Home for me is about being surrounded by personal and meaningful objects. I am drawn to pieces that have character and have an interesting narrative. As a designer and maker, I look for quality materials, and appreciate craftsmanship and artistry.
I like to shop locally as much as I can, there are some great independent interior shops in Dundee: Lovely Things and the DCA. (I am partial to a TK Maxx rummage however!)They all have interesting and individual pieces that you wouldn’t find in the high street chain stores. As well as holding stock of established designers, they champion local designers at differing points of their careers. With out a doubt the independent shops generally have a more considered stock, so you will easily find something that suits your budget and style.
Cost is a factor for everyone, we all have our own budgets and we all have to consider what we can afford. However when it comes to designer pieces whether a commission or bought from a shop, you need to look beyond the price ticket. It does pay to spend a little bit extra on a designer piece. You are buying into the prestige, making an investment, and ultimately getting value for money. The life span of handmade or high-end manufacture means it will be passed down the generations as the designs will be timeless. So really, you should expect to pay more. You are paying for labour, good quality materials and the unique design.
I very much support local designers and artists, as I want to ensure creativity is encouraged in my home city. We are lucky to have such a rich creative scene in Dundee: world-renowned art schools like Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee College (where I started my Art & design training.) The fantastic Artist Studios at WASP and Tin Roof. It is also home to cultural Institutions like McManus, DCA, and soon to be V&A Dundee.
Also try second-hand outlets such as Tayside recyclers and Curr & Dewar Auction House in Dundee or wherever you live. It is a great way of getting a piece of local history whether it is signage from an old warehouse or an office seat from a well-known employer from your home town that is now closed. Art School degree shows are also a brilliant place to buy some affordable original art work by graduates.
In the image below, the oversized clock is from Westport Gallery, the bureaux is from Tayside Recyclers, the standard lamp was my Aunty Jeans, Art work by Katie Ward (DJCAD degree show 2012); vintage radio from Groucho’s and Vintage Eames chair was pinched from my boyfriend who got from a local factories office that had skipped them.
On a personal note, I am very much a designer who doesn’t follow a particular style, I love the challenge of finding a special piece, either for myself, a client or for a friend. By combining inherited, found, borrowed, commissions, souvenirs and presents, it makes for a more interesting interior and one that people will enjoy being in.
An image that I love that has a similar style to me, where there are lots of layers and stuff. This is not a look that will happen over night but to me it ticks lots of boxes. It is interesting, personal and a visual feast. lots of textural materials, vintage and recycled objects, lots of details and layers. A home that is lived in and is not afraid to put their style on display.