Life at the Bottom of the World
When Cold Picnic was only a name and a few scattered handmade experiments, we decided to leave our jobs in Boston and move to Los Angeles. Somehow in between deciding and moving, our destination shifted to New York, but sometimes we still talk about our lives out West. Our home would have arched hallways, sprawling low furniture, a porch backing out into a yard filled with citrus trees, windows enough to keep our plants alive. Actually, when we talk about the life we might have lived in LA, we rarely venture past the walls of our home there.
We didn’t realize we’d materialized this home until we finished making the dioramas for our Fall 2019 rug collection Life at the Bottom of the World. The idea came easily: what if Stuart Little lived in our house? As we began designing the rooms - the cavernous bathroom in a nook under our sink, eat in kitchen in our cabinet, living room nestled in our bookshelves, and so on - the imaginary inhabitant of these rooms became less Stuart Little and more Joan Didion, if she were 4” tall and lounged on a velvet sofa made from an eyeglass case and a scrap of shearling.
The corners and drawers and hidden spaces of our very New York (specifically Queens) railroad apartment opened up to the kinds of spacious rooms we’d dog eared in 70s and 80s interior design books. We created artwork for the walls based on elements from past rug designs and filled the rooms with herbs, and some weeds, from our very seasonal garden. As always we incorporated our keepsakes into the scenes and they took on added, secret meaning. In playing host to our make believe Californian lives, our real home - which we’ve incorporated into more lookbooks than we like to admit - was finally playing itself.
Photography: Jonathan Hökklo