Anne Sage

What makes your home a magical place

This fall, we asked three prominent figures in the design world to sketch and share a back-of-the-napkin idea of what makes their homes magical.

Below, meet our first contributor, Anne Sage, design blogger and author of Sage Living: Decorate for the Life you Want. She muses on her design philosophy, the easy-come-easy-go nature of objects, and where she finds inspiration.

Anne Sage

Portrait by Roma Edwards

What makes your home a magical place

Sketch by Anne Sage

Into a 600-square-foot LA bungalow, my partner and I pack four pets, a garden’s worth of houseplants, and enough family portraits to evoke a lifetime of memories.

What we lack in space, we more than make up for in love and laughter.

Anne Sage

Sketch by Anne Sage

Q&A with Anne

What is the most magical item you remember from your childhood home?

My mother had a collection of arrowheads gathered during her childhood on a ranch in southern Nevada. She stored them in a cigar box on a shelf high above my head, and every so often she’d bring down the box, lift the arrowheads one by one from their nest of crinkled tissue, and use them to punctuate her tales of summers spent roaming the desert on her trusty pony. Each carved stone was special in its own right, but the best of all was the Peanut Butter Arrowhead—so named for its distinctive tan hue and oily sheen. Twice the size of my hand, it whispered to my imagination of power, beauty, and mystery hidden beneath the sand for centuries. Big magic indeed.

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What is the design theme of your own home?

Consistent with the message of my book Sage Living, my home is a reflection of the mindset and lifestyle I aim to cultivate. Right now that means clean lines, muted hues, and restrained styling—all with the goal of creating a peaceful personal retreat that offsets my demanding work schedule.

Describe your design philosophy in three words.

Intentional. Emotional. Evolving.

When you move, what is one item that you carry yourself instead of letting the movers handle, and why?

There’s nothing in my home so precious that I’d keep it on my person during a move. Sure, I’d be sad or disappointed if a favorite object were to break or be misplaced. However, thirteen moves in my lifetime—combined with my work as an interiors stylist—have reinforced for me how easily things come and go. Though some pieces may indeed be irreplaceable, the stories and memories associated with them can never be lost. (That said, I’d probably carry my camera and laptop. No need to tempt fate.)

Where do you find your inspiration?

I take a lot of inspiration from the past, especially my own family’s history. I could spend hours looking at old snapshots! I love to incorporate nostalgic touches into my space in ways that are uniquely my own: a portrait of my grandmother next to a landscape photo shot by a friend, or my dad’s tarnished piggy bank mixed in with my collection of minimalist perfume bottles.