Adorned Abodes & Ingenious Homes
These days with enormous quantities of everything it can be pretty easy to feel a tad mass-produced, observe the flat-pack home below! But whilst we become ever-increasingly economical and efficient, trying to be ‘individual’, trending Zara’s latest collective costume for under 100 pounds, we can find a somewhat truer form of self-expression by adorning our abodes. A friend of mine, Linda Behrisch, recently wrote an article about how clothes create a space for us to dwell in. That idea, along with Iwan Baan’s wonderful Ted talk about ‘ingenious homes’ encouraged me to think about the spaces we influence within our homes and what this represents. The places we dwell in are an extension of our personality; they often represent our interests, occupations, wealth and status. As well as being a space for us to decorate, much like we do our bodies in apparel. However the two differ, as clothing enables us to create a changing persona that varies from day-to-day, whereas home-decoration is slightly less tangible. In modern times this seems to me to be of greater personal interest, specifically in typically Western culture, where our attire no-longer represents a belief system or anything of significant meaning the majority of the time.
Individuality can be considered in several ways, the most common concept that springs to mind is the dualistic one, so the meaning is easily misconstrued. For example, items are often marketed as promoting individuality. But, if we attempt to be more like ‘us’ by choosing brands that represent our aspirations and identities, we are naively separating the individual from the group, whilst ignoring the tiny issue, that, by adhering to any systematic notion of individuality, we are adopting a cleverly disguised form of conformity. We will always comply with group norms but that doesn’t have to take away from individuality, in fact, if considered in a non-dualistic sense, it can enhance it; provided the reason behind our choices has meaning. For example, we may choose an item that has carefully lined pockets, due to being taught that this makes a ‘good quality garment’ or maybe a blanket as a nostalgic reminder of one belonging to a parent, making us feel warm and safe with blissful memories of being swathed in it as children.
Our homes express that which we are, in terms of personal taste, family ties, our desire for space or the need to feel hemmed in by old trinkets, small change and cassettes from the 90’s. Whether we are calm, frantic or scatty, organised, engaged with patterns, colour, or simply like to be purposeful, the things available to us and the decoration of our space gives so much more away than just an aesthetic aura. Bill Cunningham’s abode in’ New York 2010′ is a great enough example to inspire anyone to give away all of their belongings, which enables him to be solely attuned to his life’s passion – photography. He can’t swing a mouse inside his studio flat that’s racked full of filing cabinets, filled with negatives and fashion books. So we can infer from this that his work is his pride and he needs little personal space because he prefers to be outside taking photographs than tending to domestic demands. I like the eccentricity of this, although not sure I could give so much up, its admirable and offers a unique level of domestic transparency.
If you were to look around your room what would it say about your true passions, your interests or emotional ties? Unlike our apparel, the space we live may aesthetically resemble what resides inside us, rather than offering an aesthetic exterior perspective. It suggests how clear our minds are, how many interests we are pursuing, whether we’re technologically or artistically driven, or both. We could be bookworms, into records or enjoy documenting our lives in photographic memories. How much space to do you need? What colours do you like to see in the morning when you wake up? Blue suggests the dreamer; red is the colour of blood, representing energy and drive. There are so many things we can infer about a person by the way they decorate the spaces they live in, and no doubt any one of us would relish the opportunity to snoop through others as it may, after all, accidentally involve the excavation of personal treasures.
The images below are from the luscious Interior designer – Oliver Gustav
Check out the TedTalk by Iwan Baan: