Enough stuff


In 15 years, we’ve managed to fill every nook and cranny in our house – and not just with children. “Stuff” oozes from our modest 3-bedroom Victorian terrace. Where did it come from?

It’s true our family has lots of interests and hobbies and passions. Little collections too. All of which make life more interesting and more diverse. There is just too much of it though.

I also believe that houses have to breathe. Especially old houses like ours. They’re weren’t built to be sealed up as modern houses are, so I like a flow of air from room to room. I like to see corners, and the space under beds. I want to stand at the window without having to move furniture. It’s not always possible, but I can try.

About five years ago, I saw a writer called John Naish at the Edinburgh Book Festival, his book Enough: Breaking Free from the World of More had just been released. It was like a revelation, his chapter on acquisition makes me both smile in nervous recognition and feel queasy at the waste in time and resources in which we’re indulging ourselves. I personally don’t own as much as I did then.

These first few weeks of Our {Remade} Home project have involved much R&D as well as editing the content of our home. Already, three huge bags are ready to go to charity, all good stuff but not worn or played with or even remembered about in the last year.

And I’ve done a lot of rearranging furniture. Things already look and feel better. Lots more to do though.

Our most immediate issue is privacy for our younger girls, who share a bedroom. Aged 12 and 14, they’d both love to have their own room. This isn’t possible though, so I’ve devised a plan to create a little private space for them both, within their shared room. We’ve moved the beds round by 90 degrees, and in doing so they have done some radical decluttering. The room’s bigger than we all thought. I’m now looking for just the right bookcases to form a room divider. Light is an issue.

We’ve agreed on a style – Scandanavian (here’s one of the best blogs I’ve found for inspiration) – and I’m gathering photos on Pinterest, textiles and paint samples. Swatches from Hus and Hem should be arriving any day. I popped along to Ikea – well, it is the only Scandi store within easy reach – and really like the geometry and colour palette of the new Brakig collection. I bought just one cushion … for inspiration, you understand.

Photograph via Ikea. Brakig collection 2014

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