Something popped up on my Twitter feed the other day where someone had a link to their Instagram post saying they were really pleased their new spectacles matched the aesthetic of their home.
When my husband and I started our business it was a way of making things and sharing our ideas. We have very similar interests and designing together works well as well as developing our own interests.
We have always enjoyed looking at how things are made and been excited by art, reading, cinema etc.
However despite working in interiors we are not inspired by lifestyle blogs. These are very much like the clean eating/food fad blogs that are saturating our visual world. I am mistrustful of people that encourage missing food groups out of our diets. Many of these are based on alternative therapies and self diagnosis that certain foods cause un-wellness and so a whole trend (don’t get me started on those) has emerged that is celebrating our selves for our ability to limit our food groups. Food creates memories and fun- staying up late with friends eating and drinking, breakfasts in bed, tea and cake, eggy bread when you’re poorly. Biscuits dunked in tea, picnics with cheese sandwiches. Food is fun.
Lifestyle blogs also perpetuate a myth of unrealistic expectation, when did it become popular to look at pictures of rooms with nothing in them, all one hue? Why is this considered exciting? Is it because we think we should like it? Is it some self flagellation that we will never be able to be as good as this person we see on Instagram who lives off avocados and sits in grey room looking at pictures of geometric shapes?
Our aspirations have shifted to people who wear Lycra and ride a bike all weekend while their family sit at home and wonder when they will come home or the person who makes courgettes into weird shapes and tells us its like pasta. Or the cook who makes a recipe with no sugar, fat or dairy and calls it ‘cake.’
Why would I be excited at looking at a grey cushion or your really expensive lip balm in minimal packaging that you spent far too much time artfully placing next to vase of flowers? What are you trying to tell me?
I wonder if Joseph Cornell, Jean Rhys or Nick Drake would have done what they did if they had sat in a room carefully arranging their scented candles. Our ideas of inspiration have shifted to ones that can’t inspire.
So yes we design and make things but no we do not live in grey box, we have pets who throw up sometimes, a child who sticks stickers on cupboards, we have pictures of things we like, loads of books (oh they get sooo dusty), we ‘rescue’ stuff from charity shops, we eat loads of cheese, drink wine and have sex.
None of us are that tidy and clean because we are humans and we think lots of things and do lots of stuff and I think trying to aspire to that clean and perfect life will drive you mad or sad. We are contradictory and ridiculous and this is not bad these insights are what make people write interesting books and paint complex art and we are richer for it.
As my mum said after a party at a particularly minimal abode ‘I always wonder what you would do if you got locked in one of those places.’