When you are decorating, renovating, or just rearranging a space, it can be quite tempting to stop before you’re finished, sometimes deliberately, for aesthetic reasons. I recently tackled the hallway in my new house. It’s narrow, uninviting and slightly dark, so I rather perversely made it darker so as to create the effect all magazines tell you will, by a comparative process, make the rooms off the hall seem lighter. I’m not entirely convinced this has worked, and I remain committed to the white wall as a rule, but the dark inky hue in the hall has certainly effected a definite change; it looks somehow more professional, smarter and more expensive. But much as I admire houses that are professional, smart and expensive, I don’t really want mine to look like that. There is something so appealing to my eye about unfinished business. Discarded fabric, bashed up furniture, pictures leaning against walls ready for their debut. Of course, this does not extend to all aspects of the home; dirty pans, wet towels, dead flowers, pyjamas on the bathroom floor, can all be chucked out or dealt with sharpish. But sometimes, when you’ve smartened up a bit of home, like the smudging of the perfect eyeliner or the undoing of a few buttons on a shirt, the space can really benefit from a bit of imperfection. That is my excuse anyway, and I’m sticking to it til I finish the job.



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