Rachel Southern is an ex-automotive communications manager turned award-winning family lifestyle blogger with a passion for colourful interiors, at The Ordinary Lovely. After the birth of her two boys (aged five and seven), she gave up writing about engines and exhausts to focus on sharing simple tips and ideas for brightening up the home.
This week as part of our My Life in Colour feature Rachel shares with us the four objects that tell her story...
Rachel: Ask me which objects in my home I like or enjoy the most and it’s hard to pick a single one that’s not colourful (although I did manage for one but it’s something that I have a whole lot of history with). I love being surround by colour … bright colours, in particular ... they make me happy. But when I walk through my house, the colourful things that make me smile the most are also the ones that are provoke memories from sweet or significant moments in my life.
Here are my favourite four:
A Canvas from Years Spent in Switzerland
Top of my list is the painting which we brought back from Zürich with us. We thought long and hard about buying a souvenir to remind us of our seven years living in Switzerland and had almost settled on a clock when we were ambling through Zürich's old town and walked past a small gallery and spotted a similar painting to the one hanging on our wall in the photo above.
I glanced at it, nodded my head thinking it was pretty cool, and walked on. Ten metres down the road, I asked Paul whether he'd noticed it. He had. Twenty metres down the road, I said that we should go back. We did. After standing outside admiring it for a few minutes, we ventured in only to find that it had been sold. However, a quick chat with the owner led us to the artist's shop come gallery situated just a few minutes’ walk away and we found the version that's now hanging in our playroom.
Every time I look at it, I see something new that catches my eye, makes me smile, and reminds me of the city where my boys were born. And now, most of the accessories in our home are picked from the colour pallet of the painting.
A Black Passport and A Yellow Walkman
Next, I'd choose my old black passport and bright yellow Sony Sportsman. I'm not particularly sentimental or nostalgic but these two items? I love them. If ever there were two things that summed up my teens, it's these.
With family scattered across the globe, I spent most summer holidays abroad. From the age of thirteen (it seems scarily young, now), my parents stopped booking me on the family holidays and just asked me where I was going instead. I'd pack my passport, Walkman, and a book or magazine in my well-travelled backpack and cringe when they insisted on seeing me to passport control.
That little black book and bright yellow walkman signify freedom and adventure and I’ve carried them from country to country and moved them from home to home for over 25 years. I think they’re with me forever now.
Growing up putting together physical photo albums, while I love being able to store so many images on my laptop I still find joy in printing and displaying my favourites. Some I frame but most I use to add a pop of colour to corners of our house … something I still need to do in our new home!
I really like the charm of polaroids (I’ve been printing them for years and have a box full) and I think that this might be my favourite way to display them ... using bright-coloured mini bulldog clips and our family pegboard. I love how simple it is and yet how it adds so much colour and interest to the wall.