Home & Design January 13, 2009

Objects of Affection

Details of People Through Their Stuff


 Is it wrong to love a thing? A ridiculous question! Of course we love our things. The objects that fill our homes—especially the things we truly love—define us in a way. They manage, without saying a thing, to speak volumes about what is important to us.

Sal Caredda

Sardinian. Restaurateur. Son.

Sal Caredda has a new home: the city of Hailey. It’s a long way from his first home, a small town in the south of Sardinia, but it has some of the same attributes: peaceful, friendly, a place where it’s possible to get a good dish of pasta boscaiola.

Caredda had just sold his hugely successful Italian restaurant in Los Angeles when he learned that the Red Elephant was for sale. The signature steak house on Hailey’s Main Street intrigued him; the prospect of long winters didn’t daunt him (“I like to ski!”); and, besides all that, “I came from a small town. It feels right, being here.”

What makes his temporary apartment—in a new town, far from his family (still in L.A., tying up loose ends)—feel like home? Ah, that’s easy.


Three golden reed baskets, exquisitely woven with patterns of red thread, grace the table. Each has taken six to seven weeks to create, and each was presented to Caredda by the artist, Edvige Falqui, also known as … his mother. This type of finely made basketry is a traditional folk art on Sardinia, though Caredda is quick to point out that “no one is near” his mother when it comes to pattern and detail. To this day, at age 86, she still gathers her own reeds, splits them into spider-fine strands, and then weaves them into the magical mathematical patterns she holds in her head.

Are they functional? Absolutely. More importantly, they hold memories of growing up on an island in the Mediterranean, they contain Italy’s luminous golden light, and they carry a mother’s artistry and love. >>>


 Terri DeMun

Owner, Lone Star. Bohemian. Art Enthusiast.

Terri DeMun loves the miniature worlds that exist inside the mixed-media boxes of artist Joseph Cornell. Rooms, after all, are a little like boxes, and as an interior designer, she gets to choose—like Cornell—how to fill them with beautiful and surprising objects. A few of her favorite things: textiles—relaxed linens, tweedy wools, and sturdy stripes; painted chests and wonderful quilts; sturdy armoires and antique dry sinks; hand-hammered tiles; vintage paisleys; anything with a patina … “the whole bohemian mix.”

It’s never hard and fast. “I like the mix to be personal, to be able to breathe and evolve over time—and to mean something to the person living there.” Here’s what means the most to the person living in the “little farmhouse without a farm” on 20 acres of starkly beautiful land in Croy Canyon:


“My ragtag art collection.” As DeMun sees it, she can easily come by a new sofa or a new chair. What is unique and irreplaceable is the artwork she’s collected along the way. Not that it’s expensive—quite the opposite, in fact. But each piece has a story and a special place in DeMun’s affection. There’s a funky flea-market oil painting of a woodland nymph peering into a pond. Wonderful mixed-media pieces of dried leaves, thread, and textural papers by Zoe Hope and Colleen Silva. A framed flash card from the Dick and Jane reader series announcing the two-word sentence, “Morning came.” And her newest find by Lance Lescher, made of old books cut into oval disks that float over their background like water lilies.

Of course, like any true collector, DeMun is always on the hunt, visiting museums and galleries. It’s a satisfying pursuit, restless and thrilling. What piece of art is next? Who knows? One thing is sure: It won’t match the couch.


Sherry Daech

Realtor. Animal lover. Stuffed animal lover.

Just being around Sherry Daech makes you happy. How can you help smiling in the presence of a woman who is so completely herself? (And so genuinely interested in everyone else?) A woman who drives a candy-red Hummer, lives in the ultimate girl-fantasy house, and is surprised and delighted—still—by the good fortune that has taken her from Warm Springs tennis hostess to one of the most respected realtors around.

Outside her home on Fairway Road are three wooden bears. Inside is Goldilocks herself, clapping at a tiger that sits atop a centerpiece and then giggling, loving it, when it roars in response. Welcome to Sherry World: a magical kingdom of stuffed animals, leopard-print everything, hearts and stars, feather boas, a pink sequined telephone, and a former sauna converted to a closet to hold evening clothes and shoes. (The only male in residence, a 15-year-old tabby cat named Rover, seems to like the décor just fine. He has his own master suite to lounge in all day.)


Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Her stuffed animals are lovingly stacked, scattered, and perched almost everywhere in the house. There are little rolling bear stools in the living room. Mounds of koalas and kitties on her bed. A giant (really giant) panda in the corner. And Oscar the Alpaca within hug range by the front door. “I have a soft spot for animals in my heart,” she explains. Indeed.

Sherry has been an Animal Shelter of Wood River Valley angel for many years, and sponsors Pet of the Week features on both local TV and in-theater programming, to help connect people with pets that are up for adoption. So it’s no surprise that hundreds of irresistibly fuzzy, endearing friends have come home to live with her.


Freelance writer Pamela Mason Davey is consummately curious about many things. Perhaps most of all, she is intrigued by people and the things that define them.



This article appears in the Spring 2006 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.