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I’m basically the worst house party guest on the planet because the hosts are usually half-convinced I’m side-hustling as a cat burglar, the way I (apparently, obviously!) indiscreetly ogle their stuff and spam them all like: Wow, where’d you get this, ooh, what’s the story about that, etc. It’s an impulse I have to actively stifle. But it’s an innocent impulse, promise: Your stuff is your story, your personality. (No wonder the so-called life-changing magic of minimalism befuddles me. It’s like an act of concealment or deliberate erasure, not to mention: boooring!)

So, getting to write this month’s feature, “Life, Style, Soul & Design,” (p. 55) was a boon; I got to snoop people’s stuff under the auspices of journalism. Seriously: Of course, it’s about much more than just stuff. It’s about how the things we put on our bodies and in our homes express and shape our personality, tell our story, and lend our lives an added coherence through beauty and pleasure. The seven Las Vegans we showcase are each stylish in their distinct way, but in every case, their thoughtful home design and personal aesthetic suggest the attainment of a higher value that mere stuff-for-stuff’s-sake can’t offer: an elevated and enriched sense of self.

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