Monday, 30 November -0001

Tat’s the thing

Selina Lake’s decorating style is all about salvage and vintage fabrics – perfect for car-boot fiends, says Carolyn Hart

Written by Carolyn Hart

It's a truth recently recognised that one woman's piece of junk is another woman's clever find in a flea market. When it comes to recycling, vintage and car-boot sales, we're all experts now. But if you've become a junk-shop fiend, egged on by television programmes such as Bargain Hunt, you'll also know that coping with the ensuing piles of second-hand goods cluttering up your living space can be a problem.

Which is where Selina Lake comes in. Lake is an interior stylist who knows what to do with junk. She favours the baroque, romantically chic style that's slightly faded, chipped and homemade – but in a good way. In other words, she makes rooms looked fashionably cluttered and homely in a couple of hours, while the rest of us take years to achieve the same effect without necessarily getting the fashionable aspect.

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'Homespun style should be an expression of our tastes, travels and experiences; the homespun look is welcoming, warm and unpretentious,' she says. 'Rooms brimming with homemade pieces and individual touches; restored flea-market finds and one-off treasures...'


That means loads of stuff. Those who do not like teetering piles of vintage teacups, strings of fairy lights, clashing fabric patterns, bookshelves stuffed with objets, as well as books and sofas covered in crocheted blankets, should put Homespun Style, her new book, down now and go out and buy something by John Pawson instead. It'll do your head in, otherwise. But if your heart sings at the thought of 'visiting a salvage yard for a striking period door, fire surround or salvaged wooden flooring', then you and Ms Lake will get on very well. Junk buddies, indeed.

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Lake knows what do with a broken chair and how to put contrasting flowery patterns together; she knows that neutral walls make a good backdrop. 'This makes decorating simple and is kind to your wallet, too,' she points out.

9781849752015Homespun Style is full of pretty pictures, great ideas and plenty of helpful hints. You may not want to make a Damien Hirst-type wall hanging out of half-used cotton reels, but you might find it helpful to know that large brown pieces of intractable furniture can be made to blend in beautifully by the simple expedient of painting them white. And then you don't have to go to all the trouble of lugging them to the next car-boot sale.

Homespun Style by Selina Lake (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99).

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