From the editor - September 2010
Our art director, Tracey Ellin, has been fretting about the Father’s Day food feature in this issue. She likes the rustic, dark look of it but feels that it clashes with the clean, light look of the following pink and girlie flowers-and-food feature: “They’re just so different,” she said the other day, looking at the pinned-up layouts of the magazine on our office wall.
If you look at pages 120 and 132 of this magazine you can see what she means: two very beautiful features, two very different styles that create a richness – but also a frisson – in our entertaining section.
When I think about it, this feature frisson is hardly surprising when you’re putting together a Father’s Day issue of magazine like ours – home decorating with men around is a conflict-ridden business.
My husband Nick and I, for example, have different ideas about how our home should look and function. For us (and I suspect for many couples), it comes down to this: I care more about looks and he cares more about function.
Right now, for example, we are engaged in a discusson about new bedroom curtains. I want something warm and soft: a rich red or textured taupe fabric for curtains or roman blinds. Nick doesn’t get it. “Why would you want roman blinds?” he says, genuinely puzzled. “They’re either open or closed. Why not nice wooden venetians so that you can vary the amount of light coming in…”
Over the 25-odd years of our marriage we have had dozens of variations on this conversation. I like individual taps, he likes the warm-water convenience of mixers. I like curved garden edges, he likes sensible straight lines.
This domestic difference in approach between us gets resolved in various ways. Sometimes we argue; most often we come up with a middle solution (mixer in the kitchen; taps in the bathroom).
In the end, though, what we’ve got is a home that features bits of both of us: It has bright colours and art that I love; it has a girlie spare room. It also has sensible work spaces and cunning devices that are all Nick – such as the red light he installed in the corner of the living room that flashes when we’ve left the garage door up.
It is a compromise of style. But, if you look at it another way, as I do in my good moments, it is also a home of many different layers, a rich environment that nurtures two very different people (and our kids, but that’s another story).
It is the perfect fit for my family and I love it for that.
Story: Sally Duggan