Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Thoughts on homes and minimalism

Reading February's edition of English Homes, I found a wonderful quote by an interior designer called Mark Wilkinson, which articulately encapsulates many of my feelings about the way I choose to decorate and organise my home:

"Minimalism is a kind of emotional bankruptcy ... a refuge for those who do not understand the grammar of ornamentation and the symbolism of colour"

Wherever you are in the world right now: Mark Wilkinson, I take my hat off to you.

At a time when I am making these decisions, defining my space and creating my home, I naturally found that I resonated with this. I am the sort of person that doesn't want to come home to clean lines and minimalist perfection, where I have to take my shoes off at the door. I want to come home to a place that says "Bloody good to see you love, kick off your shoes and have a cuppa".

I want a house that doesn't mind if there's the odd pile of books piled higgledy piggledy on the coffee table, or that the dog thundered in the door with muddy paws but is more concerned with whether you can sit down for a cup of tea. Where it doesn't matter if all of the seats match as long as they work together, are fun and you enjoy them. My home doesn't have to be perfect, in fact, I think a large part of its charm is that it ISN'T perfect but it's comfortable.

I was chatting to my builder and his wife today as they were having their lunch (post demolition of half a wall) and I seem to somehow be coming to the conclusion that I'm not a keep everything varying shades of cream sort of person. I'm not sure I could afford to be with two dogs that like to go romping in muddy puddles before careering into the house, muddy paws and all, and even without the dogs, I'm far too messy and clumsy for it. I'd be petrified of spillages, which are an inevitable part of my life. Even now, I'm courting disaster by perching a cup of tea on the arm of my brand new sofa as I type. Does that stop me? No, of course not.

And so it leads me to inevitable thoughts of colour schemes and paint. I am excited by colour. It's articulate. It speaks where I don't, in its subtlety and boldness. And there's so much choice I barely know which way to turn. Do I keep the walls plain and rely on accessories and furniture for colour or go a bit wild? Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, the bathroom is now fully functional and tiled (despite the wonky walls) and is just awaiting the shower door and bath panel, and for the pipes to be boxed in and that's that sorted. Even more excitingly, demolition has begun, and you just wouldn't credit how much bigger the place looks and feels with half the wall down. Photos to follow shortly.

Toodle pip.


Blueberry Heart said...

I have to agree that a bit of colour makes for a more interesting home! Looking forward to seeing pics of what you choose!

ElementalGrace said...

I think I'm just a colourful person by nature. So far it all seems to be natural sorts of blues and greens with occasional hints of pink. It's turning into quite an organic process :)