Growing up my parents always loved to say that I was expensive. Constantly wanting to update my bedspread, needing new furniture and being one of three girls, the battle for ‘new’ clothes waged on for the majority of tween to adulthood – I guess I can kinda see where they were coming from! They were lucky we mostly rented so I couldn’t try and get them to change the colour of the walls in my room every month. As a teenager you have no concept of the value of just having a home, let alone shiny pretty things that go in it!
It wasn’t until I got my own home and family that I understand just how expensive it is to live, let alone afford lots of ‘new’ things! I have had to learn some home truths about myself, so Dad you are only going to see this in print once – my parents were right! I am expensive. I do go into the shop or read a mag and instantly I am attracted to the most expensive item on the page. I cant help it – it some kind of deep seeded instinct to have good but expensive taste. In my defence, there are a lot of home wares out there that are off that chart expensive – come on…can I get a rec-og-nise!! My husband has also had to learn the expensive consequence of my exquisite shot comings- sorry precious!
But never fear! Lucky for me, my husband and my AMEX, I not only live in the world of the dot com where shops know no boundaries and competition can sometimes mean great bargains but I also live in a time where upcycling and hand made is chic! AMEN! Nothing says Persian chic more than rustic milk crates as storage or getting Nanna to dust off her needles and crocheting me a piece of wooly rug heaven. Vintage or recycled home wares and furniture can not only be adapted to work with any style but to me they always seem to have more personality. A warm character to them that makes them apart of your homes story. Shiny and new is overrated and quite frankly sometimes I find “modern” design contrived and boring! There I said it! So shoot me. There is nothing more off putting to me than design for design sake. Give me a recycled timber bench top over boring, over used granite any day! I think having a limited budget makes better interiors – every purchase has to be considered. And for those who like to lend their hand to DYI, spaces become more personal and more comfortable to be in.
I know its a personal thing and some people like shiny and new, and thats ok. I am just glad that if your like me, and think that style should be attainable to everyone, there has been a revival of recycled and industrial style homewares and furniture. And that our beloved internet has made it possible to source amazing ideas and materials! From a girl who loved her new, I now love my old and re-purposed! I love that not just tightened but tightened and twisted shoes string present a challenge not a barrier! I get a thrill when I get a bargain on Ebay when the shops are more expensive or I get an idea to make something new from something old or recycled! Thank you Etsy inventer! I love you Ebay visionary! These along with Pinterest, blogs and a gazillon other online resources have helped create thousands if not millions of warm, character filled spaces!
My husband and I recently had our new entertainment unit below (and yes that is our son running past it in his nappy and singlet – all class) built using repurposed floor boards. We used a local timber yard and cabinet maker and the day it sat complete in our living room, I just remember having a great feeling of pride and satisfaction. Not only was it the single most beautiful piece of furniture we have, we had designed it and it was personal to us. It was sustainable, gave work to a local business and we didn’t break the bank to get it! It stands for something more than having a hefty price tag and designer name attached to it – not that I am adverse to this as you will come to learn – my 12 year old self is still in there, I have just learned to look past the shiny and expensive and embrace the old and recycled. Dont tell my husband but I most of the time I prefer a second hand or recycled item over a new! Shhh……