I used to be one of those women who liked everything to be matchy-matchy in my home.  My golden rule was always that it could only reside in my home if it was either useful or beautiful – getting something that was both was like finding the Holy Grail!  Pot Pourri has no place in my place as it smells strange, looks strange and only seeks to collect dust in my opinion.  I admit that my view were a little OCD but it did the job and my home never felt cluttered.   

Fast-forward ten years and my attitude towards Home Accessories has mellowed somewhat.  This may be somewhat due to recent economic times and the idea that I was being a little wasteful with my material possessions.  Basically, if it had ceased to be beautiful (with a scratch, dent or tear), or became less useful (a little slower, colder or temperamental) I would chuck it out.  Literally, I would throw it out with the rubbish, be it a Christmas ornament or a tumble dryer; never knowing the rule that one person’s trash might be another’s treasure.  I think it has something to do with getting older, as well as getting wiser to the benefits of recycling.  I discovered that Freecycle was a fantastic way to get rid of unwanted items; and I didn’t have to pay for them to be taken away – what a revelation!  In time, I also dared to look at the ‘offered’ items as well as the ‘wanted’ ones and found myself to be the proud owner of a garden wishing well (still holding onto the concept of something being beautiful, if not particularly useful!).

My view also changed around the house, as well as in the garden, when my children were old enough to be given money to buy Christmas presents of their own choosing.  For the first couple of years, guidance was given in the form of my best friend who gently steered the kids towards pretty and practical things that she knew would be appreciated in my home.  However, the last two years have been unsupervised purchases in an attempt to instil more independence – see, I’m relaxing with my need to control everything!  Last Christmas, I became the proud owner of a ceramic meerkat, standing approximately 15inches in height.  Gifts also bestowed upon me and my unsuspecting home included scented drawer liners (my Nan would love them) and bath bombs in the shape of ducks (my fast-paced lifestyle means I barely have time for a shower, let alone run a bath!) 

So, did I revert back to my old rules and haul out the charity bag?  No way!  Yes, my home is a little more cluttered than a few years back and not all of my home accessories would be welcome on the front cover of Ideal Home!  But we are a happy unit I am able to teach my children to be charitable and eco-aware through sites like Freecycle.  My drawers smell of vanilla, I have those bath bombs if I ever make it to the bath this year and my meerkat greets you upon arrival and is sure to put a smile upon your face!

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