“The only thing that makes sense is if the universe is beautiful, simple, and elegant.” ~ Antony Garrett Lisi
Intelligence will never stop being beautiful. 
WELCOME to Mind BLOGging!  A lifestyle site dedicated to a daily dose of random fun (often provocative) posts & short stories on all things beautiful, elegant, and timeless through Art, Architecture, & Fashion. 

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"Design is where science and art break even." ~ Robin Mathew

“We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion.  It’s like hunger and thirst - you need them both.”

~ Karl Lagerfeld

“It’s not enough to conquer, one must learn to seduce.”

~ Voltaire

Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) in the Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France

The longer I live happily pursuing a career, the more I realize that culture sensitivities (do's & taboos), manners and protocol have an integral relationship with just about every established profession. Consider the fields of design and image, for example, in which I have been professionally involved for more than two decades.

 The successes of a design project not only depend upon education and experience, but also discipline, strength, and understanding of the emotional connections between the architect, the designer, and the client. The psychology of culture, good manners, and protocol are essential for establishing good working relationships. A designer without people skills who does not carefully consider the clients' needs while designing around them does a disservice to the profession.

The 17th and 18th century designers of the grandiose Palais de Versailles knew that they had a major design responsibility, not only to add to the 'royal magnificence' of the surrounds, but also to make life efficient and comfortable for the people who would live and visit there. For example, their mandate was to make the furnishings comfortable for long hours of sitting, but also capacious and able to accommodate voluminous satin and lace ball gowns and the male courtiers' extravagantly lavish attire. The designers made sure that the important personages in the great salons faced the best possible views and were themselves seen in the best possible light. They wanted to please the King and Queen, most certainly, but they also wanted to make the Royal Court the world center of the practice of manners. Chivalry and protocol were to flourish in this environment.

A designer helps clients with all phases of the design project and should have the same goals, perhaps only cued to much more modest aspirations. Creating personal spaces that are both functional and inviting (even whimsical) will set the stage for offering hospitality to family, friends, guests, and clients.

Author:  Alinda Lewris

It is not every day that one's partner is honored at a White House Afternoon Tea, but during the George W. Bush administration, mine was, and although it seems like a dream now I was present when Letitia Baldrige was honored by the First Lady Laura Bush in the private family quarters of America's Executive Mansion.

Letitia Baldrige (Tish) served as social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy and was an integral part of the changes brought to the mansion in that era. We both enjoyed chatting with the White House curators about the recent changes in the early 19th century architecture, furniture, and decorations. It was fascinating to listen to Tish talk about the evolution in diplomatic entertaining from our nation's beginnings in George Washington's and John Adam's day, through the Kennedy era, and on to the present.

Some of the women in Letitia's family were also sipping tea with us on this historic afternoon, plus a few close friends, and the spouses of diplomats, cabinet members, and Supreme Court justices. I particularly enjoyed meeting some of the former White House social secretaries including Bess Abell (Johnson), Lucy Winchester (Nixon), Maria Downs (Ford), Catherine Fenton (George Bush), Ann Stock (Clinton), and Amy Zantzinger (George W. Bush).


~ "To the walls of the incredibly beautiful White House, it must have seemed like just another link in the long chain of history. For me, it was one of the most extraordinary afternoons of my life."

Author:  Alinda Lewris