Over Christmas I was lucky enough to acquire a broad range of new pictures. When I say new I mean old, (more mothball than antique), when I say acquire I mean given by relatives who were planning on chucking them out.
Such has been the nature of 80% of the items in this house, art, sofa's, dining room chairs, curtains, beds, crockery... you name it.. if someone else don't want it I end up with it. My motivation was initially financial - with all money plowing into building walls, there was little left for cushions - but essentially I have a deeply ingrained waste not want not attitude to life and really do support the 'one man's trash' philosophy.
Of course there are the occasional mistakes (80's crudites dish with pictorial representations is yet to leave the cupboard) and yes, I have, occasionally, entirely without reason in my eyes, once or twice, on a bad day, been referred to as a hoarder. But for the most part I honestly believe this re-using a rejected item in a new, different setting injects it with a new lease of life and gives a depth and soul to a home that is almost palpable. As I look around my home and consider the history of each and every item some take me back to childhood, Aunts or Grandparents past, some have origins not known to me, so I can make up their history (as well as a name!). What is for sure is that very little has come straight from a factory floor - what could be colder than that!?
People who come to my house, often comment on it's warmth and homely feeling (they sure as hell don't mean temperature), it feels like a house that is loved. This does not come from the colour of the walls or the carpet on the floor (definitely not that in our case). Would it feel the same if we had all the finery's that John Lewis had to offer? I don't think so. Personally I think this random hotch potch of belongings bring with them the lives and loves of their owners past, they have stories to tell and they are happy to live to see another day. They might not match but somehow they feel like they belong.