Corinna vanGerwen on Why Details Matter

When asked for birthday gift suggestions for me, my husband proposed “something pretty.” If one word sums up the things that I like, the things that make me happy, it’s “pretty”. I may be oversimplifying things, but my point is that the textures, the colours, the shapes of objects–the aesthetics of what surrounds us–is important. The smoothness of butter-soft leather or the touch-me texture of a cashmere scarf. A rainbow of double-faced satin ribbon or the steely black of a winter’s lake. The perfect shape of an acorn or the curve of an Eva Zeisel creamer. These details matter. They make life just that little bit better. So here’s my little bit of pretty on the web.

Corinna vanGerwen runs a gift wrapping company called Corinna Wraps, is an editor and a writer, and publishes the blog Dream Job TK. She has worked at Style at Home and Cottage Life magazines. Follow her on Twitter @vangerwen

Corinna’s five links

1. Dressing Like a Grownup

This series on dressing well for men is like GQ if it were a video, but better. The three episodes (I’m dying for them to make more) are all about quality and care and attention to details, about an appreciation for good things. Watch these and you’ll learn how to make your shoes last, how to break in your denim and how to button a suit jacket (yes, there is a right way).

2. Roman and Williams Office (slideshow)

I love the interior design work of Roman and Williams, who designed the Ace Hotel in New York. I would love to stay there on my next trip to the city. One of their projects that I particularly like is their office. It has everything I want in an interior: honeycomb leaded glass, warm worn wood and softened old leather. The space is industrial, modern and very inviting.

3. Design*Sponge

I spend most of my time online visiting decorating and craft blogs, but the only one I visit on a nearly daily basis is Design*Sponge. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s interested in this subject matter, as D*S tends to be considered the gold standard. Blogger Grace Bonney always finds a beautiful selection of things to feature, from befores-and-afters to house tours to products. Very inspiring.

4. “Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t and You Won’t Stop”

Artists Doug and Mike Starns had climbers construct a giant art piece from thousands of bamboo poles and miles of nylon rope. One article described it as resembling “bamboo scaffolding mangled by a hurricane.” Built atop the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it does exactly what art should do–inspire awe and amazement. This art installation is a little bit Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and a little bit Andy Goldsworthy. I wish I could have had the chance to walk through this structure, to experience it.

5. Things Organized Neatly

The title of this blog says it all: It’s a collection of photos of things–be they leaves, baking ingredients or glow-in-the-dark baby Jesuses–that have been organized in tidy ways. This site appeals to the little bit of OCD in me and goes to show that even the most mundane things can be beautiful. As objects become patterns, it’s less about what the objects are and more about their colours, textures and shapes.