“This is what winter is: an exercise in remembering how to still yourself and then how to come pliantly back to life again”
Taken from Winter, by Ali Smith, her most recent seasonal novel. This lovely book has been the perfect read whilst enjoying some precious solitude in this mountain hideaway. It has added to my heightened awareness of the current Winter season and how in tune with nature’s perfect reaction to it we can be if we only take notice. As well as reading I have been pondering over a concept for a mini makeover for this centuries old Alpine Farmhouse, nestled so naturally within the beautiful and dramatic landscape in which it sits. To ignore these surroundings and the changing seasons upon it when considering any kind of alteration to this building would be impossible.
Consider the Winter landscape, it has a grand presence, there is a sense of inherent drama in it’s silence. Weather is harsh and all life appears to withdraw from it, to restore and build strength for the coming Spring. The seemingly colourless background and dark leafless trees serve as the perfect backdrop and add focus to the evergreens who now take their place centre stage. you can now see clearly a beautiful framework of branches, moss covered stones, bark and lichen, how did we not notice them before? Winter presents ‘the bones of nature’.
Winter along with a touch of Autumn are probably the seasons that resonate with me and my design aesthetic the most, I love the rich warmth of Autumn, but the majestic power and drama of Winter is so appealing. The Winter personality was once described to me by Angela Wright, a colour expert, as “the drama of a diamond on a velvet pillow” Less can definitely be more as long as the ‘less’ makes a big statement. So i’m taking my cue for my makeover from Winter and it’s restrained and simple colour palette. It will be the perfect canvas to highlight beautiful objects and a multitude of textures that will be as powerful and maximalist as a multitude of colour. Watch this space…
As the Winter moves on rather than feeling miserable and powerless, as I still myself I sense a restoration of energy and creativity. Not for me are New Year’s resolutions, I’ve come to see Winter not as a time for new beginnings, they are on their way in Spring, but as a quiet thoughtful but nonetheless powerful time. When plans are made and strength and creatively are replenished.
I urge you to steal a moment, be still, celebrate the season and embrace the Winter