Man's Taste In Interior Design And Fashion Reflects Interest In Eastern Culture, Money
A walk through Greg Westfin's north side condominium transports the visitor to a world of eastern peace, harmony, and tranquility that leaves the guest asking, "Wow, how much did you pay for elm bedroom set?" -- a question that Westfin was trying to beg when he set out to decorate.
The closet full of Oriental silk bathrobes and his collection of East-Asian furniture were specifically chosen to immerse visitors and him into the culture that he finds so interesting, and paid a lot of money to procure. His near north side condominium, having been sparsely filled with Dana tea chests, ginkgo-carved furniture and hand-crafted dishware, pays delightful homage both to Japan's ancient philosophies and religions and also to his $90,000 a year job.
"It's such a fascinating culture," said Mr. Westfin of the people of the Pacific Rim, "and it really teaches you a lot about minimalism and harmony with nature. For example, I paid more for the only two pieces of furniture in my living room than most people pay to furnish their whole house, because it's all about simplicity and economy of design. The Japanese have always been very good at doing more with less, so I just expanded on that premise and paid more for less."
Westfin accomplished the verisimilitude of a deep respect for eastern civilizations by channeling his impressive salary into the esoteric wares available only at the finest furniture stores in the city.
"Greg has managed to seamlessly blend his upper-bracket salary with his appreciation for the ancient and enlightened Asiatic culture," said friend and neighbor Beau Kenton. "Take the granite-topped Mizuya Kitchen Cabinet, for example -- so Zen."
Westfin says that he became intoxicated by the Chinese and Japanese culture over the course of a number of business trips to international corporate offices in Tokyo and Beijing, and threw himself into a journey to better grasp the eastern customs and furniture that would complement his nearly six-digit annual salary. Previously dabbling in the styles of Victorian England, Bavaria, the African subcontinent, and Latino décor did not afford Westfin the opportunity to properly display both his high profitability and his quest for inner-peace.
"I was on a Victorian kick for awhile, but some of that that stuff looks like it could have been bought in a thrift store, no matter how much you paid for it," said the enlightened businessman. "Unless you were an art expert and knew that it was an authentic Turner I had hanging on my wall, you might not realize that I really did pay full price for it."
Westfin also doubts that most women know who J.M.W. Turner was, or the impact his work had on the progression of Western painting, which, if they did, would make pretty damn obvious how much he dished out for it. Instead, the hand-painted Japanese calligraphy looks expensive whether a guest understands its deep religious and spiritual meaning or not. Expensive Orientalia, Westfin has found, tends to be more harmonious with his search for inner peace and upward mobility.
"I used to listen to Mozart to calm myself down and meditate, but it just wasn't working, so I figured that maybe a better stereo would help make the experience more satisfying," Westfin recalled. "So ever since I installed the Paradigm Performance Series [stereo system], the only CD I could find that would truly push the limits of my system was the recording of the Koto Drummers I picked up from Starbucks, and that's all that I've been listening to lately. Truly amazing."
"The stereo system, I mean," clarified the eastern-influenced audiophile.