Time for Change.


Autumn is a time of change and, I always feel, a time to simplify life declutter my home.

As someone who loves to collect beautiful and interesting things, my home has become a gallery of my art, antiques and artisan pieces gathered over the years on my travels.

I love my home — with layers of art, design and objets built up over the years with items found in antique markets, salvage yards, galleries, even pebbles I have picked up on beaches.

The joy of finding something that captures my eye — a treasure, a memory, is combined with memorabilia and photos I have collected whether it be awards or artwork by one of my four girls or needlepoint by my mother and antique pocket watches handed down by my great grandmother – they all have meaning, but the question is where do we keep this forever expanding and growing collection?

At one point I had run out of space and I felt it was time to take a step back and tackle the job.

The question is — how do you display these items without it looking like a junk or curiosity shop? At times I felt I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

I decided it was time to try and come up with ideas and solutions on how to put items together into individual collections — displaying them as a grouping that was still aesthetically pleasing — yet up to date.

For example:

  • Hand painted porcelain urns and vases grouped together into a tight collection creating a visual rhythm;
  • A collection of antique Chinese cricket houses displayed beautifully onto a small Chinese tray;
  • Various sport medals won by my girls — strung together in large ribbons and hung on the wall with a large bow on top creates a pleasing pattern.

Time to become ruthless about disposing of items that were broken, damaged or no longer had the same appeal. Then it was time to clear the clutter.

Here are some areas to make a change:

  • Photos Galleries — Select the best ones, the ones you love and group the frames together that work well. From there, photos can be updated.
  • Books — These were so difficult to part with — but I donated many to charity. I held onto the loved classics and larger coffee table books. These are great for stacking or placed onto bookshelves or displayed on side or coffee tables.
  • Candles — Older candles can collect dust, and the wax can start to discolour. Determine ones that look that still have a life and light up your space.
  • Vases — How many do we need? I kept the best loved ones. I saved those that work with seasonal flowers etc and donated those that I hadn’t used for some time.
  • Kitchen items — Again another area where we accumulate things over the years or numerous duplicates of the same items — baking trays, in my case cookie cutters, cake baking tins in various shapes for the different seasons. Time for them to move on to a new home.
  • Linens & Towels cupboards — Time to go through each one and retire any tired towels.
  • And finally Seasonal decorations — Over the years I had collected storage boxes full of decorations for the various seasons Christmas, Easter, and Halloween where we had boxes full of fancy dress clothing and accessories… including wigs and sunglasses!

I promise to myself I will be more selective going forward in collecting. It is has been hugely satisfying to have been through this exercise and my home feels like my home again.

Love, Alison x