I recently read an article in the Sunday Telegraph about “shabbism”. Champions of this interior “style”, husband and wife, Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd, have collaborated on a book entitled Shabby: The Jolly Good British Guide to Stress-free Living.
Despite my keenness to present a home that is at all times presentable this article really struck a chord and, I am sure, will hit a common note with a lot of busy people.
My understanding of the philosophy underpinning shabbism is the ability to feel at ease in one’s home especially if you share it with children and pets!
I’m not sure if this is a style that has been highly publicised or aspired to in the media. It’s certainly not one that I have seen strewn across the centrefolds of glossy magazines. Nonetheless, I imagine there is part of all of us that want a home that is welcoming to visitors whenever they knock on the door. Not a home that we are embarrassed by because there are shoes kicked off in the hall or unpacked boxes in the kitchen.
There has been a lot of press about pared-back, curated, and edited interiors, and although it has it’s place, shabbism flies in the face of neat and tidy. In essence, it is warm, friendly, and lived in. It is not a show-house but a home that accommodates a family and all that goes with it.
Personally, I would like to think that there is a half-way house and to achieve a sense of orderly homeliness I tend to abide by a phrase that I learnt a long time ago. “A place for everything and everything in its place”. I’m not sure if this is because I am a Gemini or that I have a touch of OCD. Most likely it is because my parents were very neat and tidy and that has rubbed off on me.
I believe good storage is the key to this particular philosophy and once you have that it is much easier to keep a house tidy. I also believe that a regular review of one’s possessions is the key to a relaxed way of life. Again, this is hard when you’re fully employed during the day, but setting time aside to declutter every now and again is time well spent.
Shabbism does not embrace electronic storage devices but relishes having a collection of books, records, video tapes, photographs, magazines and newspapers on display. I agree that these items bring personality to a home but would prefer to edit these down to my most cherished items rather than keep those that are no longer significant.
On that note I am going to take a collection of clothes, books, and discarded toys to my local charity shop.
Shabby: The Jolly Good British Guide to Stress-free Living.