Thank you all so much for taking the time to join my hashtag community - Be Home Free.
If you are still wondering what it is well - it's all about showing a comfortable corner, a relaxing nook, an area in the home which you have styled and decorated to your own specific taste. Somewhere that calms and comforts, eases away the stress and feeds our soul.
So what are my reasons for forming this (other than to have a nosey around your homes)?
I'm not sure if it's because I'm a Leo, but I have always had the desire and need for beautiful surroundings. Even when that was difficult to achieve, due to circumstances, I would get a small bunch of flowers, scented candle, some favourite pictures and books, a throw or blanket and try to set up 'my place'.
My earliest memory of loving interior/home stores was when a cool hippy shop opened in my home town, it was called something like Annikas, and had all the latest 1970's trends which were Swedish inspired. I talked my Dad into buying a mirror with an Alphonse Mucha lady on the surface of the glass, it hung in the hallway until he passed away. I still have it.
It was the early 70's and I didn't have a home of my own, I had a bedroom in my parents house which I most certainly was not allowed to decorate (seriously, most kids did not choose their own decor or clothes back then). But by hook or by crook I got a cane shelf which I added nick-nacks to and I styled up my melamine dressing table.
The thought process behind my hashtag #BeHomeFree is to nurture that instinct and for anyone else with a similar ethos, to share and be part of a bigger community.
Then I got to thinking more about community, I for one, sit alone most days doing my photos and editing so this year I'm making a big effort to get out and do stuff.
So does it matter what the community is about or is it just the sense of belonging and sharing an interest? Sometimes it doesn't matter, it is simply a break from the daily grind, a few minutes to stop and say hi to some other people. How many people have joined book clubs just to sit and have coffee and cake with other humans?, a lot of people I reckon.
My choice for a 'home decorating' related hashtag was because that's what makes my brain the happiest. Although studies and common sense tell us that objects are not the key to a fulfilled life I would like to balance that with the thought that for some people aesthetics are very important. Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, there is an aesthetic to your surroundings and homes. Therefore, visually the things around us are important to our well being. To surround yourself with beauty is to love yourself.
We all look at things differently depending on our areas of interest and expertise, I recently had a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon who explained that faces are his thing, he can spot a dodgy face lift on even the most famous celebrities because that is what his eye is trained to do. He then said to me, "I expect you notice the way places are decorated before anything else" and I said "yes, the wallpaper in here is bloody atrocious" (that actually really happened by the way, so more about the face lift another time).
So my point is, that for me beautiful surroundings are very important (and not forgetting that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course). We can't dismiss that how things look affects our moods and emotions.
I take interior design pretty seriously but I don't think you need a mansion with original features to create an amazing space, or that you are required to produce something that's straight out of a catalogue. You only need to please yourself as it's part of the jigsaw of who you are.
My home would drive some people completely round the twist!
It would be great if you could take a few minutes to join in when you can, and even better if you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you like to look at how real homes are decorated then you could also have a look at 'At Mine'. This month they have launched Style Stories where some of us early members are curating collections of photos on topics of our choosing. It's a brilliant place to get ideas and it's full of personality.
The prizes for July have been chosen with a view to dining and making an outdoor area on the warm days (still praying for some of those). The copper tray is from Mia Fleur Home and the chunky glass goblets from Katie Alice, big thanks to these lovely businesses for the sponsorship. I will be sharing my favourites here and on Instagram.
Do you set up a little area outside your back door?, I often do when the weather permits, well, if we get a chance to do that this month I would love to see it. Let's hope we don't have to resort to photos of blankets and fires, unless they are on the beach.