These are a few of my favourite things

Books and me – we are rarely separated. As I do not leave home without my umbrella (because I like to be prepared and you just never know in Melbourne), I rarely leave without a book in my bag. Mostly novels, but occasionally I go through a phase of non fiction books, and currently I am into home decorating / styling books.

A Place Called Home

This week I borrowed A Place Called Home from my local library. I was drawn to it not only because of its gorgeous photos and explanations, but also its title. A Place Called Home is what this blog is all about. So what does a stylist such as Mr Jason Grant* point to in making a house a home?

As well as using items creatively, constructing a place that is calming, comfortable and family / animal friendly (not too precious), he emphasises that, for a place to feel like home, it should be personal. Look at what you love – does your house reflect that?

We don’t have a very large house for a family in the suburbs, and it is smaller than a lot of people want nowadays even for a townhouse, as I’ve been told a lot lately (see ‘What I love and hate about planning). Without debating the merits of small and big homes, our home works pretty well for us at this stage of our lives.

And what we lose in size, I’ve realised, we make up with a house that suits us and personifies us. It includes elements that we love.

Things I love

Of course, I love the people and animals most – but there are many items that I am also very fond of. They make our house ‘ours’ – we’ve put our stamp on it. Here’s a bit of an overview for you.

A few of my favourite things
A few of my favourite things (displayed in an arty way!)

Stars – I realised they are a motive throughout our home, as decorative items, as means of displaying photos, and as our entry light. I love stars. They speak of something bigger than me, something sparkling, potential – off in the distance (but obtainable still, with their simple structures).

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Natural Materials
– we have driftwood that we have used as hanging racks (with the hooks made from Puffing Billy track nails), old wooden crates and boxes for books, magazines and textas, pieces of wood just as decorations. As the stars suggest potential and freedom, I think I find these natural materials quite grounding.

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Drawings, hand-made objects, hand-me-downs and things I’ve cherished – my children’s artwork, my original, daggy 1980s clock radio, ikea hack and refitting of old furniture, things collected from op shows or hand-me-downs from grandparents. These all form important elements of our house. And, of course, a pile of books to be read.

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And I have a collection of postcards, maps, drawings of houses and buildings that I am not yet sure what to do with. I love houses and maps – I think it is the planner within. Hmmm, what to do with them?

While I ponder, I’ve collected a new piece which brings some of these together. A house, made of wood, with a star for a window. So sweet. And I’ve found just the spot for it!

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So that’s me, sharing some of my favourite things.

How about you – do you love to make your house a home through the things you collect? What are some of your favourite things? 



* I’m not sure why, but he seems to be called ‘Mr’ Jason Grant throughout the book, and on his website. Maybe it’s a branding / stylist thing? 



8 thoughts on “These are a few of my favourite things

  1. You have some lovely things Helen! I feel like my house is a bit of a mishmash at the moment… Would love an unlimited budget to fill it with things that are more a reflection of who I am. Sigh…one day!


    1. Ahhh, but I just showed the parts I like! (and thank you) Most of them are pretty inexpensive (literally driftwood we collected from the beach, baskets others didn’t want, and ikea items my husband has converted. Plus things collected slowly. I’ve got to be mindful of our spending too – I’ve been caught out today writing about buying that little house (wasn’t in the budget, whopps).


  2. That whole “Mr Jason” bugs me a great deal. I’m sure it’s a branding thing and a particularly erksome one at that. Now, I love the snippets you’ve shown of your home. I’m very much a ‘natural’ gal as well and my reigning motif appears to be birds, rather than stars (although I do like a star). I have way too many things. My minimalist side really hates how I decorate my house… x


    1. I had a look, and Mr Jason has extensive experience as a stylist, with 10 years working in the industry. Being of a certain age, that doesn’t seem very long to me, and he looks quite young. So maybe the ‘Mr’ part is to add a bit of weight / authority? Anyway – weird, but not judging (trying not to judge, anyway).

      Birds sound like a great motif – I don’t know how I could work it in. I am probably at maximum decoration, given we are supposed to be minimising too, and also I need to leave room for the next things (which of course would only be creations by the kids – of course – not more buying – although found / created objects are ok). Just making this clear in case Al is reading …. xx


  3. I can see so much of your personality in your fave things. I too like to create a home where I can look around and tell a story to each of the pieces I see. I do love that book, and it is on my coffee table… although I too have NO idea why he needs the Mr bit lol xx


    1. As I said to Bron, I reckon it’s a bit weird, but maybe it’s his ‘thing’ (and helped him when he was starting out, feeling more confident?) It’s a beautiful book – I am resisting buying it, as part of trying to resist buying things generally, so I am loving the options the library has! And it is nice to have a story behind things, isn’t it? (as you are helping people to create, with your new, exciting venture!) xx


  4. You have a lovely collection. I cherish hand-me-down items, too. I have a 25 year-old 15-piece of ceramic dining set given to me by my aunt. I am taking care of it carefully.


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