INTERIORS

WHAT YOUR HOME SAYS ABOUT YOU

How you want your loo to look is the real gateway to your unconscious.

February 4, 2019

Is a tidy house really a happy house? Will organizing your cupboards calm your mind? And, does your choice of bathroom décor illuminate the darker corners of your soul?

Your furnishings don’t lie. They’re an accurate reflection of the state of your mind, according to actor, author and mental health campaigner, Ruby Wax, OBE, who shares her thoughts on these questions and more in the latest UK Elle Decoration March, 2019 issue. “There should be house shrinks who tell you who you really are, helping you find yourself somewhere between the floor lamp and the coffee table.

“If you live in an explosion of clutter, chances are your thoughts jump from one to the next like a moth in heat. You can’t stay focused surrounded by mess.”

“I know when I’m trying to write, my eyes will drift around to anything that needs to be cleaned, moved or filed,” says Wax.  “I’m able to spot a dust ball five metres away of the flimsiest spider’s web dangling from the ceiling. The problem is, there will always be something to distract us. My house has four desks in various rooms. Can I write at any of them? Nope. I have to go to crowded coffee shops, filled with noise and people. There can be mountains of garbage there and I don’t care – I’m not responsible for cleaning it up.”

“Recently I’m come up with my own solution for living a calming life by creating a space in my walk-in closet. I’ve hidden the clothes by hanging white curtains in front of them, and added a mattress that fills the entire length and breadth of the floor. In there, I’m cocooned, an embryo of tranquility. I used to write in the closet, now I sleep in it.

I now understand why the Scandinavians always seem so composed. They live in all white cubes, with a simple plank for a kitchen table and a very chic light bulb hanging above it. Wax’s other advice to peace-seekers is to “keep your surfaces as clear as possible. You’ll notice each time you remove something that your pulse slows down.

Image via Elle Decoration UK

“Also, here’s a tip: think of all your accessories as dust collectors. Which ones do you love enough to clean daily? Only keep those that evoke a great memory.”

“Also, here’s a tip: think of all your accessories as dust collectors. Which ones do you love enough to clean daily? Only keep those that evoke a great memory.”

Some people collect things purely to show off – this especially goes for works of art. You’ll be talked into buying a piece by some hustler/art delar, who explains its provenance to you, how important it is, and how you’ll be able to sell it for a huge profit. You might even purchase the black canvas with some mustard smeared on it. Once you’ve hung it up or placed it on a plinth, you’ll hardly notice it again.  And by the way, no one will ever buy it from you – ever.”

“Here’s my final observation. If you want to know how mentally stable someone is, look at their bathroom.”

“If they believe they need a chandelier and a loo that performs more than three functions, something isn’t right. Are you acquainted with those loos? Lift the lid, and its plays Rachmininov, gives you a quirt of scent, and then when the lid goes down, says thank you in French… Freud would have asked how his clients decorate their bathroom. How you want your loo to look is the real gateway to the unconscious. Remember this and you’ll become true to yourself. It’s the path to a more tranquil life.”

Melissa Penfold’s Bathroom at her Country House

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