There are times when certain elements combine at just the right moment to create something really special. When Horst P. Horst headed to Rome in 1966 to photograph the home of painter Cy Twombly, the stars seemed to have perfectly aligned.
Published in Vogue's Book of Houses, Gardens, People in 1968, the photo essay inspires the inner mis-matcher in me.
When your eyes first scan the photos, it might seem as if you're looking at a home where the babysitter let the kids run wild with a box of Crayolas. Twombly's infamous scrawling works graced the walls of his homestead, not just on their canvases but right on the plaster, too. Mingling with modernist wire sculptures and cool marble tiles, the overall effect could come come off as stark if it weren't softened up with mismatched antique chairs, fur linens and ancient busts randomly placed throughout.
At times, the house looks like a museum gone bankrupt. Cloth draped over priceless-looking furniture gives the effect of a family who hasn't fully settled in. But then there are the shots of Twombly's sons--playing dress-up, getting ready to do battle with their play-swords--that make you realize that this is a place where this family really felt at home.
The takeaway I get from these photos, at least when it comes to the subject of decorating, is that it's OK to be imperfect. Not everything needs to be in just the right place. Not every table needs a matching set of chairs. Collect the things you love and show them off.
And lastly, it's totally fine to be boisterously proud of your own creations, as evidenced by Cy's paintings hanging in nearly every room.
Oh, also: I need more Roman busts. And maybe a Picasso or two.