I’ve moved from my glass-walled Thameside flat to a Sixteenth-century farmhouse. All my furnishings is trendy, with clear strains. Can it ever work within the new place? Or ought to I do away with all of it and begin once more?
I actually don’t suppose that it might be a very sensible or sensible thought to do away with your entire furnishings. In fact, you’ll little doubt need to begin accumulating items that really feel acceptable on your new and really historic setting, however what does “acceptable” truly imply?
I don’t imagine that residing in an outdated constructing means you’ll want to personal outdated furnishings solely. I like vintage furnishings, but it surely’s usually my choice to combine the outdated with the brand new. What issues right here, crucially, is consolation. Will the furnishings you had in your riverside flat really feel comfy and proper in your new farmhouse? After I consider nation consolation, I consider squidgy sofas and armchairs, ottomans the dimensions of small automobiles and loads of good, smooth and heat lighting.
On the finish of the day, nevertheless, it’s all down to private style. In fact, it’s potential to dwell in an historic constructing in a particularly minimalist manner. In reality, there are a number of examples of present nation homes on this type that pop into my head. I see concrete flooring, sparse furnishings, up to date lighting, faucets and door handles. No patterned materials, in fact! (God forbid.) Crisp white linen, pointy tables and extremely uncomfortable-looking seating.
On very uncommon events my thoughts will wander and I’ll suppose: may I dwell like that? Wouldn’t it be someway releasing? After which I settle again into my nest of beloved objects, swirly floral materials, postcards, letters, statues and shells and realise, clearly, that I couldn’t.
I suppose all these clear strains and the shortage of furnishings makes one respect a constructing’s construction extra — the beams, the form of a roof, the brickwork. Lovely, sure, completely elegant. However I discover the look chilly, totally inhuman, miserable, basically devoid of emotion. I imply, how may you get even remotely comfy in rooms like these?
But, I don’t suppose that you’ll want to select between one look or the opposite. There is no such thing as a want to contemplate rash selections equivalent to throwing away all the things you personal and beginning once more. Moreover, as I point out, I need the combination. The ratios are as much as you. I’d personally choose a cut up, say, of roughly 90 per cent vintage furnishings and 10 per cent up to date, however it’s important to experiment and perceive what feels proper in your house.
I point out David Hicks a good quantity on this column as a result of I imagine that the way in which he combined vintage and up to date furnishings, artwork, lighting and equipment was nothing in need of genius. Take his personal nation property, Britwell, for instance. The drawing room is a pleasant combine: sofas, up to date in form and upholstered in a wise geometric sample, sit subsequent to metallic lamps and vintage tables plagued by nation muddle: books, flowers, picture frames. Above the imposing hearth a up to date summary portray hangs in tones of robin egg blue and peach. The general impact is spectacular, in fact, however not in any sense stifling or old school.
I’m reminded additionally of a barn within the English countryside, embellished by vendor and designer Christopher Howe. Right here, a painted Regency chest of drawers sits under a easy and elegantly fashioned semicircular mirror, whereas a Nineteen Fifties Serge Mouille ceiling gentle hovers close by. A daring, geometric Swedish mid-century rug fortunately resides below a battered leather-based armchair.
The combo is good and thrilling and the general look completely backs up my level that there is no such thing as a rule guide for nation ornament. Save one. In Howe’s barn you’ll nonetheless discover most of the issues that one actually does require within the nation: countless cozy nooks wherein to squirrel oneself away, piles of cushions, books and blankets. As I say, consolation is vital!
I wish to point out one closing factor although: whereas clear strains can nonetheless work very effectively within the nation, I’d keep away from too many chilly supplies. Glass and chrome could have labored effectively in your London flat, however within the nation you need heat and patina. Assume iron, wooden and brass. Step away from the skip and check out issues out. Who is aware of what sort of thrilling furnishings, lighting and color mixtures you would possibly give you?