According to this article, I am a Tsundoku master (something in the realm of Bibliophilia, but not quite precisely a bibliophile) because I have over 500 books in my home library. I don’t think that is very hard to achieve in our day and age, I believe it is in many cases mainly a matter of choice and preference. Having so many books is not always simple, as I’ve had to admit when moving houses for example! At the same time, it is for me the best feeling ever to know I basically own an Alladin’s cave and I just need to browse through to find my next treasure.
I loved the conclusion to the article: But these unread books aren’t merely there to make a good Zoom background. They are, as the Lebanese-American author/thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb says, “a powerful reminder of your limitations – the vast quantity of things you don’t know, half-know, or will one day realise you’re wrong about.” That’s the power of books: they make you a better person… even when you don’t read them.
Always at the Carlyle
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to watch the Always at the Carlyle documentary, mistakenly believing it is directed by Wes Anderson, when in fact he (briefly) stars in the hour and a half ode to the Carlyle Hotel in New York City’s Upper East Side. But I am so glad I did because it is honestly the best feel-good watch I’ve found in years.
What is not to love about the story of a world-famous, yet very discreet hotel, considered to have mastered the home away from home feeling, being the favorite among royals, presidents, movie stars and everybody in between. It made me dream again of one-day living or (more realistically) working and living in a hotel (like at least one of the previous general managers of The Carlyle used to, his twin daughters raised in the hotel being featured in the documentary!)
Watch it for the vibrant personalities and loyalty of all the staff featured, from the doorman to the general manager, a mix of cultures and ethnicities joint by the same ambition, to retire while still working for this hotel. Incredible!
On Being Wealthy
I always say I wouldn’t want to be wealthy for the sake of having piles of money in my bank account, but for a few specific reasons. The main one is and will always be to allow me to do, wear, eat, buy and so on exactly what I want and when I want it, which implies never having to do anything that I don’t like or want to do. Simple, huh?
But there are other reasons, like this one that came back to me most recently while watching Always at the Carlyle – to have access to things, experiences, places, even people that you don’t even know about unless you have a certain income and can spend it as you please.
A small detail mentioned in the documentary prompted this train of thought and that is the fact that all guests have their initials monogrammed on their pillowcases. I am not a massive fan of monogramming things, I think it can be a tacky trend, and I don’t think I would do this with my bed lingerie at home. But in a hotel, where most things are shared with current, previous or future guests, it means that the thing your rest your head on at the end of the day is and will always be yours only, and that is quite special, don’t you think?
⚜ Uncommon Places to Find Exquisite Gifts ⚜
No 3 – Hotel Online Stores
Quite a few of this week’s exquisite finds were actually inspired by the documentary I keep mentioning, and this one is no exception. It wasn’t on my list, but it dawned on me that hotels’ online stores would be a great place to find a very special gift. Maybe the recipient spent there a holiday or an occasion to remember, maybe they’ve always wanted to go or maybe they were supposed to be there this very holiday season, but it’s not possible anymore. Or maybe you just want to make them feel like they’re staying at the Ritz Paris, the Claridge’s London, the Waldorf Astoria or indeed The Carlyle, in New York. Whatever the reason, as long as it is personal, it’s worth having a look!
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
It appears I am in a mood for opulence with my (it seems) excessive book collection, luxurious hotel dreams, exquisite jewelry and now, for this week’s decor inspiration – richly ornate mirrors. As unusual as it might sound, because such mirrors are statement pieces, I also find them extremely versatile and I think they can complement any space – minimalist or tastefully cluttered, modern or classic. Here is my dedicated Pinterest board for more mirror inspiration!
I have two relatively small such mirrors (one in need of some gold touch), but it so happens that my dream of also owning a full size one was made a reality only just yesterday evening! I don’t even have a decent picture yet, but it will come on Instagram, rest assured. I am positively ecstatic and extremely grateful!
Photos Source: Donna Jewel on Instagram
This exquisite find is a gem, both figuratively and quite literally speaking! Donna Jewel is the Instagram account of the name-sake project initiated by Laura Inghirami, with the purpose of celebrating excellence in jewelry making around the world.
I love it because it gives me a curated feed of the best and most inspiring jewelry artisans and artists and their work, something I wouldn’t be able to simply source myself and potentially couldn’t find anywhere else. It’s amazingly informative, educational and inspiring – the best type of content if you ask me! I enjoyed finding out from her how cameos are made or what a pomander is, for example.
What’s more, she recently started a project called ART MONDAY, using her Instagram Stories to highlight contemporary artists that need a space to showcase their creations in this critical time! Such an amazing use of her platform and perfect if you’re looking for something special for yourself or someone dear, but wouldn’t know where to start.
The Letter Opener
I haven’t shared a real-life exquisite find in a while, mainly because I haven’t had a chance to acquire any new ones in the past few weeks. That being said, I often forget just how many of these I have lying around the house since pretty much everything I have in here was an exquisite find at some point in the past three years.
This week my eyes fell on the letter opener I keep on my home desk (also known as half of the kitchen table). Apart from the fact that I absolutely love the look of this one, gold metal and black leather, with many lovely details, what I enjoy most is its practicality. I’ve gone paperless for pretty much all my bills, but I still get enough mail to make this simple object quite useful and a pleasure to have! I feel very put-together and slightly old school whenever I use it.
Looking into the history of the letter opener, I stumbled upon how it differs from a paper-knife and you can read more about it here!
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.