Buy what you love

Buy what you love

Home & Garden editor Lynnette Peck on one of the best lessons she’s learned from professional and personal experience: that she is no longer driven purely by trends or the opinions of others when it comes to her home style.


Of one thing I am certain: my love of good quality vintage and antique homewares. For all of us, knowing our own mind is the key to enjoying the home décor we really want.

Quality not quantity

My days of flat-pack and cheap furniture are very much behind me. I am trying not to remember the hard and uncomfortable futon bed I bought for £100 in 1994 and used for six very long years.

I have upgraded since then. I now have a super king size bed with a rather expensive (and so worth it) memory foam mattress. Its frame is antique and adapted to the size I wanted. Our tastes are different, but for all of us it’s worth spending what we can afford on those things that add to our quality of life, even if that’s just in the pleasure they give us.

Get rid of it

If you haven’t upgraded the major pieces around your home in the last decade then now is the time to reassess and decide if:

• You find them useful

• You adore them

If they don’t fit into either category it might be time for a decluttering trip to a charity shop or the local tip.

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To trend or not to trend

I buy ONLY what I love now. Previously when chandeliers were in vogue I had one in my bedroom, and when everyone was painting their walls lilac so did I. Not any longer.
I am not immune to trends of course – I confess to currently having copper overhanging kitchen lights (vintage) and a black-and-white tiled bathroom (reclaimed tiles). Both are recent interiors trends. But my excuse is that it is part of my job.
I am also accidentally on trend right now as sustainable, ethical and long-lasting items are in fashion and vintage and antique pieces fit in with this. However, I will still be buying them long after the current trend has passed.

All about you

Now I want my home style to express exactly who I am and my tastes.
I love vintage and antiques as I like to feel history around me and I like to find out the provenance of items. I now collect art too, for pleasure and as an investment, which is certainly a new concept to me.
As I have got older I appreciate the past more. It doesn't mean that I always buy old – my sofa cushions are vintage-look from a high-street shop, and my garden furniture is a mix of old and new. But I am now using my life experiences to create the exact home life that suits me right now. Older children still at home or even grandchildren might be shaping how you live, but within that it’s still possible to have the home you really want.

My investment-buy tip

One of the best investments you can make is a sofa. Think how much time you spend on it. It is rather like a bed in terms of cost per use.

• Sofa sales have gone up by 6% in the last 12 months and analysts predict this will keep rising. This should mean that the market has plenty on offer for you to choose from.

• Do not keep your sofa just because you have had it fewer than 20 years. Do you think you have to endure it for a lifetime? You don't.

• You are now an adult and if you want something comfier/trendier/more suitable for your new home or you just fancy a change of sofa then go out and buy one (depending on finances of course).

• Ensure you buy the best you can afford – one you love as well as suiting your needs.

PS: I have two. A modern, functional, large grey modular sofa that fits eight of us at a push, and a beautiful blue velvet 1970s two-seater sofa that I love admiring and that I sometimes sit on.

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I agree, one of my biggest spends is our bed, I think it is an important piece of furniture to invest in and get the best comfort you can

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hopegirl

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I agree, some of the nicest things I own have come from charity shops and at the moment I'm looking for pieces of furniture that I can upcycle rather than mass produced pieces that everyone will have. We have so much and waste so much. Even turning an existing piece of furniture on it's side and removing doors etc can create a whole new look!

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