Friday, May 7, 2010
Love the house you live in
I've been thinking about our homes a lot lately, and contemplating how much space we need. I live in a decent sized house with two living areas and three bedrooms, but a few years ago I was living in small flats in London that would fit three or four times into my current house. We seem to fill the space we're in, and we seem to think that we need the space we have or more. When I was in London, I loved the cosiness of the space, the small rooms that were easy to clean, the fact that furniture came with the rented flat so I didn't have to decorate. Now I love that my house is full of treasured possessions collected from travels and markets and given by loved ones, and that the space is my own canvas to create any style I want. I subscribe to a few homewares' magazines and am always inspired by other people's houses, but I do wonder if we put too much emphasis on 'needing' a bigger space or a big backyard or an entertaining area or a study or whatever. In reality these are all luxuries and in so much of the world, people are grateful for a roof over their heads and running water. I've been into houses built out of poles with dirt floors in Vietnam, where the family sleeps under the same roof as their animals, and the people seem joyous. I've been into little mud brick houses in Morocco where the only comfort and decorative item is a kilim or carpet. Here I attach a photo that I recently found from Cairo. It was one I took and then never printed and it's been hidden away stored on CD. It struck me because of the washing hanging from each window. Each line of washing represents a family, a story, a life. Behind those windows are love and laughter and treasured possessions, but I can't imagine any of them appearing in a posh homewares' magazine. So, wherever you are, whatever space you inhabit, love it, make it your own, and fill it with love and laughter.