1.27.2009

Simplicity + Quality

anita calero's home from domino via 2 or 3 things...i think frank lloyd wright would have approved of her aesthetic, no?

A couple of you have asked…we read Loving Frank for our latest book club. It was historical fiction about Frank Lloyd Wright, and I have to say it was a doozy, but it made for great conversation.

One of my favorite passages from the book:

“Mamah stepped down into the make-do studio to cool off. Frank had furnished it sparsely with objects that pleased him – a wool scarf laid over a table, topped by a fat glazed pot full of tree branches, architectural drawings pinned to the floral wallpaper, a small shelf lined with simple Italian vases.”

While Wright was selfish and somewhat difficult, he was indisputably a genius. No matter how snobbish it seems, I was especially intrigued with his unwavering commitment to surrounding himself beauty and quality… He would opt to possess a single perfectly-made suit over owning five shoddily made ones.

I love that philosophy. And while I can’t always afford to live it, I do apply it to my absolute, 100% favorite thing – I buy a lovely, well-made leather handbag once a year. I’d rather save for that purchase for months than have a closet full of poorly made bags that I’ll likely toss one day.

Jordan posed this question recently, and it’s a good one. What do you “splurge” on?

24 comments:

molly said...

i completely agree. i choose quality over quantity every time. i splurge on jeans and hand bags. honestly, both are so worth it!

paula said...

mine too is a nice purse every year and blue jeans. you can't beat a perfect fit.

Sarah said...

I loved that book and wish I had read it in a book club setting because I had so many thoughts. What a beautiful passage you picked out.

keely steger said...

Shoes. My husband is a physical therapist, so he's a stickler about this one. No more Payless or Target shoes for me!
Also, certain foods- real Parmesan cheese, the best milk from a local store, and we really don't eat fast food anymore (except in "emergencies"- like our 2 yr. old really NEEDS a cheeseburger), opting instead to spend more money on quality, local restaurants.

Leslie said...

Used to be clothing. Not so much anymore after baby. Now it is food. My husband and I love to try new places. And furniture. Probably fabrics too since I am a sewer.

Cassandra said...

Jeans and dresses.

Kristin said...

For clothes, I'd say jeans. Especially since I can wear jeans every! day! to work, I definitely go through them. And for home, I'm all about antique furniture. If something is beautiful, fits my space, is well -made, and has the lovely patina of old-age... it just has to be mine and is so worth it!

Kotori said...

I splurge on jeans because cheap jeans look cheap by the end of the day, and let's be honest, most days I wear jeans.

nichole said...

Yep, me too. A few lovely things that I can't live without. That's my motto. The rest of it just weighs you down.

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

As a handbag maker who uses only the best materials out of a desire to make beautiful things and also because I think the best way as a designer is to help the environment is to make lasting quality things--I am so glad to hear you say this! My splurge--shoes. I really can't stand cheap ones because they hurt my feet after awhile and the good ones never do. They really are worth the money and I wear mine forever.

happylivingdesign said...

Definitely fresh unprocessed food for us. Bags for just me. I bought an orla kiely bag last year (on sale with a coupon) and it was the best purchase I made all year. Cosmetics and skin care for SOME items I buy better stuff since I have the worst skin ever. But recently I have found that Cetaphil works great so no more Origins face wash for me....erinn

Miss Aimee said...

well these days jeans (hee hee). but organic food, and also on anything electronic(matt-music), oh and good wine! But you know all those things.

Kim said...

A great bag does wonders for any outfit, so I buy a really nice one every year or so. I've found that in the categories where I'll ONLY buy higher quality/cost items, I spend less over the course of a year. It saves me from making impulse purchases.

Annady said...

Despite my insatiable window shopping habits, I rarely make a purchase. For me, anything over thirty dollars is a large purchase. How much do you have to spend to consider it a splurge? I will buy a pair of good shoes twice a year. Though I drool over gorgeous handbags, I just can't find it in me to pay for one.

Bekah said...

I splurge on nice appliances. I figure they are always going to be in my life and I will always have to use them, so they might as well be the best they can be.

abigail said...

furniture and art. Even if we move one day, we'll take these things with us and I want everything to be something that I will want to keep forever (no matter how unrealistic that is). I love the quality things in my parents house that they have had for 30 years and how they mix with things they bought last year. I hope my house will be like that one day.

kylie said...

everything feels like a splurge these days but I think I will take a leaf from all the above comments and continue to buy quality jeans as they are my 'Uniform'. I'm also partial to a nice coat and bag, art, furniture, shoes.......
PS Joslyn, I finally got the blog going, early days but thanks for your advice xx

Michelle said...

Oh, that candle, soo cool

Joslyn said...

kylie...i love the blog! it's incredibly cool. congrats.

kylie said...

Thanks Joslyn!xx

Emily said...

Have you seen his house/school in Arizona? It is a museum and working school now. It is spectacular and worth a visit if you are ever in the area.

Welcome. said...

Once a year my husband and I buy a piece of "serious" art for our anniversary... some years we splurge more and other years less, depending on the size of our pocketbook! I also refuse to skimp on food, art supplies.

By the way, I read Loving Frank and was also fascinated by his life and philosophy. I hear there's another novel about his life.

Rachel said...

Oh yes. I splurge on good leather pieces that I know will get hard wear (handbags, wallets, and I'm planning on boots). Oh, and tea. That's my indulgence.

Emily said...

quality groceries & nice hotels.

and i'm with Frank on the quality over quantity.