Trends will always come and go, but truly stylish homes outlast the moment
Neale Whitaker on how to be satisfied with your lot.
February might seem a bit late to be talking about New Year’s resolutions, especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. But for me it’s perfect timing. Forget January. Back in my UK days, January was so grey and grim that unless your resolutions were to a) eat more or b) drink more, they were doomed to fail by lunchtime on New Year’s Day.
And in Australia, it’s summer holidays. So why on earth would you deny, deprive, restore or repair until January is a dim and distant memory? By my reckoning, that’s just about now. Besides which, I’ve had time to digest all the new trends and decide which I’ll be welcoming into my home.
By the way, have you heard about #Backwardsbooks? According to my very good friends at Vogue Living, it’s apparently a thing. Stacking your books back to front so the spines don’t show. It’s a bit like muting the sound on your bookshelves. Try memorising your favourite paperbacks by height, width or the colour of the paper. No thanks, not happening. Nor are patterned plants (we called them variegated in my day) or French parquetry floors, much as I love the latter. But with just a soupçon of smugness I can lay claim to terrazzo tiles, big art and statement ceilings in my apartment. That’s more than enough 2018 trends ticked.
But back to those resolutions. One of the books I consumed over summer was The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. I didn’t mean to read it, but curiosity got the better of me. I had to know what all the fuss was about. To my mind, the author Mark Manson’s (frequently flawed) messages can be distilled down to just one: life often sucks. Manson’s words didn’t change my life, but they did get me thinking. This year, I will love my home as it is, not what it could be. Those who share my home (two-legged and four-legged) are more important than any trend, and only by celebrating what our home is not can we value what it is.
So… I’m loving that my home is not a penthouse, that it doesn’t have ocean views or access to a pool. I’m loving that sometimes we can smell aviation fuel and hear the A380 engines (did I mention that we are near the airport?), and that our books are out, proud and defiantly uncool. #Spinestothefront.