I’ve always had great admiration for the homeowners who find time in their busy schedules to open their doors to our writers and photographers. After years of politely prying into other people’s places, turning the lens on my own for this issue’s Last Word on page 130 was an interesting exercise. I’ve only shared a few corners, but even that takes a certain amount of preparation, mostly removing rouge toys, hiding unsightly cords and schooling my partner Nick on the best angles for a portrait. And then there’s the emotional psyching up, during which it’s helpful to remember that it’s often our houses’ imperfections that make them home.
There’s really no such thing as a finished house, and that’s okay — as the saying goes, it’s the journey, not the destination. That sentiment resonates with me at the moment, because there’s a stash of artwork I’ve been meaning to frame gathering dust in our spare bedroom, shelves that need to go up in my son Ted’s room, and I’m still on the hunt for a sideboard that’s just the right size for our favourite lamp. I’ve promised myself I’ll finally make the framing and shelf-hanging happen this weekend, but I’m actually relishing taking my time to find the ideal sideboard for our living space — I just love the thrill of the hunt.
With the environmental impact of fast fashion and homeware a paramount concern, I believe it’s so important to be mindful not to shop impulsively to fill the gaps in our décor with the first things we can find. At the height of the Marie Kondo decluttering craze, charity shops are being forced to turn away people’s castoffs due to oversupply — a sure sign we need to be much more thoughtful about the purchasing decisions we’re making. So I’m taking a step back before filling the gap at my place, and hope the interior inspiration on the following pages will help you find pieces you too can live with for a lifetime.
Alice Lines, Editor