A Mad Exuberance



With the romantic pressure of Valentine’s Day well behind us

(but hopefully still a few chocolates left) we can move on to something truly important;


Between trying to keep up with the Winter Olympics, ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘House of Cards’ (husband; finished, me; Fail) and, lest we forget, plain old Real Life, staying on top of all the shows during NY & London Fashion Week this season required a supremely valiant effort.

Sometimes a girl’s just gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

You strap on that (hand painted) helmet and forge ahead.

There were oh SO many heart-stopping collections but one of my favourites took place just a couple of days ago at “Burberry Prorsum”.

Burberry Fall 2014

Christopher Bailey knocked it out of the park for me with his “Bloomsbury Girls” Fall 2014 collection.

A couple of months ago I was asked to weigh in on what trends I was hoping to see prevail in terms of Fashion this Spring and my answer was;

“Keep an eye out for an exuberant abundance of colour, texture and pattern. Take a break from clean lines and mix…”

Of course for me it’s never just about one subject  🙂

I’ve also been feeling the same way about interiors. Now first, let me say that I appreciate the spare beauty of a mininalist room as much as anyone, except perhaps John Pawson, but I’m starting to fear we’ve become so focused on the ‘coolness’, dare I say safety of the almighty ‘clean line’ that the soul of interior spaces appears to be drifting away.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.05.35 AM

 I’ve a sense of longing for the well layered space again.

Rooms that feel utterly lived in, proudly displaying the history and personality of their inhabitants.


In other words, where’s your stuff, people?!!

I’m not by any means advocating the acquiring of Things for acquisition’s sake, I’m simply wondering how all of a sudden it became so déclassé for living spaces to actually look lived in?

Who amongst us doesn’t have a huge pile of unread books & magazines, an overly used and frayed chair, or items worth virtually nothing, yet priceless with memories?

slimpaley.comWho hasn’t had a puppy that’s left a little memory (or two)?!

Dan Marty Design hb7

Dan Marty

Burberry Fall 2014

But not to veer off track too much (well, it wouldn’t be me, would it?)

I simply loved the mad exuberance of Bailey’s collection. The mix of florals, lace & leather. The luxuriously  long scarves tucked into skinny  knotted belts. The whimsically hand painted oversized bags-impractical as their handles and heft may be…the baggie open-toed ankle boot reminiscent of vintage Vivienne Westwood’s Buffalo Girls again

( Viv IS having her moment, isn’t she?!)

Burberry Fall 2014

Lisa Fine's Paris apt. Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Burberry 2014 Fall


Tamara Comolli

Tamara Comolli ocean jasper coconut bracelets and ring in sterling silver would be perfection with this collection.

Burberry Fall 2014


.“Yvonne Printemps on the Sofa”: Edouard Vuillard – 1919-1921.

Loulou Falaise's living roomLou lou de la Falaise living room

Who doesn’t love a room that feels comfortable in its own fabric?

A ‘house’ is a roof over one’s head. A ‘home’ tells a story


As does the way we dress

(although, speaking for myself these days, not exactly a bodice-ripper)

edouard Vuillard

Edouard Vuillard

NY Times slimpaley.comA cozy Sunday afternoon in front of the fire.

I don’t have to tell you why my ottoman has a Suzani over it.

Homes have their little secrets as well as stories 🙂


majolica plates

A wall of fine majolica.

Tamara Comolli

And in gold. Sigh.



Burberry Fall 2014 finale lead by Cara Delevingne



Burberry Prorsum Fall 2014

Mix, don’t match

Elle decorvia Elle Decor



Viva la Exuberant Abundance!!

inspiration slimpaley.com

Inspired? Encouraged?


Me too!



One Year Ago: Heads Up

All uncredited photos via Pinterest or Tumblr. If you have a credit I will be happy to include it.


  1. I love …Love…Love….this Blog……Finally … someone who speaks out……Who Does Live Here!!!! Thank you…….

  2. Oh, I needed that. A lived in layered home. It’s about time. Maybe you can start the revolution. Adored the Burberry collection which would look ridiculous on me, but stuff to dream about. Would love one of those scarves though. Lovely to see a Vuillard in the mix.

  3. LOVE THAT FASHION, SLIM! Interesting colors. Tans mixed with soft, dark, pinks. Plus, I love those long, flowing dresses with those high-heeled shoes that show the toes. I am also quite fond of that Jasper bracelet! 🙂

  4. Thank you for a fabulous post, Slim! “Burberry Prorsum” just happens to be my favorite too! I’m stunned and delighted at how the mix of color and texture remains elegant, casual and non-sloppy. This collection is sweet magic.

  5. That post was fabulous! So inspiring! Bring on the Bohemian vibe, I just love it. The bags painted like Charleston Farm House, the rooms, I’m in love!

  6. You’re the best, Slim! Love all the ‘exhausting’ posts, but you’re ‘exhausting’ enthusiasm it what makes the difference! I’m just sure you’re husband and the dogs understand, as they will get their share!

  7. So fresh and alive! Love it…but especially the maroon colored dress accented with turquoise…I never would have mixed..but what a great combo!

