I had a long conversation a few weeks ago, while sipping my morning tea, that revolved around the idea of our home being a representation of our experiences.
Decor isn’t always there just because it looks pretty. Don’t get me wrong, that’s often the number one agenda. But there is often a bigger story behind our furnishings. One that you don’t necessarily see as a visitor or stranger in someone’s home. It’s personal.
This conversation took place in Sheffield, in a beautiful home, crammed full of paintings and pictures. My step-mum’s house, that I have visited since I was a young teenager. To me the walls are more wondrous than the Tate Modern. Woven with the stories of a life, fully lived – every object evokes a time and place. Many of the stories are unknown to me, I don’t think there are enough days in the year to hear them all.
By inviting our friends into our homes, we offer a part of ourselves up to be seen that has not been shared before. Sure there is fashion, if we are simply discussing personal visual representation. And my step mum has style. But if she was to wear her African masks, oil paintings, and carry an antique hand carved bookcase around with her, maybe a little more of her story would be on show to those she encounters.
But surely that’s the point. Our homes are just that – personal. Behind closed doors we create an environment that echoes our own story.
To me, that’s a reason why I love to decorate, to mix things up in my home, to keep making a mess. Our stories are not yet fully told. Let’s not live in a museum. Let’s live in a magical story book, one in which the letters and words keep appearing and changing.