Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 4 August 2016

Look Around, and Make a Change - Home Decor

Gosh the blog has suffered!

Sometimes, there’s a hiatus, and sometimes that’s because the thought of writing a new post for the blog is just too much.

Sometimes, as has happened recently, I just have too much to do.

We’ve been overhauling the house.

We haven’t done anything huge… yet…

We’ve been switching out furniture and re-dressing. Trust me, if you want to rehang a couple of dozen pictures… per room! that’s going to take a little time. It is, however, a lot of fun. I can highly recommend rehanging your art, if you have it. It stimulates the senses and you begin to look at pictures in a new light.

We’ve also given away furniture… A LOT of furniture, again from several rooms in the house. We rationalised and rejigged, and then we added another couple of layers of stuff and things… because that’s what we do.
This is my office:
A little bit of granny chic goes a long way.

It’s a fun house, and, I think, an interesting one; it has to be if we’re going to live and work, and spend vast amounts of time in these four walls. When you work as much as we do, there isn’t a lot of time to spend out of the house. We need stimulation, comfort, relaxation and more stimulation. We also need masses and masses of storage space.

We like colour, and we like visual stimulus. We like to have things to do, to touch, to look at.

I don’t visit a great many houses, but it’s never hard to tell when I’m in the home of a creator, someone with an artistic temperament. They are always great spaces, tailored to their users. They vary in structure and in degrees of chaos, but there is always stuff to look at, to listen to, to wonder over or admire. Creativity often shows in a person’s dress, make-up, hair and accessories; I see no reason why that creativity shouldn’t show up in people’s homes.

I’ve enjoyed playing with my environment during the past few weeks, and I would urge you all to look around and think about your own spaces. Do something new and different. There are accepted norms for decor, and I’ve spent much of my life subverting them.

I have never painted a wall magnolia, and if I make an error on a colour, I paint over it. The cheapest way to change things up is with a can of paint. I’ve never installed wall to wall carpets. I rarely dress windows, and I’ve never bought a three-piece suite.

When I was young and broke, I took what I could get; I borrowed, built and bought pre-owned. Things haven’t changed very much.

Furnishing and dressing a home in an interesting and even unique fashion doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the bits and bobs that I’m most attached to cost little or nothing. Paint is cheap and can be used pretty well anywhere: OK, walls, woodwork, ceilings, but I also use paint on floors and sometimes furniture. Fabrics can make a big difference too: use them for window dressings if that’s what you like, but cover a cheap, old screen or a piece of furniture; make some cushions or pad a headboard, and if you’re concerned about your skills, simply throw lengths of fabric, throws or blankets over pieces of furniture.

I buy from everywhere, but my first port of call for ANYTHING is the little clutch of junk shops that I’ve managed to find over the years. The same goes for books and records; we buy a lot of both, but rarely buy new. I own lots of gorgeous crockery, and almost none of it came to me new. 

There are, of course, things I probably wouldn’t buy second-hand, and that includes linens, but I only buy them in sales, and I buy good quality, but never pay more than 50% of the regular retail price. If you don’t like the colours, simply chuck them in the washing machine with a dye.

Homes are living, breathing entities. They change, and change is good, it’s a kind of evolution.

I don’t suppose our home will ever be ‘finished’. It’s a working machine and it needs some TLC, and some of that comes in the form of dressing it up and keeping it stimulating for us.

Look around you, and then think about making a change.

No comments:

Post a Comment