Sunday, 27 October 2013

Deck the halls, the walls and all other surfaces

It is lovely to begin putting up framed items on the walls. Initially when I moved I hung a couple of items from the previous house where there was a hook. A picture of the Grand Canal in Venice, two impressionist prints and a mirror survived my wall hanging reticence more because I didn't want them damaged by leaving them propped somewhere. I was reluctant to begin filling the walls with the stuff we'd brought and making holes as I really wasn't sure what I wanted to go where. We always had a wide variety in the other flat including a number of fine art prints in the bathroom but here felt different somehow. 

A colleague at work made a comment a while back about moving home saying 'Your house, doesn't feel right till you've got all your pictures up' and she does this as one of her immediate priorities. I felt bad that months down the line so few of mine have made it onto the walls. However, this house is so different in terms of the quality of light, the colours and the types of surfaces that how things were before can't be replicated.

So far two new pieces have come in which I feel are just right. One my Mum funded as a new home gift which is a beautiful metalwork tree. It is ideal in the hall and suits the slight autumnal hints, is from my Mum and is a nod to my late father's profession. The other is a metal bejewelled peacock in fabulous colours set on a Wedgewood blue wall. I often think peacocks look very vain and that is not me at all, however, this one seems to be turning back shyly and looking at his glorious feathers in amazement.

I love the clean, complete look of showhouse magnolia and 'on trend' accessories but loathe their lack of personality, quirkiness and wittiness that is needed to make a home look 'authentic' to the occupants. It would have been the easiest thing to fill the walls and take the bare look off but it just didn't feel right somehow and I wasn't sure why. Slow as the process been, this way seems to feel right as each piece has a back story, a meaning or a history and can embed before the next addition suggests itself.

Interestingly, the colleague who had made the comment above and I were discussing whether out current houses would be our 'forever' homes and how we felt, as we'd both had big life transitions which precipitated our moves. A few days later she re-engaged the conversation and said she'd been thinking over my theory about 'growing into a home' rather than 'dressing a house'. She said she'd come to the conclusion over the weekend that she'd unthinkingly replicated what had been and the resulting familiarity of items in an unfamiliar place was what was making her feel dis-located and conversely unsettling her rather than making her feel at home. Who'd have thought popping up some pictures at home could be so complicated!  

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