Little girls often dream of their weddings, pretty frocks and having babies, they play dress-up in Mummy’s high heels and push crying, weeing dolls around in pink prams. I just played house. From a young age I was totally obsessed with decorating my bedroom with as many brightly coloured nik-naks as I could get my little hands on… and I’ve not changed one bit!!
Much to poor hubby’s horror I have managed to fill our small Victorian cottage with so many treasures (tat) that it’s hard to move without knocking over an original 70’s glass vase or tripping on a vintage hand woven foot-stool. I think it’s fair to say I’m not a minimal interiors kind of a girl.
I’ve been doing a bit of research for this post and it’s been quite a revelation. I like to surround myself with lovely things, the hubby may beg to differ on the definition of lovely, but life would be very boring if we all thought the same things were lovely wouldn’t it??…. As I’m getting older I have realized that I’m slowly turning our home into a more cluttered, colourful and dustier version of the house I grew up in and although apparently this is some kind of “sense of self ” psychological issue, I don’t personally have a problem with that, and I had a very happy childhood thank-you very much! We still use my original mid-century family dining table, a 1960’s pool pottery-esq coffee table and have a selection of cushions and throws in various psychedelic fabrics and designs scattered liberally about the place, not to mention the plethora of vases, lamps, books, candles, art and much loved travel souvenirs, gifts and family heirlooms.
I am a true maximalist and proud, and although if I’m honest I do get the odd day where I’d like to chuck it all in a skip and go a bit more minimal (normally whilst dusting) I genuinely love my open book shelves, photo wall, collection of waving cats and the cabinet of many things, and quite frankly get a touch pissed off with all the new year/spring time TV shows and Sunday magazine articles insisting that if we de-clutter out homes then we somehow de-clutter our minds, no amount of dump visits and hoovering is going to de-clutter this brain!!!
It’s not just about stuff for me, it’s about home… I surround myself with things that make me smile, books that inspire me, lamps that cast a cozy glow and soft furnishings that are just that, soft, it’s all about loving my nest. I don’t aspire to show-home standards (good job really), the traditional, neutral and beige interior just doesn’t float my boat, I don’t feel the need not to offend anyone with my interior décor, only me (and hubby).
We all have differing ideas on what is useful, needed, or something we just can’t live without, I like to think my interior style falls somewhere in between informal and mild -hoarder… and before you say it, I am totally aware that I have a tendency toward hoarding, it runs in the family (Thank-you Auntie Glenda). I have real trouble passing a car boot fair or a charity shop without nipping in for a rummage and probably a purchase or two, it makes me happy, I like it, call it a hobby and a relatively inexpensive one at that.
I don’t feel hemmed-in or trapped by my belongings, I don’t even attach as much sentimentality to items as you might think, my home feels like a warm hug to me, albeit a little bit of a dusty hug that covers you in cat/dog fur.
All the ranting might infer that I have a problem with the simply decorated home, I do not, each to their own, live and let live etc. No, my bone of contention is with the Sunday supplement style onslaught of …
- 10 creative ways to de-clutter your home.
- Are you being stuffocated? How to de-clutter your life and live more with less.
- How to de-clutter your life and reduce stress.
- De-clutter! It’s good for the soul… and even better for your bank balance.
- Can we de-clutter our way to Christ?????
I’m good with the treasures I surround myself with and personally feel that my dusty books and ornaments have no bearing on my mental health, that was lost many years ago and not because I have too many porcelain cats or paper weights. I can see how for some, possessions can become an obsession, whether it be old television sets or stacks of empty butter tubs, and how hard life must be for a genuine hoarder. Although I collect a fair bit of purely decorative stuff I, like the minimalists out there, derive immense satisfaction from a good spring clean and a bit of a clear-out, all I ask is that the state of my mind is not judged on the way that I decorate my home… or by my uncontrollable compulsion to buy naff 1960’s art.
Painting above dining table by the lovely Hannah Clough