Jenna Lyons in her office, which is a shining beacon of under-decorated cool to which I can only aspire
A photographer is coming to my house at noon today to shoot me in my office here, and my fondest desire this weekend was to make it look even just passably cool. But in the end, you are either a girl who knows how to arrange things all nice, or you are a girl who lets things fall where they may, and I, alas, have always been the latter. Plus, experience has taught me to be cautious of the overly staged: when I was first married, I moved into a beautiful old brownstone in Brooklyn and hired a noted design bon vivant to decorate it. He did a great job, and I felt so fortunate to live in rooms that were so beautifully composed. It was all completely my taste, but nothing I could ever had conjured myself, and it felt like such a cool trick that you could actually pay somebody to do that for you. Less cool, unfortunately, was actual life in the Brooklyn house: there was great hardship and unhappiness, and the marriage unraveled and we got divorced. The house was sold and I moved back to Manhattan. A few years later, I was paging through the bon vivant’s first coffee table book—he’d sent me a copy upon publication—when I happened upon a couple of pictures of my old place. I didn’t recognize those pictures as my home for a moment, and when it did register, something else hit me like a jolt. I realized that a spell had been lifted: never again would I envy the lives of people whose homes I saw in books or magazines, no matter how perfect they may appeared. Because mine looked pretty perfect in those pages too.
So considered from that angle, maybe it’s better just to let people see me for the moderately organized, not entirely un-stylish woman—home-wise—that I am, right? Anyone?And it’s not like I didn’t make some tweaks.My friend Stephen came over Saturday night and pointed out—not incorrectly—that my mugs are hideous, and that since desks look nice and lived-in with a coffee mug on them, I might do well to make an improvement. So I popped out to the Jonathan Adler on Greenwich Avenue for this little orange zebra number.
I also got this fun little glass at Adler to use as a pen cup. Much poppier than the old bamboo cup with pen explosion lining its bottom that I’ve been making do with for ages. The orange-on-orange wasn’t intentional, and at first it had me a bit concerned because I don’t like matchy, but there are enough (read: too many) other colors and textures happening on that desk for them to overpower much of anything.
Then! Because I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to do it anyway, I finally got myself a Jambox speaker. It’s wireless! The cool kids are probably on to some other, way cooler and better speaker by now, but that’s just going to be perfectly OK by me.
What I didn’t buy—and it’s not high on my upgrade list, but perhaps should be—is exactly the desk that Jenna Lyons has in the above picture. (Or at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same one—experts?) I’m a big believer in the big, open table as desk—once something’s in a drawer, I forget it exists. And my current desk is my former Heywood Wakefield dining room table, and it’s so rickety and ancient that if I put my printer on it, the whole thing shakes like a train’s coming through town.
, Jenna Lyons
, Jonathan Adler