I was invited by Cultured magazine to chat to the architect Chad Oppenheim in front of an intimate group of Miami’s design mavericks in the private library of the Rubell Family Collection.  

Cultured is a thick tome dedicated to the world of art, printed on gorgeous uncoated paper. Incidentally, when I published my second book, Island Beauty, I carefully choose uncoated paper, to reflect the natural back-to-basics theme of the book. When it arrived onto the American publishers’ desk they called to say WTF, where were the glossy, shiny pages? 

The idea of me in a conversation about architecture would make my brother wince. He is an architect and survived the seven grueling years of study to become one. I am a heathen but perhaps that made the conversation more curious, that and the fact that Chad and I live in entirely different ways.  

We both have homes on Harbour Island. Mine is a crazy clutter of disproportionate rooms built on randomly as our family grew, filled with the layers of life. Chad’s is a large, clean, modern ‘box’ (his word, not mine) with faultless lines, inside which he, his wife and two young children live impeccably, all in beige and linen, to match the large sofas that dominate the vast main room, void of any clutter, not even a speck of art on the empty long walls.  He says he was inspired by the historic two hundred year old wooden cottage, called Rose Bud, that sits quietly on the bay. I think Chad has smoked a big old dooby.  

But I admire Chad’s visionary work and can wholly appreciate his extraordinary modern discipline and his respect for green architecture. But boy, could I live like that? No, I simply have too much stuff.  

Here with my hostess, Sarah Harrelson, editor-in-chief of Cultured and the legendary Mera Rubell, in who’s warehouse museum we lunched in. 
Why are they both laughing quite so hard when looking at me?

And here Chad explains how to handle a woman…. OK not really, he’s actually describing something clever about the formation of a house.