Our Favourite Creative Homebodies : Wee Birdy
Each week we’re tracking our favourite creative homebodies. This week we pop into Rebecca Lowrey Boyd’s place (you might already know her as an award winning design and lifestyle blogger?!) Here’s Wee Birdy’s spin on being a homebody!
A few years ago, I packed up my life and moved overseas. Everything went into storage – tables, chairs, fridge, washing machine, hundreds of books – and all the “stuff” that I had accumulated over the years. From childhood toys and school reports to my beloved tea-cup collection, it was all carefully packed away in acid-free tissue paper and bubble wrap, sent off to storage in Sydney’s western suburbs.
It was only once we’d landed on the other side of the world and settled into our furnished, non-offensive beige apartment in East London that I realised that that “stuff” was what defined my home. It defined the people who lived in it.
In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin found that ridding her of home of “nostalgic clutter” made her feel “uplifted and restored”. Similarly, I found that moving overseas with just a few boxes and bags was incredibly liberating. But without all my stuff, our newly adopted home felt cold and alien. It took a while – and more than the odd throw rug and scatter cushion – to make it feel like home.
There’s a fine line between clutter and cosiness, isn’t there? Personally, I rather like the Scandinavian concept of ‘hygge’ – a Danish word that implies charm and cosiness (there is actually no direct English translation), and can apply to people, things or surroundings. My idea of domestic happiness comes with a good dose of that hygge (along with some fine Danish design courtesy of Jacobsen, Wegner et al!) I like to surround myself with layers of STUFF that has personal meaning.
I can explain this. I come from a long line of magpies. My mum especially enjoys collecting stuff. (Good stuff, I should add.) I can’t remember her ever driving past an antiques shop without doing some kind of major rubbernecking. And she loves having a good dig around a charity shop. She always unearths the BEST treasure.
Amazingly, our house never looked cluttered because mum also prides herself on order and cleanliness. However there was always something new and interesting to look at. Just like London’s avant-garde Dover Street Market and its bi-annual Tachiagari, where the installations are refreshed and renewed twice a year, my mum loved to change things about – and this is where her collection of stuff really came into its own:
First day of Autumn? Cue a vignette of weird gourds, pumpkins, nuts, autumnal leaves and maybe the odd squirrel on top of a bookcase. Then there was the blue and white phase, where her collection of blue and white china took pride of place on the sideboard. She would constantly dip in and out of boxes of stuff stored under our house, fossicking through piles of vintage linen or museum-worthy fossils. It was all terribly good fun.
I’ve definitely inherited her love for stuff, as well as appreciation for a Damn Fine Tableaux (DFT). (For evidence of this, I’ve have dedicated a Pinterest board to the fine art of creating a tableaux). Any windowsill in my house is the ideal spot for a DFT. My kitchen sill is a cheery sun-filled spot that’s perfect for growing herbs, as well as showcasing my collection of teapots, Lotte ceramics and the odd Kewpie doll. Like Mum, I’m constantly moving things around and ‘retiring’ some pieces to the sideboard while wheeling out nostalgic old favourites. It’s my own interpretation of hygge, and it makes me happiest.
This post was written for Harpic’s Clean For A Cause Campaign. Harpic will donate $10 to Save The Children for every hour that you clean. Win! And speaking of winning, you could win a $100 gift voucher here, thanks to Harpic.