New Year, New Home….& a lot of old stuff!

It was an exciting start to 2017, as we moved into our new home on the 3rd January.

Packing away the contents of our flat
Lilibet keeping an eye on the packing at our old flat

We settled in very quickly and have almost finished unpacking, but finding a new home for everything we own is quite a mission.  I always knew I had a lot of stuff….but it’s not until you have to move it that you realise just how much stuff you actually have! Much of it had become fairly well hidden in our old one bedroom flat.  We wanted to have a thorough clear out before we moved, but predictably ran out of time and ended up taking most of it with us.

I’m never going to be a minimalist,  I know that, and I don’t really aspire to be one.   I wouldn’t want to live in a sterile white box.  I love vintage shopping and treasure hunting in flea markets around the world.   And as a designer,  I am constantly gathering ideas and get a lot of inspiration from my environment and the things around me.    The trouble is  I find it very difficult to throw any thing away…. you never know when it might be just the thing you are looking for!

Some people may call me a hoarder, but I prefer the term collector….

There was a great exhibition at the Barbican a couple years ago, Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector  which displayed stuff that had been collected by some of my favourite artists (Peter Blake, Martin Parr, Andy Warhol and many others) along side of some of their art.   I found the exhibition very interesting and inspiring….. and really helped validate my hording ways (not everyone will see this bonus!)

…. I’m not really sure what I collect but these are the things I seem to have quite a lot of are:

  1. Books – especially big heavy ones on Art, Fashion, Photography or Design.  The removal men were cursing me over all the boxes books, but I just love them and will always make room for books in my home.
  2. Vintage fabric and clothing- if they are beautiful and inspiring I find it very difficult to let them go!
  3. Art – Luckily have more wall space in the the new place, but are still working out where to hang all our pictures, paintings and prints.   It’s not a particularly valuable collection,  just pieces that we have been drawn to over the years.
  4. Art materials- I am definitely not allowed to buy any more art or craft material, I think I have gathered enough stuff over the years to start my own shop, but sadly I now create most of my Art and illustrations on the computer.  But in 2017 I want to get hands on again and start putting all my pens, pencils, paints, paper & sketch books to good use.
  5. Ephemera- this is the largest and most varied category of stuff I own.  I can’t  resit anything that has an interesting or iconic design or great lettering or something that offer us a little glimpse into the past.  I am particularly drawn to mid Century mementos from London (and the London Underground) and together, my husband and I, seem to have a worrying amount of royal memorabilia! I have never considered myself a royalist, but I guess I quite like the queen as an iconic image. 


Although I know I will never change my ways completely,  I am making a concerted effort not to let our new home become too cluttered.    I have already taken several bags to charity shops and am planning to get a table at a vintage fair later in the year to sell off a few more bits and pieces.

I’m also thinking a little more carefully about everything I buy, asking myself “do I really need this?” and “where is it going to live?” when about to make a purchase…

….although….some may argue that this light up, golden Jesus was not really a necessary purchase!….but I’m afraid I just couldn’t leave it in the shop!

Wish me luck, I obviously have a long way to go!

Love is God
If this doesn’t ‘Spark Joy’, I don’t know what does!



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