What makes a house a home? I’ve often found myself wondering over this question during the course of writing my blog. For me, an interior is more than just a statement or pretty display frozen in time, they’re places that should be designed around how we live not just how we want it to look. In my mind, to make a house a home you need to concentrate on how a space feels to be in. A home is a space full of life in all its mess, full of things that tell your story and people to share it with.
I recently saw an exhibition on the American designer Alexander Girard at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, he designed interiors as stage sets for everyday living; he saw them as constantly changing works in progress that could adapt and grow over time. Unusually for a designer, he would keep in touch with clients for 10, 20, 30 years after a project, advising them on small changes and even helping to swap round the colour of the cushions every season. The idea really appealed to me, that a home was the backdrop for life to take place and needn’t be set in stone.
So, I was delighted when UK homeware brand Urbanara approached me about being part of their Home is better with U campaign. The underlying message of the campaign is that people make homes and everyone has something special that they love about their home that’s completely unique to them. It’s also about designing around yourself – a home made for you and yours. Urbanara’s natural, considered collection of homewares and accessories – affordable and without the heavy price tags – are designed to make those everyday moments that little bit special, whether it’s enjoying breakfast in bed at the weekend, cosying up on the sofa with a blanket on a cold evening or sharing the papers over a big pot of coffee on a Sunday afternoon.
So, what do I love about my home and what do I hold dear? Well, we’re currently in the process of selling our flat and it’s made me even more aware of the little corners that I will miss. I’ve written about this little corner before, but it is definitely the spot I’m going to miss the most. It’s a lovely sunny corner next to the French doors to the balcony, perfect for cosying up with a book while the breeze drifts in, or grabbing a blanket once the sun goes down for an evening in. It’s where you’ll find me having my morning coffee, a quiet moment when everyone knows not to talk to me until I’ve had that first one!
I’m constantly changing and swapping around the books and plants on the shelves or adding little knick-knacks I pick up at antique fairs or vintage markets. At the moment there’s piles and piles of magazines to flick through (I’m dreading going through those when the move comes!) and some of my favourite Persephone novels. This glazed turquoise stoneware Avesta Plant Pot is perfect for some Spring blooms to bring a bit of the outside in, while the old vintage armchair is made more inviting with a warm 100% Scandinavian wool blanket in navy blue and grey. Little additions like this make a space calming and relaxing to be in, somewhere you want to linger and stay a while…
Another thing I love about my home is the cosy bed, I’m literally like a squirrel, nesting and squirrelling away all the blankets and cushions… For me, there’s nothing like an inviting bed piled up with pillows and cushions to make you breathe a sigh of relief at the end of a hard day, or linger in a little longer at the weekend. Any excuse to stay in bed with a cup of tea and a good read…
These Cambra cushions, made of super soft, cotton jacquard weave with black and earthy ecru stripes, have a lovely, relaxed, lived-in French feel. If you follow the blog, you will know I’m a sucker for stripes. With a duck feather insert, these are so squishy and soft, I’ve literally been carrying them into every room I go to. And those tassels, I’m loving those tassels, they just add a little something to the neutral colour palette without being too OTT.
I love having flowers around the house, especially by the bed. Inspired by origami paper folding techniques, this Katsura Vase sits beautifully on the bedside table, a bit of calm Scandi-style against the rough-around-the-edges bedside table. I like a home that mixes old and new and lots of different textures for a soft, homely atmosphere.
In some of my photo shoots for the blog I can be guilty of tidying up or making things look cleaner and calmer than they are in reality, but here I wanted to show what these spaces are really like to live in day-to-day. Yes there might be more mess sometimes, coffee rings on books or discarded papers, but a home is not a showroom or display in a catalogue, it’s somewhere to live and love. I would love to be a minimalist with everything tidied away, but I can’t quite live like that, I actually like having things around me that tell my story or remind me of a special moment or place we visited on travels. It doesn’t matter if it’s not completely on trend or something that others might not like, it’s for YOU and should be where you feel at home.
I would love to know what you think, what makes your home special?
You can also WIN a £100 voucher to spend on something lovely for yourself at Urbanara.
–> Simply visit my Facebook page to enter by answering the question ‘what makes your house a home?’
Competition only open to UK residents and closes on 29th March 2016.
This post was written in collaboration with Urbanara, all images my own