There is a lot going on with the house on Southcreek. A new (clear) outlook of Elkhorn Creek from the stone wall in the back. A new kitchen in motion. An exterior updated with painted brick and a new roof. Furnishings being refreshed. As I plan how I want to live in my own home, I pause to evaluate the logic, the choices and the reasoning behind how we live. What is revealed becomes a lesson of obsessions — and confessions.

Midcentury and Danish modern aesthetics have long been a favored theme. Perhaps it comes from my childhood where sparse, simple living prevailed. Rich woods, clean lines and a clutter free, family-oriented space. Like yesterday, I remember the beautiful blue teardrop pendants my folks carted in and out of our numerous homes during the 1960s. (Oh, where are they now?) The other occupant of the household is my husband. The Bennett home was filled with cherished, collected furnishings, in a warm welcoming environment. He is comforted by hobbies formed over the years and items provoking fond memories. Nothing was too precious or luxurious in either home.

Designing for myself is easy. It is grounded in originality and authenticity and open for change as our story evolves. It’s an illustration of how to incorporate comfort and appeal for both occupants. The goal is to consistently edit, while combining disparate collections. Tame the obsessions, so we can confess the character that makes our home uniquely ours.

  1. Obsession. Given an unbridled opportunity, my home would be furnished in modern, simple lines of the Danish modern, midcentury modern aesthetic. Neutral backdrops with bright color on the floor and art on the walls. The art would be original, contemporary. Furnishings would have highly textured, sensory driven fabrics like boucle, velvet and suede, and uniquely designed. Everything designed with comfort in mind.
  2. Confession. My husband and I live in our house. It is an eclectic reflection of both of us. There is a handcrafted Kentucky long rifle that was a gift for years of service for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. There is a white (authentic) ultrasuede loveseat purchased 15 years ago as a signature statement for my first design studio. And the bottom half of an unknown origin or aged casegood piece with aged brass hardware mounted sideways from the Bennett family home. A stylized womb chair and a newly acquired danish modern desk.
  3. Obsession. Artifacts and art have a treasured place. They are original and personal. It’s an ancient Paleo-Indian (stone age) hatchet found on the farm, or a Montana rock picked up during travels. It might be $100 drawing from a local art show or a starter collection piece from local artist. The hard to miss 300-pound piece of presumed coral that stands guard at the front door, aside the functioning 6-foot tall school bell found in a New Orleans architectural salvage store after Hurricane Katrina.
  4. Confession. We live in our house. (Isn’t that what our homes are for?) There are farm boots in the kitchen, two grandboys and neighboring kids, a compost bin under the sink, outdoor planters full of perennials and an open door for visitors. Our uniquely designed home stands up to all of it with quality furnishings and forgiving attitudes. It is an ever-evolving environment that says home to us.
  5. Obsessions/confessions. How do you keep your obsessions from overtaking every room? How do you combine equal, yet different personal tastes? The answer — you maintain moderate representations of everything. Whether it’s an arrowhead and rock collection, or quirky artisan finds, it must be contained and limited to be enjoyed and admired. Edit often. Style tastefully.
Edit often. Contained artifacts available for storytelling. (Photo submitted)
Incorporate natural elements — inside and out. Upside cedar roots as sculpture, modern planters with perennials (no annuals) and comfortable seating. (Photo submitted)
Always consider site lines. Notice the artifact collections in wooden bowls, the modern desk, the original art (paintings and sculpture), all combined with the textures of the crystal lamp, the suede furnishings, faux fur, glass and stone. (Photo submitted)