We loved that house, and had dreams of knocking down walls, extending rooms, landscaping the backyard, and doing all manner of home improvements. Our home’s old charms sat snugly alongside my mid-century-modern and art-deco obsessions and our furniture reflected this. I fancied myself as quite the decorator, and my tortured wife would often come home to a rearranged chair or two, and yet another “new” old thing taking pride of place.
My enthusiasm for furniture and accessories didn’t quite translate into a follow-through on the structure, and years later — after brushes with crime and life changes (two had become four, among other things) — we sold the house sans renovations. I still wonder about what magic we may have created there, working with the right design professional to realise it. Such a person may well have been Alexander Opper, an architect, artist, design educator, and writer of this month’s The Read.
Had Opper chosen to take on the project, it would have been as much a business as a personal decision, because he had in fact sold us the house, after doing some work on it himself. I suspect, from the sustainability message in his essay talking up the art of bricolage — very much in line with what we have been banging on about here for a while — he would have encouraged us to look at sustainable methods and materials, reusing and recreating as much as possible.
The writer and editor Kojo Baffoe has had to recreate himself a few times in his life. Your design taste, he argues is something you develop over time, shaped by the things that colour your personal biography and fashion your identity.
FREE TO READ | Page through the July 2022 issue of Wanted and enlarge for easy viewing: