down! What are they thinking?

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