Melanie Woodroffe on Beholding Beauty

Walking into someone’s home, what is the first thing you notice?


As natural observers, (some more than others) many are instinctively drawn to the individually & aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Example: I am drawn to art & books. Without being intrusive, I will always ask if it is ok to peruse bookshelves and art collections when visiting someone of creative interest. I also gravitate towards the things I love, like vintage home furnishings, sculpture, and rare collections. I am drawn to the history of things. Inquisitive, I ask a million questions. To put it mildly, copious curations of hard to find artifacts of any kind can keep me entertained for hours. Favorites are vintage fashion, art, music, culture, any kind of visual vignettes: the more abundant, the better.

While living in New York years back, to escape the city (Yes, New Yorkers still do this most weekends!) I was lucky to be able to spend occasional weekends at a friend’s lofty family estate in Old Westbury, L.I. I became addicted to her Grandmother’s tour of their enormous estate and gardens. Upon arrival, I couldn’t wait for the ‘cup of tea tour.” Teetering through hallways, carrying an heirloom cup and saucer over-filled with earl gray(heart beating a thousand beats per minute for fear of dropping her precious china on the marbled floors!) I followed behind eagerly listening to every word, my eyes cast to every pointing finger outlining the exclusive, unique finds she and her late husband discovered while traveling. Olivia, my friend, the Granddaughter, living with this vast wealth of treasured knowledge her whole life, headed straight for the liquor cabinet, then to the pool.
The fact is, I am rarely actually drawn to the monetary aspects of beautiful things, because if you have good taste you can find the valuable & eye pleasing without large amounts of money. I am drawn to how they are discovered & their roots, the moment found, and the feelings associated with the find.
From ancient books with hand-bound backs hanging on by a thread, lovely junked pieces of old jewelry with missing gemstones, discarded art (yes! Feee art! Artists are so hard on themselves!) or a dusty hand-stitched vintage faille handbag; all new at one time, loved and survived for decades is what I am interested in, hence, my real curiosity.
What fascinating treasures have you found that you cherish? Drop us a note, we would love to hear from you!

Melanie Woodroffe
‘ a curated collection of fab ’
(all images property of Capitol de Beauté)

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