I think it’s more than obvious how much I love my home. There’s nothing I enjoy more than faffing around, rearranging things and planning the next big protect, and trust me there’s always the next job looming. My style is my own. Some call it quirky but I’m quite liking the phrase ‘eclectic glamour’ at the moment. We bought this house eighteen years ago, it was a rundown ex-student house and it was as much as we could afford, if not more. We had a one year old baby when we moved into this nicotine stained house with graffiti scrawled on the walls. Most people thought we were mad, looking back we probably were but we’ve worked hard to make it into our family home and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live.
Be confident in your style. I’m definitely an maximalist.
A magpie who loves colour, sparkle, glitter and just stuff in general. I can’t bare for anything to be hidden away in a cupboard and want everything on display. Just when I think there’s no more room for anything else I find a new corner to fill. This doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes appreciate and even envy a cool minimalist interior, just not magnolia, never magnolia and certainly never ever beige!
Collections. I have many, and once I get a taste for something it kind of takes over; golden syrup tins, Bon Mama jam jars. Noddy cars, cacti, these are mainly displayed fondly for a few years and then are relegated to a dusty box in the cellar for the rest of eternity.
Never keep anything for best. Life is for living, always use the best plates and cutlery, burn the Jo Malone candle.
I don’t follow rules, never have and don’t see that changing any time soon. Some people have tried to tell me what to do (and have come a cropper!). I am, however, allowed to make rules for other people – things like no toys in the front room, if you make a mess tidy it up, no walking on the rug when it’s just been hovered. This helps me feel in control (an aspect of my personally we may discus another day) and keeps an a semblance of order.
Pets are inconvenient and make a mess, mine have amongst other things; infested the house with fleas, ignored a rat under a floor board, left a half dead pigeon in the cellar, been sick at the side of the bed during the night and presented a pain in the arse social worker with a decapitated mouse. I somehow still love them though and believe that without them the house feels empty.
Remember your inner child. Some people can’t have children, some people don’t want them but that childish element makes a home. I like to think my house is fun and playful, it’s also full of plastic shit gathering dust which will never decompose and that I’ll never be able to bear to throw away.
I love art and my walls are crammed with pictures. Some of which I’ve painted, some have been painted by others, my favourite piece was one which Lily created for her GCSE. I have lots of photographs, ones I’ve taken of my children and ones of dearly departed loved ones. Some of them are elaborately framed, some are just pushed into the corner of mirror frames and some are curling under magnets on the fridge. I hang favourite greetings cards, illustrations from books and have pressed leaves and feathers into frames to display too. I must also confess to a few dubious Ikea prints which were bought years ago because they matched a room (shudder) In my defence they’ve now been relegated further and further up towards the attic to fill dusty far forgotten corners.
Fairy lights, all rooms must have at least one string.
My love of plants has recently re-emerged and the house is slowly becoming an urban jungle. I have one first generation umbrella plant which survives from my first ever flat twenty eight years ago. This has thrived on neglect, and was once purposed to prop up the living room ceiling before it fell down (again, a story for another day) I’m thinking that plants are probably my newest obsession. I love pottering around, faffing with them and I get way too excited when they grow a new leaf. Yes I talk to them too. For now Mr H has placed an embargo on the purchase of any new ones until further notice. We shall see…
You’ll find a Russian doll in each room. They are a symbol of miscarriage, and they are in memory of all our babies who were never born.
Colour, colour, colour. I love dark walls, with brighter pops of colour to highlight, although I can never stick to a scheme. Each room continues to evolve and grow in quite an organic way, due mainly to my shopping habit and fickle nature.
If you’re ever throwing anything out and ask me if I want it the answer will be yes. (Much to Mr H’s dismay)
Is a room without a cushion even a room? Where ever possible multiple cushions should be used. Ditto candles, I have scented candles in every room and buy in bulk from Tiger (bright colourful ones, two for a pound) tea-lights and church candles from Ikea and smelly ones from Homesense (favourite brands are DW home and Olivia Blake) the fake Jo Malone Aldi ones are also fab. Beware of of where they are placed. As I discovered recently, peacock feathers are flammable and don’t smell very nice when they catch alight.
Although I like my house to be tidy and cushions plumped at all times it is not a show house, it is for living in and I like nothing more that when it is full of people. I’m not precious about it and like it to be utilised to its full extent. I love to entertain and be a hostess. The days when I only discovered how many sleeping teens were upstairs by counting the shoes in the kitchen were amongst the happiest times I can remember. A highlight for me was once bumping into a semi naked muscular teen as I emerged bleery eyed from the bathroom one morning, the arc of Jagermeister I discovered another morning across the living room walls and ceiling was perhaps a step too far, and we probably shouldn’t talk about the discarded underpants I once had to post back to their owner.
I get inspiration from everywhere, I must admit instagram has cost me a fortune! I love seeing what other people do and how they do it, using their ideas in my own way, sometimes even blatantly copying! Although I once had a friend who copied every single thing I did and it drove me mad, I often wonder what her house is like now, frozen in time or has it morphed into somebody else’s?
All I know is this house is so much more than just a house, it’s our beloved home and it is an expression of my creativity, it will continue to be a work in progress until they drag me kicking and screaming from it with a trial of Pom Pom bunting flailing behind me.