A matter of taste

February 18, 2013

Something that interests me greatly is taste or, in particular, personal preference.


I have a brother and sister and it’s a family joke that our tastes couldn’t be more different. My older sister lives in a beautiful 1930’s home, which they’ve renovated and modernised. My younger brother, on the flip side, has always lived in new build houses, isn’t the slightest bit interested in DIYing his home to create a personal statement, doesn’t have the first clue about design history, and cares even less. His philosophy has always been to choose your house on how little work needs doing. Instant non-gratification!

So, it gets me wondering about my genes and where my lifelong passion for antiques, vintage, reclamation, salvage and anything ancient comes from. Whilst I always appreciate modern design and am very happy to spend a few hours dining in a state of the art restaurant, my heart belongs to the stately homes dotted throughout England and all their glorious contents.


I can’t begin to explain how happy I feel when I drive past an old iron gate covered in ivy leading to a half-derelict farmhouse; or see an antique vase with fresh flowers sitting on a bashed up French buffet, or a mirror with broken gilt edges leant against a peeling plaster wall never cease to fill me with delight. These images are so incredibly captivating to me, and I’m not talking a half-baked reaction – this is a total body experience whereby I am possessed by woodland fairies every time I pass through an ancient market town full of historic buildings and antique shops by the dozen full of vintage cashmere cardigans and delicious looking eiderdowns (my husband still can’t quite get his head round the fact that we have an ‘old persons duvet’ at the end of our bed!) I mean, who can compare an heirloom jewel brooch or a Mercedes Pagoda with their modern equivalents?

Fortunately I also have friends who feel the same way, so I’m not checking myself into a secure unit any time soon!