It's been a while since I have done a My Ten Favorite Things post, and from the first time I visited the amazing home of the sweet, charming,
and super stylish Claire Cottrell I knew I wanted to feature her and some of the beautiful things she has collected. Claire is the kind of person
that the more you find out about her, the more you want to know about her (and i know no one else who loves books, Paris, Joan Didion, French lingerie, minimalist design, and the color pink the way i do). She is fascinating and is a woman of many creative talents, but has recently opened Book Stand, the online book
shop featuring a thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of art books, zines, journals, films and rare vintage books.
I am so happy to have Claire share her ten favorite things!
WAKA WAKA wooden stools
I am a minimalist at heart (although not always in practice), and these simple, beautiful, handcrafted stools satisfy a lifelong (insanely impractical) dream of having an all-white house with tatami mats and these small wooden stools, when needed.
Lace Bra from Odile de Changy in Paris
On a very memorable trip to Paris I stumbled across the loveliest little lingerie shop on rue du pont aux choux. Teeny tiny. They only had about 10 things, and everything was handmade. Handmade lace. Handmade tiny little bows. All just slightly imperfect. No two were alike. Not only do I have a serious weakness for beautiful French lingerie, but I also have incredible respect for anything of that quality that's made by hand. Handmade lace lingerie is right up there with couture in my book.
Sophia Coppola made this little pink book in 2003 with photos of memorable things from her year.
I love how unexpectedly humble and intimate it is. It sits at the top of this towering stack of books I have next to my bed because (a) I love the design and the cover's the perfect shade of sun-faded pink and (b) it's a reminder that (even if you're Sofia Coppola) the most beautiful things you create can be the least assuming.
18th Century Hungarian Bed
This is the biggest impulse buy I've ever made. The second I saw it, I said 'I have to have that.' At the time, I lived in an impossibly small studio with a murphy bed. I didn't have room for it until just this year, so the beautiful thing has been sitting in storage for almost ten years. I love it, and I'm so happy to see it every day. I'm pretty sure it's magic.
Blue Nights inscribed with 'For Claire'
Meeting Joan Didion after she gave a reading from Blue Nights is one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It was at Vibiana - an otherworldly nineteenth century cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles. She wore a lilac sweater, and she stuttered, but not when she read. I don't think I'm alone in thinking this, but her California is my subconscious.
My grandmother's sapphire ring
To remember her by, always.
Poesie polka-dot book
This little book is a happy reminder of a really wonderful chapter of my childhood. My family lived in a tiny Swiss village at the base of the Alps for a few years when I was growing up. We used to ride horses bareback in the street and climb through caves to reach frozen waterfalls. It was that kind of extraordinary. Anyway, the Swiss children had these little books that they gave to their friends. When you received one, you'd write a poem and then draw something. When you were done, you'd return it. It then got passed on to another friend. Not only does this little book remind me of my dear friends, but it also has drawings and notes from my grandparents (my grandfather drew his Zammy, a wire-haired fox terrier) and a lovely old artist who lived in our village and had a talking parrot (I used to visit her while she painted).
I've had this typewriter since college. I found it at Two Hands Paperie, this incredible paper shop in Boulder, Colorado. In architecture school, I used to type all of my design briefs on it. It got me through many long nights. It's so much more motivating than a laptop.
A eucalyptus branch
I found this branch up on the Mount Washington Dog Trail. It had blown down after a windy night. I have yet to see a work of art that is more beautiful than the perfect branch. And eucalyptus is my favorite. The leaves are the perfect shade of silver-y green and palest peach. I nail them up on my walls.
Truffle the dog
To have a dog is to understand unconditional love. This little guy brings me so much joy. He's the best hiking companion a girl could have.
He's an absolute treasure.
Thank you Claire!