THE UNIQUENESS OF HOME
One of the aims behind our upcoming vintage collection is to offer our customers more opportunity to create unique and individual spaces outside of the trends of mass production. In a culture dominated by fast fashion, the ubiquity of changing trends has seen the increased homogenisation of our lived environments. Individual homes are losing their unique soulfulness to trends that see the same elements repeating across spaces all over the world. While most of the products we offer are already small-batch, handmade items, we wanted to add to this offering by introducing vintage pieces which can infuse a home with warmth and a unique character through their lived-in patina as well as their smaller mass-market availability.
Our homes are often our most intimate and private spaces. In addition to serving our needs for safety, shelter, and belonging and facilitating the activities of our daily lives, when the selection of objects in our home is unique to us, our homes can reflect and reinforce who we are and who we wish to become.
When considering the design of their homes, people often look to architects and interior designers, magazines and design books. Much of what we use as inspiration for the creation and decoration of our homes comes from external sources. And yet, the incredibly intimate nature of our private spaces means that while external sources can serve as helpful reference points, the creation of a home that truly supports our unique character and life can only ever be done by one authority. No one can answer the questions that will make our homes reflect and nurture our lives and our sense of self like we can.
Creating spaces that reflect and reinforce our sense of self can feel like a daunting task, but it need not be. One way to begin this process is to start by excavating our own history of place. We can explore our unique feelings of home by becoming familiar with our past sense of place and drawing inspiration from the places that have shaped our physical and emotional landscapes throughout our lives.
Our personal preferences for spaces are woven out of a unique combination of physical and emotional impressions collected throughout our lives. By physical and emotional landscape, I am referring to both the physical spaces that have left a deep and lasting impression on us as well as the tapestry of emotional impressions that have contributed to creating our sense of comfort, belonging, safety and feeling nurtured.
Imprints of physical spaces that have made their way into our minds come from both places we have lived and spent time in - our homes, the homes of friends or relatives, or public spaces - as well as spaces encountered in movies and images throughout the formative years of our childhood and adolescence. The shaping of our sense of home by external sources such as the media may have played a particularly influential role if the physical spaces we spent time in did not meet our emotional, spiritual or aesthetic needs, making it more likely that we would take inspiration for our dreamscapes from places other than our immediate physical environment.
It can be an interesting experience to go back through old movies we frequently watched as a child or young adult in order to explore how the places and objects in those movies have woven their way into our sense of home. Looking back, we will often discover decorative styles, furniture, and objects that have influenced our present-day tastes even though we may not consciously be aware of them having done so.
In addition to the impressions left on our mind by the physical spaces we encountered throughout our lives, our sense of home is also constructed out of various feelings we associate with home. The emotions that relate to our sense of home are formed out of all those moments that contributed to making us feel safe, loved, nurtured and comfortable. These are so specific to each individual person that it is hard to offer anything that comes even close to a universal example. Cuddling on the sofa with a loving carer while reading a book or sharing a sliced apple, for example, might evoke feelings of safety, feeling seen and attended to. Particularly salient emotional moments such as these are informative in shaping our feeling of home and what we might be trying to recreate in our own house. Regardless of the individual details, what I am referring to are the intimate moments of comfort and love where we felt truly seen and connected. Moments such as these will have shaped our emotive sense of home as well as influencing which rooms we feel are important or what interactions and activities we want our spaces to facilitate.
The collection of both the physical impressions of home – sights, sounds, smells and sensations, whether from real life or from what we saw in books and movies, as well as the emotional impressions of home – all contribute to creating the unique blueprint for what home looks and feels like for us in its ideal.
This blueprint is always operating in the background and shaping our choices and preferences whether we are aware of it or not. The reasons that becoming acquainted with this blueprint on a more conscious level can be helpful when engaging with the process of design is that the preferences noted within this blueprint are enduring and deeply rooted in our unique sense of self.
The feeling of tapping into our unique history of home and being able to bring elements of this past into our present and future in a mindful and conscious way can be a deeply gratifying experience. This exercise is the direct counter to fast-fashion-driven decision making, which is in its nature fleeting, transitory, and focused on external sources. By tapping into both the conscious and unconscious images, memories, and feelings that have shaped our sense of home, we can begin to create spaces that feel enduringly gratifying and deeply rooted in who we are, making our design decisions personal and deeply grounded within our sense of self
Decisions made based on enduring impressions of what home means to us rather than transitory trends offer us the best chance at deep, lasting satisfaction, and a more authentic connection to the self over the dissatisfaction inherent in passing trends.
We humans are meaning-seeking creatures. We have a deep need for the stories of our lives to feel integrated and meaningful to us. Symbolism is a big part of the way we make and convey meaning. Whether this is done on a conscious or unconscious level, our homes and the objects we fill them with are imbued with symbolic meaning. They evoke, express, and convey associations and beliefs about what is of value in life. The reflection of this symbolic meaning will always be most satisfying for us when the symbols we surround ourselves with affirm our most valued sense of self.
Over the next two blog posts we will be sharing a process to help you to begin to draw out your unique history of home. The questions we will be sharing can serve as prompts for beginning to bring your unique sense of home into conscious awareness.
We hope this exercise can serve as a useful and grounding resource for all those transitional moments such as moving into a new home, renovating, or redecorating as well as serving as a reference point for smaller decisions such as whether an object will enhance your overall sense of home. We will be sharing this process in our next blog post and if you would like to be notified when our blog posts are released you can sign up to our mailing list.
Images above show several items from our upcoming Vintage and Collected Collection including our vintage bread boards, vintage utensil holders, vintage cutlery, vintage shallow wooden bowls, vintage oil painting and vintage watercolour painting, vintage creamware plates and many more, Handmade Fluted Side and Dinner Plates, Handmade Fluted Soup Bowls, Handmade Fluted Fruit Bowl, Classic French Table Glasses, Hand Forged Copper Cups, Hand Forged Copper Bundt Cake Mould, Various Natural Cleaning Brushes, Copper Kettle (aged with time and use), Hand Forged Copper Stacking Cups, Handmade Linen Kitchen Towel in Taupe Grey, and Heritage Brass Water Mister.