Ma Chambre

So here’s my room. I moved to this small unfurnished flat in October, and until the New Year I didn’t have a bed or enough shelves, so everything was in boxes all over the place, and it didn’t look great. The other room has both the living room stuff and my desk, which isn’t ideal. Photos of that will have to wait because it’s currently covered in a load of paperwork and art stuff.

Pictures stuck to the wall- an assortment of postcards, photos I’ve taken, and prints friends have given me. I found the 70s bedsheets when I was clearing out my nan’s house (I now have about 7 different duvet covers because of this). The cushions were a gift from Morocco.

The chest of drawers also came from my grandparent’s house. The glowing thing on the left is one of those essential oil vaporisers. I mostly use a mix of lemongrass, cedar and bergamot oils in it (I have one in the other room too)

This flat has no storage outside of the kitchen cupboards. I would love to have an actual wardrobe and get rid of the clothes rail. See the edge of the fake Marimekko curtain. I realised when I moved that I actually previously had it hung up upside down, and the hem is weighted with a chain.

Lots and lots of books and cameras. The shelves are modular ones from Muji made of recycled paper. Each row is a separate unit. Every time I move house I think “my life would be so much simpler if I wasn’t interested in books, music or art- I’d have no stuff” (The records and art stuff are in the other room). I guess you can weigh up that trade-off yourself.

 

Triffids in search of a new home

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I’ve got a large number of cacti and succulents, some of which I’ve had for years (and have their own offshoot children growing in separate pots now). By the end of the summer, some of them were looking a bit sad, and were in serious need of repotting. I collected a load of Hornsea ware and other vintage pottery for £1-3 a time over the summer, and then had a big repotting session outside, just before the weather started turning cold.

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Here is how you successfully repot a cactus or succulent into a closed pot. They like dry soil that drains well- any moisture hanging around will make the roots start to rot. There’s a layer of gravel at the bottom for drainage, then a layer of activated charcoal to help stop any fungi growing. The soil is special cactus mix, which is dryer and sandier than regular potting soil (it feels very like coffee grounds). Don’t use soil from your garden as it will be too thick and might harbour pests. I used a brand of compost called Cactus Focus. The plants seem to like it, as they’ve been growing better in that than the stuff they came in. At the top of the pot you put more stones, for decoration, and to stop the fine-textured compost blowing away.

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Geffrye Museum

Here are some pictures from the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton. It used to be an almshouse, and is now a museum of furniture and interiors. They have rooms set up showing typical London living rooms in various time periods from the 1600s onwards for families with a medium income, with information about all the objects in the room. They also have a historical garden and restored 18th century almshouse interior, but I didn’t get a chance to see them this time. In the run up to Christmas, they’d arranged each room to show how different winter festivals were celebrated in each era (until the 1800s New Year and Twelfth Night were much bigger than Christmas). The 17th Century sweets were really impressive.I’d never got round to going there before, but I wish I’d gone sooner. I’ll definitely be returning. I’m a sucker for social history, and museums showing how ordinary people lived. I also like the Six Poor Travelers House in Rochester, and the Mackintosh House at Glasgow University.

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Hand-printed wallpaper in the Georgian room.

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Museum of 51

I went to see the Museum of 51 exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall a while back, which is about the Festival of Britain. Basically it was a festival in 1951 to celebrate 100 years since the Great Exhibition and cheer people up in grey, rationed post-war London. As well as films, shows, fairs and so on, there were shows of housing and interiors, to show people what they could look forward to after rebuilding and the end of rationing (everything available for sale in WWII was simple and utilitarian and rationed). My dad went to pretty much all the events, seeing as they were mostly around the corner from him in Battersea.

There were a lot of different things there- people’s memories, films of the events, displays of different attractions from the festival, but the thing which particularly interested me was the design section.

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There was this 50s room, which I particularly liked. The original ones were to show people all of the exciting home design they would be able to buy once materials were no longer rationed. Everything is brightly coloured and cheerful looking, which figures.

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All the cheesecloth & macrame you can eat

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I got this 70stastic book for £1 from a charity shop, mainly because of the pictures. The textual parts are worthy and Blue Peter-ish, with lots of making things out of tea chests and copydex (why doesn’t tea tend to come in chests these days?), guides to home tie-dying, and sentences like “and kitchen foil gives a touch of glamour”.

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My Temporary Room

I’m spending the summer with my mum in my dead end hometown inbetween a spate of working in Austria, before I return to Brighton the end of September. None of the furniture is mine, but the wall colour is the same as when I painted it about 10 years ago. The rest of my stuff, particularly my mountain of records, dvds and books is packed up in a storage unit in Brighton for my return.

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Here’s a crappy fisheye view, slightly blurry because I haven’t got a suitable adaptor ring to attach my fisheye convertor to this lens.

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To hypnodomatio mou

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I got into the art MA, so at the end of the month I’m moving out of here, putting my stuff in storage and spending the summer bumming round my mum’s to save money (with a quick jaunt out to work for a week in Vienna). I thought I’d take some pictures, seeing as how the room is pretty tidy, as I had to show my possible replacements round. In many ways it’s an amazing room, but the total lack of vertical space and storage space can be a real pain in the arse. Excuse the slightly fuzzy photos, my compact camera is old and decrepit and doesn’t focus like it used to.

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Book Nook

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I’ve got a book nook on the landing up to my room. I organised all the books by colour. The penguins classics etc are on the other bookshelf because they have boring black/silver spines. A pity, because my favourites are mostly amongst those. I got the poncho/blanket thing at the last Sue Ryder sale I went to. I think it’s pretty much what you’d get if you asked someone’s nan to knit you an Irish superhero outfit.

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