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Article: The Season of Duality

The Season of Duality

The Season of Duality

Finding Balance In Ourselves & Our Experiences

I was asked once, which season was my favorite.

It was difficult for me to answer.

The truth is, I love every season.

For different reasons.

When I thought about it further… I decided that this is the time of year that I love the most… the late winter/early spring season. The Shoulder Season. The Season of Duality.

This is that fabulous time where both summer and winter are here in the northern hemisphere!

One may choose between snow and sand, between revelry and rest, between hibernation and rejuvenation, between tox and detox.

One can truly have access to it all!

Sun or Snow?

Throw all your de rigueur equipment into the largest duffel bag possible and find your way to a mountain to enjoy all that winter has to offer. Crisp clean air, the sweetness of fresh snow, the intensity of the sun at high altitude. (They say snow has a different energy. I definitely feel it!)

Or pack your bikini, your caftan and your Organic Pharmacy Sunscreen into your weekend beach bag and head to the seashore and drink in the sun and sand and perhaps an umbrella drink, too!

Or escape to a retreat to hibernate in the snow or the heat.

A calmer, adult version of spring break.

Aren’t February + March in North America wonderful!

‘Tis the Season of Duality.

Shifting Between Seasons

The Season of Duality offers us the unique ability to shift, to choose between opposites, to find balance through change, to experience variance, to offset sameness and to honor that aspect of ourselves that needs to be re-balanced.

Shifting between our experiences is critical to our maintaining our own personal balance.

Nature teaches us this every day. Whether it is the sun and the moon, the rising and falling tides, the seasons, the weather. Finding balance is sometimes the tricky part but it is magic when you do. Nature seems to have done so, for the most part…excluding global warming and some of the extreme weather we are experiencing these days.

Creating Duality Through Balance In Design

It is important to maintain balance in our homes and in our lifestyle as well as in our experiences. And duality is a key element in our approach to design and living.

We find balance through creating an immersive, organic experience driven by space and scale, tone and texture, light and layers. Each play off of one another in fullness and in void. Negative space is as important as a space which is filled.

Step One

We always start our spaces with a base neutral tone. (If you don’t know what yours should be, just start with your own favorite neutral that you wear all the time and move out on the tonal scale left and right for your layers. And, ta-da, you have your base. Of course there are exceptions, but you do you!)

Step Two

We then add layers of texture. I love our natural fiber pillows woven in South America and our natural silk pillows from India or texturally - patterned pillows from Africa and Turkey.

Of course, we have to throw in a favorite throw from Italy or Oregon, whether summer or winter, to add that 3 dimensional sense of comfort that melds the furniture and brings form together.

Step Three

Then come the elements that actually give you the yin and the yang, the duality, the balance. The decorative pieces that finish the space and signify it. They make the room yours: paintings, vessels, organics, scents, sounds, etc..

To allow for balance, to create your own Season of Duality in your own home, be sure to choose elements that can be sensed differently in different seasons. Or pieces that can be shifted or changed so that you can respond to your own personal need for change, when and if. (No one says you have to keep everything in your spaces exactly the same all year long!)

The most important take away here is that, you can create a Season of Duality in your very own home. Move from charcoal wood accents to bleached woods. Settle down some of the winter marble with matte elements. Bring in some bright spring scents or woodier winter scents from our favourites Amanda de Montal or Trudon.

Pro Tips

My favorite sources of duality? I love charcoal and ivory throws from Alonpi or Blacksaw, charcoal and chalk hand formed wooden pieces from Central America and vessels from my favorite ceramicists, Mirena Kim or Cym Warkov along with matte and textured leather pieces from Giobagnara.

Creating Balance In The Body

It is just as important to respect the duality of the body.

Even without dry January.

So, as we head into Valentine's Day followed by President's Day Weekend, balancing our wellness through our bodies and nutrition is a great way to say we love ourselves.

Julia's Favorite Wellness Products

Two of my favourite “go to’s”, amongst the many, are the Cleopatra Salt Scrub from The Organic Pharmacy, the ORIGINAL organic wellness brand from London, and the Calming Bath Soak from Surya, an ayurvedic spa and line of products, recently named one of the best spa's in the world. And of course, who cannot be inspired by any Ottolenghi cook book. Each one brings fresh sustenance into being with every recipe. I’m constantly inspired.

So…. I love living in duality.

In experiencing the dichotomies, we all find a little balance in our selves.

And, remember, balance is not always found as a constant. It is found over time.

Finding your balance in a way that serves you, in your experiences, your home, your wellness and yourself, is what enjoying the Season of Duality is all about.


Whether you prefer charcoal or chalk, rest or revelry, snow or sun, glamour or down home, Vegan or Barbeque, you don’t have to pack your bags to enjoy your very own Season of Duality in your very own nest. And, yes, you can have it all. At the same time. Enjoy!

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