Interior motive

A strange thing happened to me over the last 8 months or so. I forgot why we are living in this house. I forgot that we love it because it’s quirky. For some reason I forgot that when we bought the house we intended to do all sorts of crazy-fun-us kinds of things around the place and instead I have been worrying about things we could do to the house to increase it’s resale value. I am not sure why this happened but it has meant I started worrying that if we painted the kitchen pink or red or if we added a mural in the bathroom then it might put off future buyers.
One day last week a few more Paumes books arrived from Amazon Japan and I was sitting up in bed feeling mesmerized (as I do) by the beautiful and bizarre interiors that Paumes favours and suddenly I remembered all the things we wanted to do, the feeling we wanted to create. Who knows when we may end up selling this place. We may have another 20 years here! Who knows? So I have dug out my old inspiration books and have started flicking through the pages again. These are clothbound sketch books where I glue in favourite clippings from magazines – mostly of interiors, all collected over the last five years.

A quick flick through reminds me of what I seem to be naturally drawn to – lots of colour and texture, whimsy and mayhem – collections of oddments and life-bits. These are some random (literally) pages I opened to when I had my camera out:

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23 Responses

  1. Oh I love the last one… those Christmas baubles are lovely. I’m glad you rediscovered your original vision for your dwelling. Regardless of how long you end up living there, it should be a place that makes you happy. Indulge your creative whims and go for it! Live richly.

  2. says:

    Ha! I have that second-to-last spread in my scrap book, too!

  3. I am so scared of colour, I need your inspiring courage.

  4. says:

    You’ve got great taste Claire, and Snap! I’ve got the garden one and that green cabinet and yummy kilim rug in my book! Glad you reconnected with yours.

  5. I have the same kind of scrap books. Our home is 44 years old, and we are slowly updating it. I look to my “reference” books a lot….they keep my mind in check…and they remind me that our home will be just the way we want it….eventually. I’m such a visual person…and I love looking through my books thinking “I remember when I tore that out of a magazine – 10 years ago…and I still love it!”

  6. Yep!!! You have to live in the house first, and enjoy it, with all the visual stimulation your family needs. You can always paint it beige again just to sell 😉

  7. Your books look like my books! I am crazy about color too. Every room in our house is a different color -resale value be damned I say!

  8. We also had grand plans for our house, but short of painting one room a nice shade of blue, we haven’t done a thing. I love your idea of pasting pages into a sketch book! Mine are just in a folder–if I’m lucky and don’t recycle them first. And I never look at them. I think I have an extra sketchbook I can start pasting into…

  9. And you know what? If you painted it once, you can always paint it back to neutral once you decide to sell. That’s what we always say to ourselves. Who cares if you’re going to be there for a year or ten? You should enjoy your space as much as you can, every moment!

  10. I think it’s funny that there seems to be so much emphasis on both sides these days – both the “resellability” of a house, but also the big movement to make your house your own by doing out-of-the-ordinary color schemes and techniques. I guess that’s one way for the paint companies to stay in business. They get you coming and going! (Or buying and selling, as the case may be)

  11. These pages are lovely. I would love to flip through them myself!

  12. says:

    Clare, follow your heart with your decorating and do what you love. Don’t have a bland bland bland white with polished boards house! The house we sold 18 months ago in Nunawading had a red living room, orange bedroom and bright yellow kitchen cupboards with a purple feature wall.It was on the market for six days and the first family who looked at it bought it for a great price. Whether you have a house for 2 years or 20 make it your own or you’ll always feel transient.More and more inner city ( we are ex Brunswick/Elwood and South Yarra) types like us are emigrating to the east for more affordable bigger houses with space for kids. Let the decorating begin!

  13. says:

    Our family always wanted a black and white check tiled kitchen floor. We were renting, so put it off for years until finally doing it- and we LOVED it until we moved a month later!! So don’t wait, decorate just to suit yourselves now. Anyway, I think the happy vibe of a well-loved house would be attractive to future buyers.

  14. I know the feeling! We have been in our house 3 years and all I’ve got to show for it is an ‘avocado’ wall in the kitchen…oh, to be more like Mirka Mora and let the kids paint on the walls!!!

  15. I can’t believe that you have a book like this!! I do too!! I always look at my book and think how cool it is . . . all of the best, inspiring, creative pictures in one place. I also think, if I met someone with a book like this I would DIE to look through it. But alas, no one else has a book like this . . . except for you, and you are on the other side of the world!!! 🙂

  16. We’re about to sell our flat and thought that they would tell us to paint it cream (over the pink kitchen, red hall, lime green bathroom and dark blue bedroom!) but all the estate agents just said “leave it” and stil thought we’d get a good price. I LOVE my pink kitchen, you should definitely just do it!Good luck with choosing colours!

  17. How funny – I literally started creating a book like this LAST NIGHT! 🙂 Spooky!
    Love what’s in yours!

  18. I too, have books like these, although they are spiral bound, and cloth-bound is so much nicer — and I have a tendency to throw them out every so often as my tastes change. I suppose I should keep them just because they are keepable in and of themselves. Of course, now that I am getting older, my tastes are more solidified. Now the issue is not figuring out what I like, but figuring out what my husband and I like together. His tastes are far more bacheloresque than mine. But he won’t even look at the books.
    And, we, too, always sit on that fence between living and selling. But I finally pointed out that we have to live before we can sell.

    Thank you for sharing — these are lovely to look at.

  19. We shocked a lot of people when we decided to paint our dining room / kitchen (it’s open plan) a very bold, very strong RED. You can see the corner of our dining room here. I don’t regret it at all…

  20. Funny how many of us have these books. Mine are binders for crafts, activities, decorating, cooking… in various states of organized (mostly not).I followed your link to the Paumes site and I am now desperate to buy those books — if only I had the $$!

  21. I have the same sort of inspiration books full of ripouts from the past few years – it’s nice to see others who do the same!

  22. Do you remember where you got the fourth spread from the bottom by any chance?
    I was looking at buying the Paris apartment book. Do you have it and is it lovely?

    So many questions – sorry!