  8. Hey Slim I’m with you on the comfort front and indeed, love all of the interior shots ! However, I must say that I do/did like John Pawson (pre condo/hotel endeavours) and I have always admired his earlier work. I found it to be very soulful and dare I say it….warm, albeit spare. First saw his home published in a 1997 issue of Martha Stewart Living…YES… Martha Stewart Living………Now, could I live like that ? Mmmmm…no….I do like my squishy pillows, gorgeous blankets, books, flowers 😉 and mementos strewn about……As for the Burberry collection…oh dear..where does one begin ? My initial thoughts…..painted bags….stephen sprouse grafitti bags for Louis Vuitton anyone ? And really, will anyone look good in these rags other than the models and some eccentric New York socialite whose only job is to look eccentric…….
    I, too, love, love, LOVE your blog….but can’t get behind this one……….sorry 🙁 but love you:-) m

  9. “In other words, where’s your stuff, people?!!” AMEN. The new streamlined looks in both decor and fashion have their place {just not at MY place!}. That look leaves me cold. I hadn’t put my finger on it, but your word “layered” highlights what’s missing. And ohmygosh, love those painted bags and leather jackets. Happiness!

  10. My minimalist teeth are nashing at the explosion of pattern. I admit to being bored with my clean-lined clothes but those Burberry Bags are gorgeous!!! My home displays all of its “stuff”. We sport dog chewed chair legs, threadbare Persian carpets and cracked marble, but I can’t do pattern in my clothes, yet. Maybe my complexion is afraid of the competition:).

  11. Oh, darling SP, I did a post on the Burberry show, and raved on about the bag & shoes, how they will be the IT pieces for Fall. However, your post is so much better than mine as you took us inside the designer’s mind and how this look translates into our homes. I just love the Mad Exuberance. I think that is you exactly. xx’s

  12. Slim…
    I love how you mixed in the Edouard Vuillard painting!

    The goal is soul…and you’ve got it down.
    Love this post and you.

  13. Thank God! I am here with my Country Life mag that comes once a week along with too many others that I must read……soooo behind….my mint green trellis designed carpet with the never gonna be housebroken Yorkie…stacks of things I am going to do next

  14. PS
    The movie Lost Horizon is on now…even in Shangrala there are stacks of things that they are going to do next along with projects….sitting at that dining table with Ronald Colman in those Manderine coates, drapes and rugs everywhere over everything…perfection, as you so perfectly said. Thank you.

  15. Amen! I never put my stuff away. While not cluttered, my home is tastefully (in my opinion, of course) but still looks like someone lives here. Love the painted leather purses and jackets.

  16. That is wild that they are showing hand painted bags (could it be they are copying Kim Kardashian’s?) I had the idea to hand paint bags a year ago and never did it! Should I buy a large Prada and try it? Do I dare?

  17. I think that is why wallpaper is taking off recently. I like organized but for instance when I watch Damages – people with no stuff like Patty Hewes ( Glenn Close plays her) her flat is so sparse and I always wonder about people who live in flats like that! Also in a house party – a cluttered and layered house brings about conversation I have noticed where the minimalist house parties make people act differently. I bet John Pawson has a big shed out back anyway!! x

  18. “Where’s your stuff people?” hahahaha made me laugh out loud:)
    Love the bags, but I have to admit I like a little “cleaner ” palette. I would have to just mix a piece in here and there…

  19. LOVE IT! And I couldn’t agree more – am tired of the sterile affair in current decor. I’m always asking, “I thought they had kids?” or “I thought they had a dog?” because everything is so crazy neat. Where is la vida? The spirits laughing and dancing through the house? I love my home, it is well edited but also beautifully comfortable with toys and books and boots by the front door. We can be ourselves and enjoy its warmth together!

  20. Such a fabulous post and a gentle reminder that our rooms should have personality. Love the Vuillard. I could very happily live in that room.

  21. As usual you are spot on and say exactly how I feel ! I love those beautiful staged/contrived magazine photos…but I am certain things don ‘t look that way every day, esp if you have an addiction to decorating magazines! One reason I love covered round tables….they are my go to place for panic decluttering .. Glad to see you are out of your ‘funk’ and the ole enthusiasm is back!

  22. Does anyone happen to know what happened to the very talented Dan Marty? He seems to have disappeared into thin air…..

  23. Love the way you combine the art, the fashion, and interiors with just the right amount of SL perspective. It all comes together; the whole grater than the sum of its parts. Bravo!

  24. “Where’s your stuff, people?!!” Amen. While I’m not a follower of fashion, I love this post. Love Charleston House and the Bloomsbury Group. Did you happen to see the video at the blog ‘A Bloomsbury Life’ of Patti Smith at Charleston House? Unexpected juxtaposition. Love her antique-looking photographs.

