Giving Your Home Personality
We moved into our Victorian house in November, 2014. Every single room [insert horror face] needed to be taken back to its bones and gutted. We had some major renovation work on the main part of the house which lasted a good 10 months. This involved no kitchen, a 4 foot trench dividing the house into two parts and us and the kids having to walk the plank to bath and bed each night. Four years on, morsel of dust by morsel of dust it is now nearly, but not quite, finished. Perhaps finished is the wrong word, because can a home truly be finished? Doesn’t a home evolve and adapt to its inhabitants over time? Plus, where we started in 2014 will need to be revisited in a few years and then the cycle starts over.
I am not going to focus on a particular room here, I am instead going to give you a snapshot of some of the bits and pieces I have used to accessorise our house. Items which give meaning to a room and add personality to your unique living space.
My 10 Favourite Home Accessorising Ideas.
Anything that reminds you of beautiful moments in your life should be showcased and not boxed up and put into a hard to reach cupboard. Events like weddings, births, christenings, holidays, birthdays, graduations etc should be immortalised somewhere in your home. As an example, on my youngest daughter’s wardrobe sits our wedding cake topper, as beautiful and colourful as the day it was made. Two little love birds named Katie & Tom. They make a beautiful room decoration in their glass house, so personal and lovely. And always on show to remind us of how gorgeous that day on 06/10/12 was. To keep them fresh I nestled behind the birds a teeny pack of anti-moisture granules, like those you get in new bags. Another personal artefact we have is in our kitchen. We have a framed menu of a special meal my husband and I had on his 40th. Signed, framed and hung. Makes for a brilliant piece of kitchen art and one of a kind.
I absolutely do have a penchant for cushions. Printed, embroidered, silk, velvet, linen, angora, faux fur, piped edged, tasselled, oversized, interestingly shaped cushions. I honestly adore them all. Cushions are a very versatile and cost effective way to update and refresh a space, a chair, a sofa, for each passing season or just because. Cushions are changeable art – different sizes, prints and textures can bring life and feeling to any room. This ordinarily rather grown up arm chair has been given a childlike softness with a dear rabbit cushion from aunty Lucy. The perfect area for Scarlett to curl up with a reading book or to sulk when she doesn’t get her own way. Amara online have a plethora of cushions to look at for inspo.
I have alluded to my wallpaper addiction before on instagram and I will be writing in finer detail about this another time. For now, I will say that the right wallpaper can shape a room into a story and feel like a place of otherness. There are some exquisite designs on the market and you could really spend ££££s if you where to paper every wall. I am wild about Fornasetti, an Italian decorative arts company who’s whimsical, charming and imaginative designs will sit timelessly on any wall of your house. As an example from the library that is Cole and Son, one roll of the Chiavi Segrete costs £150 but it was enough to dress a wide single wall in our boot room as a dramatic feature.
As contemporary occupants of a Victorian house there had to be a blend of a modern and a historical sense when designing the interior. A collaboration of what is and what was. The upholstery on this chair was hand embroidered some years ago by my husband’s Grandma Wilson. Its style didn’t suit our previous modern house but we kept it for obvious reasons. Now it reigns beautifully in our front hall. Ready to hold a bottom or two. Having objects in the home that have been passed down through the family not only adds meaning to a space but also adds an energy. Memories are energy, feelings are energy and objects release this energy. Nostalgia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place. What more can I say.
Bits & Bobs
I get my love of the good old knick-knack from my mum. She loves them mostly in cat form where as I am less restricted. Anything nature inspired, slightly curious and eclectic or suggestive of an Italian or French heritage I will make a beeline for. Which is why I love work by artisans which you would find at markets or in antique shops. When arranging these loved and found ornaments it is key to use different levels, different sizes and use multiples. This makes for an attractive and intentional authentic look. When grouping said knick-knacks using the power of three method or an odd number is a designing principle must. Every eye will thank you for it.
Nothing better than being enveloped by a pretty towel when you step from your bubble bath. I have to say that having mismatched towels is really a thumbs down when it comes to dressing a bathroom. I mean even a Travel Lodge have sort of all white linen that matches even if it rubs a weeks worth of skin growth off. You do not have to spend the earth but I must insist on having a set of towels which either match or compliment your bathroom decor. It sets a tone and creates an atmosphere of calm, peace and a feeling of being untroubled. There we have it I am officially a towel snob. Yves Delorme is high end but distinguished by their uncompromising quality and meticulous attention to detail that is the heritage of French couture.
Candles are the perfect accessory for any room in the home. There are now so many beautiful brands steeped in sweet-scented history and the finest essential oils from Fonasetti to Astier de Villatte, with Diptyque to Abahna. What is so wonderful about investing in a good quality candle is the practical after use of its glass or ceramic casing. Alone it can be ornamental but once the wax has spent and with a quick wash you could have a small vase, a make-up brush holder, a toothbrush stand… endless possibilities! Diptyque offer affordable luxury candles with perfumed scents you simply cannot say no to.
The artful hook is one of those accessories that you can have lots of fun with. Besides it being very practical indeed because it holds things up for you it can be used artistically to create a feature. We have a set in our boot-room which cleverly and in a serendipitous fashion spells out SHOE (hahahaha SHOE in a boot-room hahaha! get it…. SHOE!). All extremely hilarious as S. H. O. E. is the collective first initials of my children. There are also some nature themed hooks here too… go figure!
Flowers & Plants
The outside in has forever been an invigorating way to brighten up a room. Cuttings from the garden or a store bought bunch, either way flowers and plants not only bring their colour for company but with their delicate breath they bring us life too. I treat myself to a fortnightly delivery from Bloomon which costs £20.95. I have been very impressed with the combinations and the quality. Typically last about 12 days.
Nothing easier than adding colour and dimension to a worktop, dresser, sideboard or table with some seasonal fruits or dried offerings form mother nature. A vibrant bowl of lemons is exquisitely smile inducing. What a happy fruit. As are oranges or pineapple with some mangoes. Whatever takes your fancy. Some scented pine cones or a festive wreath works in just the same way.
So there we have it. I do hope you can take away some useful ideas for your own interior plotting. Think of these accessories as the Jewellery of the house. Nothing is permanent so go and have some fun. Where do you get your interiors inspiration from? And, what are some of your favourite accessories for the home?