using atypical things unexpectedly

vintage barrel and camellias

In my decorating I love to use atypical things in unexpected ways.

Particularly something vintage and unexpected in a space where the look and feel is otherwise quite sleek and streamlined and contemporary.

This old wooden vessel often gets a bit of a workout in my Instagram pictures, and I’ve been asked whether it is a wine barrel. Well, sort of – if you take in to account that these days its most regular job is balancing a wine glass most nights.

However it is actually an old Japanese rice storage vessel which I have upturned and now use as a side table next to a sofa. It has a softness and worn patina that only something that has been used daily in a past life can acquire. Beautiful wooden handles, slightly shaped and worn smooth where they’ve been held, the hall marks of work and repair and age. Simple and humble and tactile.

vintage barrel and blossom

As a small table for said wine glass or coffee cup it is steady, flat and the perfect Goldilocks size. The rawness of the wood, old steel supports, and burnt in measurements and markings add another layer to the story, and the piece looks great mixed with my contemporary sofas and textures.

It’s an element of the unexpected, a bit haphazard, it automatically makes a space feel more relaxed, less sit-up-straight, more comfortable and cool.

And in retirement, as a wine barrel, imperfectly perfect.

Amanda xx

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