I have a slight addiction to Houzz. This addiction is fuelled by the fact that we are starting some renovations in the next week or two, after which we shall eat cornflakes for the next 2 years and skip Christmas and birthdays.
I often look at the beautiful houses on Houzz and wonder what our interior decorating style is as they describe them so well. Nothing seems to fit. Maybe it is because our house is a mish-mash of secondhand furniture mostly found by my Mother. I could pretend that I’m all hipster and we only upcycle and recycle, but to be honest I’m not very good at decorating. I’m much better at buying paintings that make me happy.
Let me explain: my darling Mother is REALLY good at negotiating. She can spot a valuable piece of furniture a mile away and has the knack of making people feel eternally grateful that she will take it off their hands at minimal cost.
She is the only person I know that gets such joy from buying dilapidated furniture and crockery from unsuspecting little old ladies and makes money doing so. She’s also pretty damn good at it.
The only thing is that her house is now too small, which leaves my house. So we often have conversations like this:
My Mom would gleefully send a photo of a painting/chair/table/bed to my phone when I’m at work, inevitably in a meeting.
I would look at the photo and promise myself to call her later.
2 hours will go by.
My Mom would call me
Mom: Did you get the photo I sent you?
Me: Yes, it’s lovely, but I don’t need another table/chair/painting/bed. There’s already too much stuff in my house. And please don’t buy crockery from dead people, there is too much crap in my kitchen.
Mom: Aw, that’s too bad, because I’ve already dropped it off. No pressure, have a look at it and let me know.
Me: ‘sigh’ Thanks Mom
It’s lovely that she offers to take back the things she finds, only she finds really good stuff. Except for the odd murky-looking massive platter that must be 100 years old. (See point above about dead people’s crockery).
Sometimes I even make Etienne tell her to take the things away, I can’t bear being a disappointment. He has been known to halt her at the gate and not allow things to darken our doorstep.
She is also rather sneaky. Every now and again I’ll open a cupboard to find a *new* teapot/platter/milk jug that doesn’t look familiar. And our domestic worker will tell me with a look of resignation on her face that my Mom arrived, washed it and put it in the cupboard.
This is why we need to renovate and add a room or two (to fit in a bed), we need more space for stuff I really didn’t have a desire to own, but now that I have it I’m not letting it go.
So. To cut a rather long story short, I have decided that our style is this:
Mostly Found by Mother Antique Slightly Scuffed But With Lots of Character and Bought with Love.
Take that Houzz.