Designed for life.


Every Christmas I was given a yearly subscription to a design magazine. This was a staple in my stocking, one year it was missing and I said- “Dude, where is my subscription to Living etc?” It followed shortly, with the profussest of apologies. These magazines feature some really beautiful homes, mainly in London and there’s a bit about the owners, usually pretty smug interior designers and architects. They give a sort of interview and say the profoundest things such as: “ I just love how the light streams through the glass ceiling in the morning when I’m having my coffee” or ‘We wanted a home that connects totally with the elements outside” Or “We just love serching the flea markets of Paris for that special find.” Barf. We we we we we we we. we. Fuck off!! So I’m bitter, who knew?

I made an error back in May; I thought it might be a good idea to go on the Living Etc. tour. I must have worried that I have not been punished enough and must somehow penalise myself further. This tour involves going to see all those amazing houses featured in the magazine. The houses were amazing but all I could see was the perfection of those lives. Wifes with husbands (who were alive), perfect children and prefect crockery and gardens were they entertained their perfect friends. Perfect light that came through their perfect glass ceilings to caress them as they sipped their perfect coffee- fair-trade organic Guatemalan, obviously. My stomach was in knots as I toured these houses. On the way out of one, I bumped into one of the mums from school. She was chatting to the editor who was standing guard at the doorway of this house. She said to the editor that she should take a look at my house and feature it. So this editor was keen and took my email address. I panicked, our house could never go into one of these magazines because it would need a blurb. As an introduction to the houses they always add a blurb about the owners, who they are, sometimes how they met.

I was so worried about the ‘Blurb’ that would be added that I never emailed her back. Our house is featured on a website where people can come and stay while on holiday when we are away.. The blurb for our place on the website is “He works in T.V. adverts, she’s a dancer-turned-teacher of literature, and as a perky family of four they like to visit their holiday home at the seaside.” It’s almost worse than the special find in flea market comment. I  decided- Lovely home in Chiswick owned by young widow in unimaginable pain, anxious and avoids large crowds might not give off that cool, hip sexy look they are going for. So I declined. She somehow tracked the photos down off the website and has asked if Celeste and Flynn’s bedrooms could be featured in the upcoming edition.

I have a passion for design, more of an obsession really. I’m a regular at almost all the design shows or Art fairs that London has to offer, well at least I was. James used to want me to do this for a living but I have no interest in making other people’s homes beautiful, I only ever wanted to make ours so. Now I bin the magazines without ever even opening them; they don’t hold the same appeal now that there is no more nest to create. Even so, I do still want to tell James that the kids rooms will be featured. I also want to tell him that despite the fact that I hate the cat, that I drove all the way to Belgravia to get him an over-priced Mungo and Maud collar, because the ones in the local pet shop weren’t up to scratch (obvious yet unavoidable pun) even though you can’t even see it under all the hair. I want to tell him that I regularly tell this same cat off for just coming and going as he pleases, staying away for whole days sometimes.When I hear the cat flap flip,  I have even heard myself uttering : “Balthazar, what time do you call this? We have been out of our minds with worry, you just can’t keep this up.” And I really want to tell him that Saul from Homeland is actually Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. But I can’t because I’ve encountered a design fault.

Vorsprung durch Technik.

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