Sidestepping the Generic

I want to pick up on something I mentioned in my last post about wanting to give my family gifts that are truly individual and relevant as opposed to impersonal and generic. Handmade over mass produced.

I am at a stage in life where a lot of my friends are getting onto the property ladder and, for the first time ever, are truly able to personalise their surroundings without having to get the permission of either parents or landlords. A really exciting time for anyone, but for those with creative flair it’s a golden opportunity to show off their personality and originality.

My boyfriend is Swedish and needs regular meatball fixes so we tend to go to Ikea a lot. I love the place. On one of our many visits there we spotted a particular coffee table that I fell in love with and desperately wanted to buy, but for some reason or other we didn’t. From that moment on I started to see this coffee table literally everywhere I went. Everyone I knew seemed to own one.

While it is a beautiful coffee table, this episode exemplifies how easy it is to turn to the generic/mass produced and miss out on an opportunity to show your personality through the decor you choose for your home. With the number of inexpensive independent designers and makers out there, not to mention the raft of programmes on television inspiring and teaching people how to up-cycle, the options and opportunities for creating a truly personal look are endless.

In the end we found a chap selling coffee table trunks online that he had handmade from wood salvaged from an old church. We get so many compliments on it whenever people come over and I couldn’t be happier with our decision to buy from him instead of from the high street.

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