It’s liberating to discover what you can live without. My kids protest bitterly at having to walk to school, but I enjoy not having a car. It’s nothing to do with the environment, it’s about taking in what’s around me and spending 20 minutes talking to them.
Variety and dialogue are what make an interior interesting. If everyone has hardwood floors, experiment with carpet. Entering a home should be an adventure where you never know quite what to expect.
I love this Ostrich table from Atelier Abigail Ahern which I’ve customised with glitter fabric from Acanthus.
It reminds me not to put my head in the sand and face up to my problems. I used to think my problems were to do with money. I don’t worry I don’t have enough of it, but that I spend what I have on things that don’t enrich my life or make me happy. I’m not fabulously wealthy but because I grew up in inner city London so long as I have a roof over my head and enough change for a coffee and bus home I don’t generally fret about it. 8 years ago I felt I had enough of it to quit my career and raise a family. 5 years later I couldn’t wait to get back to work.
The real challenges in life require honesty and dialogue. I love this leopard print stool from Acanthus because it prevents this simple upholstered chair from being dull. It makes me want to curl up in it with a mug of hot tea (or something stronger) and talk. My daughter sits here every time I take her to the shop.
Interiors aren’t meant to be bland. They should explode with excitement or at the very least suggest life. Simple pieces are often transformed by something unexpected, (providing they’re well lit and make sense in the scheme of things as in quirky coffee table next to chair.). You do need to take risks and gamble a little to succeed. And it’s better to take those risks with your interiors than with your life savings, pension, your children’s education or your health.
Which is why 3 months ago I quit financial services to live my creative dream. I don’t know where this adventure will take me but recruitment consultants still email me so it’s not as reckless as it seems. It’s hard to change careers when you have financial responsibilities, so I’m selling my house and am not concerned about my children’s private education.
Taking risks is exhilerating. For the first time in years I sleep well and look forward to getting up in the morning. Life isn’t about winning or losing. Any sportsman will tell you winning often makes you melancholy and losing even more depressed. It’s about having the courage to go on without knowing where life will take you. Change is as good as a rest with good reason. It opens you to previously unimaginable possibilities.
Decorate with courage, humour and conviction and you’ll have a home you’ll love that offers comfort when no one else can. You’ll discover new ways of living in space you never knew you had. Yes it requires energy and enthusiasm but the end result will inspire so much more. But most importantly taking an interest in your surroundings gives you the energy to do the whole thing over again when failed relationships or poor investments leave you with no choice but to do it all over again.