First off, I want to start this week’s blog with a big ol’ thank you. In recent weeks we’ve hit over 500 likes on Facebook, had our highest ever number of views in one day on Etsy (452), and this very blog has made its way into the rankings of the Hibs100 top 500 UK home and lifestyle blogs for February (number 312, to be precise). It really means a lot to know that you’re out there, reading, liking and sharing, so thank you very much.
So, on to today’s topic. I don’t really write how to guides. I’ve never been to your house, I have no idea what you should do with it! We quite often get asked about pieces of furniture that people are thinking of purchasing – “Should I buy it? What’s it worth?” – and while it is extremely flattering to be consulted, our response is usually the same; “Well, do you like it? How much are you willing to spend on it?” Those two factors are really all you need to consider. If it’s going in your house, for you to sit on/use/enjoy, what else really matters?
I love watching home improvement shows, reading housey magazines, and searching the Home Decor category on Pinterest. It’s all fascinating, and gorgeous, and drool-worthy, and not actually real life. A great source of inspiration and ideas, but I always feel you have to be a little careful – it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of I can’t have that because I don’t live in a New York loft, or I’ll never have a kitchen that looks like that, or I can’t buy one of those designer pieces because it won’t go in my house. And then you end up feeling like your own home doesn’t really measure up. When it comes to filling your own home, who are you decorating for? Do you want to impress, do you want to be comfy, do you want it to be indestructible so you need never utter the cry ‘mind the coffee table/sofa/lamp!’ again? Quite possibly a little of all these things. But really, impress yourself. Whose house is it, after all? Does it belong on the pages of a magazine? They don’t look like that all the time, you know. Does anyone else watch Grand Designs and love the houses, yet scream ‘but where is all your stuff? And do you really want to be up at 5am in the summer because you have no curtains on your floor to ceiling windows?’ Of course we all aspire to the glossy picture perfect images of homes we see online and elsewhere. But there has to be a meeting in the middle. There has to be some practicality, some nod to the fact that you actually have to live in these spaces every single day – and probably not just you, but also your significant other/your small humans/your fur babies. I absolutely believe we should make our homes as pleasing to us as we can – but it’s up to you to decide what that is.
I’ve written to you before about our own home, a mid terrace housing development home that is filled with everything from charity shop finds to Mid Century classics to Ikea bookcases (Billy, anyone?) and our bits of designer furniture that are still surviving life with three children – the Hans Wegner J16 with green felt tip on the seat (which we still haven’t fixed). It’s an odd combo at times, but we like it. We got an Ercol Daybed because all five of us could sit on it at the same time for movie nights, and because it looks cool. Other people wouldn’t go for a piece like that in a house like ours, or with a family like ours (!), but it works for us. Get inspired by the glossy pics and styled-up spaces, of course – but remember who it’s for. Make it personal to you, even if someone else hates it (hopefully not someone you live with though. That could be awkward.) Your home has to work for you. I once read about a woman who had all white walls everywhere in her house – and she had young kids. Terrible idea, I hear you cry, and that was my first thought too – but when questioned she simply said ‘it’s easy. I have a can of white paint and I just paint over anything.’ I like her style.
Your home should make you happy. Whether that’s clear expanses of white or riotous jumbles of colour or absolutely nothing manufactured after 1970, it’s really down to you. Find your decorating confidence and remember that your home doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s, because it isn’t. It’s yours.