The Slant: Recognizing Authenticity

By: Roderick Reed
By: Roderick Reed

“…There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to. In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears, Do my dreaming and my scheming, lie awake and pray. Do my crying and my sighing, laugh at yesterday. Now it’s dark and I’m alone, but I won’t be afraid …. In my room.”

The Beach Boys captured a special emotion that exists for a young person with their 1963 song, “In My Room.”

My 15-year-old son spent most of the summer at the beach. The other hours were spent in his room. He wasn’t grounded or anti-social. He was in his refuge.

My 12-year-old son describes his room as his test lab, theater of make believe, his vault, a place of seclusion from the world. Do you remember being young and your room being your sanctuary? How that felt?

You may not remember it exactly but most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to duplicate that feeling of safe sanctuary. I call that feeling “vibe.” Many people hire an interior designer like me to create that environment in their home. Homeowners want to create rooms in their home to duplicate the vibe that they don’t know they are trying to replicate.

How do you recreate this vibe of sanctuary or haven from our childhood room? Where to get it?

Do cities or towns have it?

La Jolla, Santa Barbara and Carmel are beautiful small coastal towns, but they still don’t have the vibe for some reason.

Is it about architecture, landscape or a small downtown?

No. Developers have tried that in places like Irvine with their master planned “villages.” Aliso Viejo made a small downtown type street, lined with retail at their town center. None of it really works though. It all seems contrived.

Visitors to Laguna Beach feel the vibe, but they just think it’s because of the beach.

But Lagunans know what that vibe is and know that it exists in the very city we call home. We may not be able to put our finger on what the vibe is exactly, but artists have felt it here since the beginning. It is here for a fact.

There is something special here. The vibe can be defined as a combination Laguna’s people, the beach, and the certain quality of the sunlight that occurs here. Laguna Beach has joyful electricity in the air. Our city has a real downtown. We enjoy an absence of cookie-cutter, mass-produced architecture and strip malls. Each residential neighborhood has special character, topography and its own microclimate. These qualities combined with public art and friendly locals give our city a feeling of sanctuary.

The vibe may be the bright eyed, sanctuary of youth, but Laguna Beach residents are living the best replication of youth. Laguna Beach is our haven. Our room.

Roderick Reed owns REEDesign, a Laguna Beach interior design firm. He and his wife Kathy are parents of boys Mason and Jack. 949-715-5356



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