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How to Make a House a Home

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I feel strongly that your home should be a sanctuary not a just a show home or place to sleep. Almost everything in my home has memories and meaning to them.

I agree with Arts and Crafts master, William Morissey who says ‘Surround yourself with beauty’. I love wandering around flea markets especially in Europe so objects with a history whether I chose or inherited them bring me great joy.

In my early 20’s I discovered I had a love for antiques. The craftsmanship is something worth appreciating and enjoying in everyday life. I became friends with an older couple who had a collection of china that had been handed down through the generations. They knew that neither of their children appreciated and particularly wanted the pieces so dear Annie gave me all the china before she passed from cancer. It was a sweet gesture and the beginning of my joy and journey of collecting.

I must be sentimental!

Neither of my grandparents came from money so there were no family heirlooms to inherit apart from what was left of my great grandmother’s china. Would you believe that my mother brought it over with her in her suitcase!

I decided to create my own collection. When Mac and I got married, I discovered a local antique store in my hometown and created a ‘registry’ by sharing with the owner what had caught my eye. So our girls will now have things to cherish and use which have a history to them and connection to where I am from.

Mac’s mother understands my appreciation and has gifted me silver cutlery so I have a set for each of the girls.

My mother spent years living on the canals in France and I was thrilled when our visit coincided with a local flea market event. Entire villages would be closed down for villagers to sell what they no longer needed. I discovered gold leaf, Limoge china plates and a brass coal bucket with a hand painted handle.

I framed a handbill I found in my grandmother’s papers for a show in Drury Lane in the 1930’s (Our Broadway in London) and beautiful booklets of the last two British coronations. At one point I collected old books and antique wooden frames. My mother made me a card from pressed flowers and I have it framed in my bedroom. I have framed old black and white family photos too. You could collect and frame antique maps of where you were born or have lived. Create your family history – it can also give your children a greater sense of belonging.

People love my home for the eclectic warm feeling I have created and this atmosphere comes from personal touches. Start pulling together things that have meaning to you. It brings love and warmth into your home.

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