Everything I love is old.
My wedding ring came from a secondhand shop.
So did my favorite boots, clothes, books, and paintings.
I love things that are worn (or have been worn) and weathered.
I love rusty,
I have always loved old walls etched with character like the lined face of Georgia O’Keeffe. I will never scrape the pockmarked paint from the front door of our 200-year-old-house in the country. I prefer keys and hinges that are rusty, pewter dulled and dented by time, family photographs faded to delicate sepia tones, paintings artfully distressed in chipped gilt frames or frameless, old floorboards that creak underfoot and shine under threadbare carpets, fragile paper lanterns, garden sculptures weathered by summer storms and windy days, venerable armchairs and sofas covered with timeworn fabrics, tables set with handed-down china and monogrammed silver, windows and window seats cozied by thick curtains, old mantels sheltering the warmth of a glowing fire, and piles of old books and frayed pillows scattered everywhere. I love things like these that warm our homes because they warm our hearts.
Think of them as stand-ins for the places we all call home. Whether old or new, skyscraper or cottage, with a view of rivers, forests, hills, or high-rises, in the north, south, east, or west, where we live is less the point than how we live and the environments we create to comfort us, our family, and friends.
In an era that is desperate to be young and new and hip and cool, I choose old. This is not an apology nor a revolt, but a celebration of those things that endure, not only the worn and weathered things in our houses, but those of the heart, including love, emotion, character, and integrity. Now more than ever, these are the things that will see us through.
(An excerpt from the opening of For the Love of Old, by Mary Randolph Carter, Rizzoli, 2006)
- © Ralph Lauren Corporation
- Courtesy of Carter Berg