Thursday, June 19, 2008

“Now that I have built a palace, I wish I lived in a cottage.”
The First Duke of Westminster

In his editor’s letter for the latest issue of House Beautiful, Stephen
Drucker extolls the value and the beauty of the small room. I was tickled to read it and I heartily agree. Through my travels and my profession, I have been fortunate to visit many styles and many sizes of rooms. While the large and grand is often breathtaking, and inspiring - one thinks of the library at Biltmore House in North Carolina for example - I find that the small and cozy is often infinitely more inviting. I’m reminded as I write this of Beatrix Potter’s enchanted home at Hill Top, or Franklin Roosevelt’s Little White House, both tiny places, both simply lovely. Between Mrs. Muir’s charming seaside cottage or Rebecca’s grand Manderley, I’m afraid the choice would be an easy one for me. Bigger is most certainly not always better. My own home is an old one, rabbit-warren cozy, and I often feel as content as a rabbit myself as I curl up before my stone fireplace in winter with a mug of something hot and Edward at my feet, or perhaps sneak a nap by an open window on a late spring morning, with Edward sharing a spot at the end of my chaise lounge as the breeze ruffles his white fur. There is indeed something about a smaller room, a smaller house, that just seems to gift us with a cozier atmosphere. After all, cozy is defined by Webster as “snug, warm and comfortable”. Now who doesn’t need a wee bit more of that?