My parents had a tea set, given to them as a wedding present in the 1960s that I never once saw being used. It was saved for best but the best never visited. Spurred on by the desire not to repeat that, I want everything in our house to be used and loved – possibly eventually broken, but at least it will have died happy.
It was refreshing to read in Amateur Gardening this week that housewives’ favourite, Monty Don is proving himself even more popular with the housewife fraternity by extolling the virtues of practicality over design; of the importance of making family space – whether it be inside or outside – do just what it says on the tin and be usable family space. Recognising that gardens need washing lines, dining tables and understanding that footballs will damage delicate flowers will ultimately make for more relaxed spaces and more harmonious households.
When we had our kitchen re-done, my husband rolled his eyes at my desire for a “massive double stainless steel sink with a big drainer” as I was all to aware how practical that would be (and how much time I spent at the sink). I bemoaned kitchen designers and magazine articles where everything looked beautiful but nothing seemed practical: “where are the towel rails?”; “that’s far too high for a microwave”; “who actually lives like that?”. As usual, there is a compromise to be had (I haven’t got a massive stainless steel drainer) – a little bit of beauty is good for the soul, but a hearty dose of practicality keeps everyone sane.
That has been our ethos at Crimson Tiger, to give you things which are both useful AND beautiful !