Trends will al­ways come and go, but truly stylish homes out­last the mo­ment

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-at-large of Vogue Liv­ing.

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.

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