By: Jeremiah Brent
My husband and I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to Vietnam. I was absolutely blown away by the country and it’s powerful yet subtle beauty and sophistication. While it is a country with a somewhat sordid and difficult past, Vietnam had an unparalleled elegance that we, to be perfectly frank, were not expecting.
I always feel my authentic self while traveling. I love learning, exploring, engaging and observing. Seeing the way different cultures of people move through their world is a profound experience.
You can learn so much by simply watching and taking note of the day to day life of someone across the globe.
Aside from being gracious, polite and truly elegant, what really struck me about the Vietnamese community was how they lived. At its heart, Vietnam is a country that embraces the outdoors, and its homes and spaces unfold as you walk through them, almost like a beautiful manuscript unfurling. I took away so much from my time in this amazing country, and am working every day to incorporate these lessons in my own life and home.
Let Your Home Unfold: When approaching the design of your house, try to make it feel as though you are moving from one experience to another, just by stepping into a different room.
There are no rules with design in Vietnam, primarily because they believe that life is simply about living and being true to yourself. The obvious practicality and simplicity of it all creates a gracious and honest way of living that I’ve not found elsewhere in the world.
Embrace the History: Walking through Hoi An — an ancient city on Vietnam’s central coast — you can see the way in which the local people have shaped their lifestyle to reflect not only their present, but also the history of their world. They seem to do this in an effortless way that modernizes their past while still paying homage to it.
In America, we may not live in ancient colonial homes, but we can give our spaces the same timelessness by using beautiful antiques or antique-inspired pieces of furniture that allow your home to feel grounded, curated and truly lived in.
A beautiful and elegant lifestyle does not only come from money. Expensive pieces are not the only way to live graciously. You can achieve the same effect through sincere and defined presentation.
Some of the most incredible homes I have been in are halfway across the world in remote, desolate villages — they are gorgeous and special because of the traditions they honor and the people they reflect.
Beauty, when it’s right, is so much more than a compilation of material items — it’s a feeling.