We all strive to live a "comfortable" life, and this can mean many different things. Before turning 50, "comfort" was pretty clear to me. Being raised with a mom who had towels for 'company only', an aunt who had a plastic runner at the front door, and a grandma who always covered the sofa (i still wonder what that sofa looked like), neatness and conserving were expected. Living neat and tidy came to be a habit, clutter, not so much.
A few years back, a friend and I ( we'll call her Georgia) had an opportunity to work as assistants on a 'decor' book. We had a great experience and learned so much. One of the things I came to realize is that the beautiful rooms that we see in the magazines have taken a team to get them that way. Seriously, people just don't live like that.
My favorite stylist, Mary Randolph Carter has written a lot of books and is the stylist and image behind Ralph Lauren (my personal hero, guru, etc.). I am drawn to Mary's style and I now know that her kind of comfort and clutter that she writes about in her books is what I love and try to emulate in my own living. Her last book, A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life, says it all. The chapter on clutter spoke to me. These are some of my favorite quotes in the book: "Clutter is a skillfully arranged state of spirit.", "Clutter is all the things you need most, never use, but can't part with.", and "Clutter is the poetry of our homes."
If you come by my house, you will see that I don't have a misspent life. This, to me is comfort. --S.