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The World of Interiors publications (L-R) March 2016, February 2016, December 2015

I’m always alert for inspiration of spaces that embrace their heritage and make them work for contemporary living. In the last 12 months or so a number have turned up in the monthly publication The World of Interiors.

The articles generally are compellingly written, possibly due to their story-like quality. When a case study of an interior de rigueur nestles within the envelope of a more aged fabric a descriptive narrative really brings to the fore the relevance of social history to a building. An understanding of the cascade of previous generations and their context to which spaces evolve is really the only story to relay: carefully crafted interiors can then become anchored to their setting, yet free-spirited in nature, creating an intriguingly dichotomous experience.

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Converted pianola factory, WoI March 2016, pp 82-91

The lives of those who have gone before may be found literally etched on a building. For me touching the same walls as others have done is close to time travel! Seeking to engage with these bygone people, whether as individuals or as a society, can often be overlooked in favour of the tangible architecture – but their appreciation is essential to respectfully move a property on to its next incarnation.

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Norwegian cabin, WoI Feb. 2016, pp 70-77

Schemes featured in The World of Interiors tend to be beautifully elegant, but even more pleasing is that rustic charm is regularly highlighted – simply dressed spaces which tend to use natural materials. Many of the articles I have found inspirational  are those which celebrate ‘under’ restoration. Within the pages of an international glossy base instincts are validated alongside the highly polished and aspirational.

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Renovated Mexican house, Casa No Name, by Deborah Turbeville, WoI Dec. 2015, pp 182-190

In these features I find the positives of uneven walls – and even peeling paint – as a reminder we are moving within such spaces merely as part of a building’s timeline. If respected and treated with care these buildings should plod along without us into the future. It poses questions of whether a building should be stripped of its essence to its shell and re-finished again, all but new, or can we embrace unique qualities and still lead our contemporary, fashionable and comfortable lives within a heritage setting?

I applaud The World of Interiors for celebrating a breadth of heritage backdrops and narrating unique stories.

 

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