Letter: November 2016

It’s always all about the details

 

People often ask me where the inspiration comes from for the monthly letters with which I open each issue of ELLE Decoration. Well, more often that not it comes from random conversations. Indeed, the day before this letter was due, I found myself lamenting how long it was taking me to finish off my house, because despite all the really big stuff being done – new wiring, plumbing, floors, kitchen and bathroom, even most of the internal decorating – I was now in the realm of the “Details”. The trouble is, these details are small but incredibly important. For example the kick board beneath my kitchen units. The units themselves are grey lacquer, housed in Corian. I had first imagined brushed brass for the kickboard, seeing it as a strip of something unexpected that would reflect the touches of brass used elsewhere. Then again, I mused, mirror could be interesting (I’d seen a picture of Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi’s kitchen with incredible mirrored units that was stunning!)? I just knew it must be anything but a finish to match the doors (too trad). However on discussion with my builder, it became apparent that it was also more complicated to install than at first thought. The length I wanted could not be done in one piece. Mirror yes, brass, apparently no. And I didn’t want joins. I also needed to provide cut outs for the fridge and freezer vents. And the whole thing had to be easily removable for ease of appliance access. Oh and my units are set slightly higher than average so that needed to be accommodated as well. And because all the appliances are integrated, they each sit slightly differently inside their uniform housing too. Sigh.

But the point is, when I find a solution that ticks all the right boxes, this small but important detail satisfactorily completed will bring me immeasurable pleasure. It will epitomise a job well finished, because it’s not really a little thing at all, is it. It’s something I will see everyday. And although I’m moaning now, I’ll be equally effervescent when it’s finally done. along with all the other “details” requiring finessing… did I mention the trim above the bath…?

 

First published as my Editor’s Letter in the November 2016 edition of ELLE Decoration