It’s kind of awesome that this twenty-year-old piece on Miranda Brooks’ former English cottage looks fresh enough for today’s glossies. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the ‘90s are making a total comeback.) Sun-faded curtains, Victorian upholstery, stripes and whippets will always have a place in my heart. As will beautiful English gardens. For extra credit, check out Miranda Brooks' New York studio as seen in Heather Clawson's book, Habitually Chic at Work. That drafting table, in my opinion, is what dreams are made of.
Published in the October 1995 issue of Vogue.
Photos by François Halard
For the past few weeks, I’ve been grappling with the idea of Christmas presents. I am blessed to have several selfless people in my life, friends and family alike, who would do anything for me. Answer my 2 A.M. phone calls. Dig my car out of a snowbank (in a snowstorm). Let me stay in their guest room for as long as I need when I’m having a difficult time. Watch my terrible dog when I go out of town. This list is endless. Given my shoestring budget, what can I possibly give these wonderful people that would convey just an ounce of my appreciation and gratitude? Somehow, a Starbucks gift card doesn’t seem to cut it.
The idea to mail thoughtful, hand-written letters to each of them came while listening to Oprah’s What I Know for Sure (feel free to roll your eyes). Oprah, the woman with everything, saves letters she’s received along these lines in a box and counts them among her most treasured possessions. I do the same. One of my favorite things is a letter from my grandfather composed on his old typewriter and given alongside a gift for my sixteenth birthday. He died later that year. The gift eludes me, but I keep the letter at arm’s reach.
I doubt my note will have the same effect on my family and friends, but hand-written letters are a rarity these days and receiving mail is exciting (at least, it is to me! though it takes very little to excite me these days). I’ve just ordered pretty cream stationary and another box of my favorite pens. I thought about enclosing a polaroid snapped with the receiver in mind inside the letters, too. We’ll see.
Now I just need to think of gifts for my professors and the two French managers at the little bistro where I work part-time. As heartfelt notes might scare them, I'd love to hear your suggestions :)
(image via instagram)
- Jean-Dominique Bauby,