It's easy to fill a home with a multitude of pieces that share more of a resemblance to a paint catalogue than indicating your own personal style. A very talented (and stylish) friend of mine once told me that the essence of creating a sense of visual harmony in a space was to layer a number of elements. Thinking that this sounded more like advanced alchemy than interior design I delved further to try and understand the concept. In principal it goes something like this; if you are conceptualising a room you should never have just stone or wood together. Fabric softens or adds texture. It creates a visual (and auditory) buffer which allows the viewer to see greater depth and warmth in an otherwise barren space.
My way of achieving this is somewhat simpler. I have always believed that a home requires a heart. I'm not referring to some Danielle Steele novel, rather that the objects which proliferate our spaces have some personal or historical meaning. They need a sort of cultural relevance which allows you to show your individuality but at the same time demonstrates a layering of taste.
This fish-patterned plate was a gift I received today from my mother. Its' provenance is about 120 years old from Cambodia. To me is has a timeless simplicity to the form and the brushstrokes are measured and fluid. This also begs the question of how many homes and families has this vessel been a part of? When you look at the pieces in your own home try doing this experiment with one vintage piece and seeing how far you can go. It's quite daunting when you realise the combined ages of many of the things we live with day-to-day, and that each and every one of them has a story.