An abandoned home on the Great Plains. Image © Saxon Henry.

The Soul of Great Leaders

Whenever I see a photograph of a Native American, I can’t help but think of Crazy Horse, and I’ve seen a fair number of them in my lifetime given the years I spent in the mission field, traveling to and from the Sioux and Athapaskan reservations in South Dakota and Alaska. During one late autumn […]

The Basilica of St. Francis, as seen from below

It Is Time to Experience More

Experience more. It sounds like a simple directive but how many of us really take the time to savor what is happening right in front of us? I consider it a blessing that, as a writer, I live my life steeped in curiosity and engaging the world with heightened perception, and I feel fortunate to […]

Antonio Cotti paints "Dante in Verona"

Reading Dante in Milan

  “I’d like that sunny table near the windows under the beautiful mirror,” he says to the hostess at Le Vrai, pointing to the niche set with two café tables, perfect for reading Dante all afternoon. Only a few decades earlier, the waistcoat and watch fob dangling from its pocket would have been out of […]

Bernardaud produces the Marie-Antoinette pattern of porcelain

Dining with History

A month from Sunday, I’ll be winging my way to Paris to attend Maison & Objet, and I’m thrilled to say I’ve been invited to Limoges to visit the Bernardaud factory while I’m in France. This invitation from the porcelain manufacturer means so much to me because I will be able to see, in person, […]

Whistler gilded the walnut latticework forming the shelves.

The Peacock Room à la Whistler

The most recognizable painting by artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler might lead you to believe he was as Puritan as his upbringing. The fact he could render such a realistic homage to piety in Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist’s Mother)—better known as Whistler’s Mother—does seem to further the illusion […]

DXV Design Panel detail by Justin Shaulis

A Room with a View x 2

When I saw the expressive twin spaces Justin Shaulis created as one of American Standard’s 2015 DXV Design Panel participants, I knew I had to feature him for two reasons: the sensual storytelling he achieved within the spaces he designed and the novel he chose as his inspiration, A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, […]

The painting "Three Tahitian Women" by Paul Gauguin.

Paul Gauguin in Tahiti

Seeing the luscious colors and splashy patterns in the summer issues of the top shelter publications (“Big, Bold Blooms” an Elle Décor Trend Alert and “Imperial Red” the month’s Color Crush featured in House Beautiful) I was reminded of an exhibition staged at the Tate Modern I was lucky enough to see on opening day […]

An Indian woman in a village hand-sewing Welspun's SPUN collection.

Threads With a Soul

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people —Mahatma Gandhi Soul is one of those words with as many connotations as there are people to consider it. Like truth and beauty, the concept of soul has been interpreted by many of history’s greatest writers and thinkers. Aristotle remarked, “What […]