Don't you laugh when you see a real estate listing that describes a home as having "old world charm"? There must be something about those three words that is catnip to most of America, because it's unbelievable how many listings use that phrase. And usually, there isn't a shred of old world or charm to the house.
Just what is old world charm? I think people have different ideas about it, but for me, I know it when I see it. But, old world, even when done well, doesn't really do it for me. My style is far too American. However, I think I've found something that has changed my mind.
Mirella Spinella is a textile designer who has lived and worked in Venice for close to thirty years. Her fabrics, most of which are handprinted silk velvet, evoke the history and "old wordliness" of Spinella's city. In addition to yardage, many of her fabrics are used to make pillows, tablecloths, curtains, and other decorative items.
Spinella recently branched out into custom-dyed linen, which might be a little more me than the silk velvet. Regardless of the fabric though, her old world designs just might have charmed me.
(More information, visit Spinella's website. Sue Fisher King in San Francisco does carry many of Spinella's pillows and hangings, including the new linen line.)