Salad Bowls

My favourite book for inspirational pictures that I am enjoying pawing at the moment is Tiny Homes Simple Shelter. I love looking at people covered in mud stamping down the walls of their own cob homes, beautiful shelves made out of reclaimed wood that’s gnarled and wonky, tiles that used to be glass bottles or jam jars and sinks that used to be salad bowls…

I have a huge crush on the idea of sustainable living. I am in love with the idea of pursuing happiness, not more “stuff”. I yearn to create a perfectly serene home and workspace out of other people’s discarded junk and somehow not fill it with things I don’t need!

It’s the filling it with things that I have a problem with… I am a complete failure in this area! Long ago I came to terms with the fact that I could never live in a minimalist space. I am a collector and I struggle not to hoard things. That’s fine. I can deal with my faults!

Goodness though, how hard it is to live in and around London without gathering stuff! It’s a daily trauma. Everywhere you go there are skips containing stuff that could be useful. Pallets are leaned up outside houses and corner stores. People leave little piles of things they no longer want on the garden walls outside their homes. Food and drink is wrapped and packaged in brightly coloured materials that might just be useful for something. And I live in the smallest possible space with nowhere to store any of it!

A couple of summers ago we installed a new kitchen… A friends old cupboard painted with acrylic eggshell and topped with some work surface that another friend had too much of, fitted with a sink that came off ebay (I hadn’t thought about using a salad bowl). Last year we put in a shower, using half an old cider barrel as the tray. I love a design challenge. Usually things remain a work in progress for some time though… The cider barrel has to stay wet or the wood shrinks and it leaks!

The trouble is, salvaged materials don’t always appear when you require them. How do you keep hold of all the things that might one day be useful while maintaining a calm living space…?

I seem to be constantly sorting and taking bags of potentially useful things to charity shops and/or bins. How I wish the world would stop pushing stuff in my direction!

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