  25. LOVED this post! The clothes, those bags, I am a CBBW (“Certified Big Bag Woman”), the jewelry, the mix of colors and patterns and textures, oh, my! But my favorites were the rooms those lovely, beautiful spaces where you can tell people actually live in, cannot deal with museum houses Been there, done that. Do NOT want the tee-shirt, thank you. I especially loved the converted garage turned into a dreamy cocoon surrounded by all that lovely greenery, Lou lou de la Falaise’s and the shot of the purple sofas facing the fireplace and LOTS of books. Could happily move into any of those. As a matter of fact the dreamy cocoon shot has inspired a bit of a makeover for my own cocoon. Love all your posts, you always inspire creativity and laughter which is a great combo!

  26. Slim, I just re-read this one since it’s one of my many all-time favorites! Your ability to super-collide wit, imagery, thru lines and above all impeccable taste is truly outstanding!

  27. Thank you! More and more I feel like every house I visit is trying to be on the cover of AD, filled with meaningless {mais, “trés impressive”} objects. I don’t know how NOT to live in a “layered” home. But I’ve been confusingingly stuttering to myself as to how to explain this phenomenon, you’ve, of course, articulated it perfectly. Off to tweet and fb this. Love the Vuillard, and Lou lou’s living room. YOU’RE BAACK!

  28. Slim,
    I’m not qualified to comment on fashion, but I love Dan Marty’s rooms. 🙂
    P.S. on the subject of keeping up with all of the programs and life, Mr. B. just had a box installed that allows you to record 6 programs at once! Arggg. How will I ever have time to watch all of the programs I’ve asked him to record?!

  29. Hooray for the return of the “well-layered” space!! I’m so tired of Zen-like houses that photograph beautifully but can’t support an evening at home. The late, great decorator Mark Hampton once said something to the effect that “everything looks great in a minimalist room except its occupant”.

  30. Wonderful layered post! Thanks for that–is the second painting another Vuillard or a Duncan Grant? trying ot place–so rich in texture and color.

  31. OMG!!!! Could you be any more funny!! “Where’s your stuff people”? I howled with laughter! Howled!

    Hey I’m a little of both in that I like calm and serenity, minimalist to a certain degree if you must but I also want my home to say me.

    So yes I still display and play my record albums. Yes as in LPs, vinyl, spin my discs on my turntable. I also have my cassette tapes with my cassette player at the ready to be fast forwarded or rewound along side my cds’ and dvds’ on my floating shelves. My books have a place of honour (all of them) as well do my medals for running endeavours. All are representative of who I am and anyone entering my place immediately has a sense of me.

    As I told my sister (who questioned my reason for putting all this “old” stuff on display for all to see in my modern abode) even the singer Norah Jones displays and plays all of her albums in her New York home. So I am in good company. It says me!

    Slim Paley you are terrific. Thank you for these wonderful treasures of you.


  32. Such an inspiration! Combining colors now to present to a client in blues and yellows – pure happiness. Interiors need not be so serious. I think that we all need to have a home that we return to and smile. Can you start a smile campaign?

  33. Slim, Thank You! If I see another bare ‘Belgian’ styled/color interior …..It’s. Over. Enough. Yet most shelter magazines continue to show blah houses that look like restoration hardware, no details of who lives there. Enjoyed the juxtaposition of fashion with interiors – literally with color palates – a treat! BTW, Loved the Goldfinch 😉

  34. Loved your blog. Laura and I (Jean) buyers from Wendy Foster are in N Y for fashion week. Heading to Paris on Tues. Always love your inspiration.

  35. Hey! What a great post! No one says…….to me…..nor about me…….”where’s your stuff?” Yikes! EVERYWHERE!!!!

    I love the layers of life and collections! And I love your blog! Brava!!

  36. Yes, I feel the same and you expressed it perfectly – layered, personal, cozy. I’ve always liked the classic English style – relaxed elegance, tons of personality, so comfortable, a little tattered, imperfect, maybe a few quirks – love it. I have these two older bergere chairs covered in a ivory and black check. A few years ago I thought…yeah, I probably should get them reupholstered, this isn’t so up-to-date…and every time I talked myself out of it. I finally realized, I love my chairs just the way they are, they seem to be fine with whatever goes on around them – I’m leaving it alone! So many interiors are so trendy or too careful or all brand new…and it is just boring! Thanks for a great post!

  37. Rah, rah, rah! Three cheers for SP! Loved this. If I see another perfectly dented pillow…homes are not “showcases”!!

  38. Hi, my beautiful friend!

    How have you being??? I am always dropping by but sometimes I am too lazy to write.. awful, I know!
    I hope everything is great with your “boys” and hubby. Life is great, but busy as always around here. 🙂

    Have a Blessed Day and Year!


  39. Late reaction/comment woman here……..Fall 2014?…wait,… stop, ….think,…. what month is this, (?)….uh, February…….what year is this, (?)….uh…just celebrated New Years a month ago, right, it’s 2014…I don’t even know what I am wearing tomorrow sheesh!…..

  40. Delayed comment woman here (again)….the previous delayed comment referred to your Valentine’s and RED post…………..this is all I have to say right now……I love secret ottoman stories, not gonna lie, but mine are on top not underneath 🙂 Maybe THIS should be the Valentine’s comment (?)!

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