A few months ago I visited the home of my best friend’s mother and had a bit of an epiphany about home decor & how I’m approaching it all wrong.
This wonderful lady whose house I’ve been visiting for years (I practically lived there as a student) is a graphic designer. She’s lucky enough to live in a huge Victorian town house in Clapham and her road is full of amazingly renovated and decorated town houses that look as though they belong in the pages of a Habitat catalogue. Her neighbours are so obsessed by the way that their houses look in fact, that she has to endure the constant sound of digging and drilling as the neighbours excavate their basements one by one up the road. Turning them into playrooms for Hector and Tallulah or into huge kitchen/diners complete with cooking ranges and islands and all kinds of shiny kitchen gadgets (I know, I’ve peered down into them – my guilty pleasure). They’re amazing but, I realised last time I was there, somewhat soulless.
My friend’s mother’s house is different. She’s lived there for years and has spent that time collecting and perfecting the space around her so that it reflects her personality completely and is filled with life and SOUL. She told me, as I poked around her pots and browsed her bookshelves, that she is “obsessed with vessels”. So, her kitchen shelves are crammed with celery jars and teacups and fruit bowls. Her living room mantel is adorned with vases, each with their own distinctive story; she remembers where she bought each one and how much they cost. This theme is reflected around the whole house. She also has an amazing collection of mirrors and I had lots of fun taking selfies in as many of them as I could find.
The best thing about it all though is that peppered amongst all the beautiful vessels and unusual mirrors, there are plastic cracker toys and paper party decorations and (my favourite) newspaper cuttings, postcards, advertisements with witty cartoons, funny poems, pictures and animal heads made from cereal boxes. They are everywhere including the bathroom and even though I’ve read all of the ones in her downstairs loo a million times, they make me chuckle every time I’m sitting there having a pee.
Her house is by far my most favourite out of all the ones down her street. I spent a ridiculous amount of time when I was there simply looking at all the stuff and taking pictures and smiling. And I realised that THAT is what I want my house to be like – to be filled with things that I love to look at and get pleasure from – whether they cost a few pennies or hundreds of pounds – not because they match the colour theme of my lounge (although that’s always nice).
So begins my home decor adventure. I’ve already found two lovely Art Deco mirrors at my local auction (yes, they match the lounge colour scheme) . More interestingly, I’ve found a beautiful hand crocheted baby blanket on eBay that only cost a few pounds and that I love so much I’ve decided to base the decor of the baby’s room around its colours. Now all I’ve got to do is find nursery bedding that isn’t pink. Wish me luck.