If there’s one thing wrong with the 21st century, it’s that we have forgotten our design heritage and we have no discipline of ornament. No, really. We think we can just pepper our houses with all sorts of twiggy pebbly pongy nonsense, and our lives will be all the better for it. But they won’t. It just makes more dusting. Here’s some tactics for supressing your inner tat collector and moving your design radar up a level.
Art and pictures – Believe me, if you hang a few larger pictures or prints, it will look better than lots of itty bitty ones scattered around the walls, unless the smaller ones are grouped into a specific shape to make an impact. Have you got various sugar paper creations lovingly crafted by your offspring, flapping away every time someone opens the back door? Shame on you, as if it’s good enough to keep, it deserves to be displayed respectfully. Hence children’s artwork looks good in large clip frames or wooden photo frames from supermarkets, and this can be a revolving display with some of the pictures being changed regularly as the child becomes more proficient (You can live in hope. My mother was never able to experience that as my artistic capabilities are somewhat limited). Other ideas for wall displays include pieces of particularly attractive wallpaper framed under glass, antique or vintage textiles in box frames, and things you have made yourself. Remember what Ruskin said, in that everything in your house should be beautiful or useful. Listen to him. He spawned an artistic and philosophical revolution, whereas today’s glossy home and garden mags haven’t.
Ornaments – These will probably have special meaning for you (I am being charitable), and you will have collected them over time, but beware of having them scattered all over the place as they become difficult to dust and get in the way of using furniture for its proper purpose, such as putting down a cup of tea and a magazine on a side table. If you have a copious collection of little china or fluffy ornaments <groan>, for example, consider displaying these in large glass jars and they might even take on a veneer of kitsch sophistication. As with little pictures, things like this often look better grouped in some way. In terms of cleaning, a soft, clean blusher brush is absolutely ideal for dealing with most small objects, which is a favourite National Trust housekeeper’s trick, so even though your plastic piglets cost about 50p each, you now know how to treat them as though they were priceless artefacts.
Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net