Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Remarkable homes: Joan and Rob
Midcentury Italian dish. Isn't she gorgeous?
At the start of April I managed to get enough time off work to go back 'home' home to my parents' house in Norfolk. Whilst there I took the opportunity to photograph some of the wonders that lie behind the unassuming front door of my mum's best friend Joan and her husband Rob. Although I have clear memories of occasionally being sent to wait at her house after primary school when my mum was running late, it is only as an adult that I have been able to fully appreciate her aesthetic.
The fact that midcentury design has exploded in popularity in the last decade has no doubt influenced my own liking of that period, yet Joan has been collecting ceramics from the forties, fifties and sixties long before the trend emerged and she begrudges the impact this recent popularity has had on her ability to pick up midcentury pieces at bargain prices. However, her own collection is so varied and extensive I'm sure she can leave a few pieces for us beginners to buy and love!
I hope you will all enjoy this insight into Joan's and Rob's home as much as I did.
One of Joan's most recent collections has been kitchen canisters. Several of these colourful jars are Scandinavian although the top shelf is mostly English, I presume because of the labels, and there are some more Italian pieces to the left hand side of the middle shelf. The majority of these are from the 1940s and 1950s.
Joan's brooch collection was discovered by accident after I enquired as to whether she owned any bakelite. I sensed these three drawers of trinkets was something Joan was particularly attached to and it's no surprise why. Consisting of brooches from the 1930s through to the present, Joan buys and wears them regularly and is particularly drawn to fun and bold styles such as 1960s flowers.
Imagine being able to wear a different one of these beauties every day?
This is an original Jacob's Crackers advert from the 1930s. If you look closely you can see the words 'Jacob's biscuits' are repeated around the edge of the frame.
The little character on the left is the piece Joan calls her favourite of all her lovely things. It is made by Heal's of London and was found for £2 at a car boot sale. No surprises that it's now worth a hundred times what she originally paid for it.
This garrulous sixties' lady has the best hair.
This collection is of Wedgewood glass candle holders from the 1960s and they look beautiful displayed on windowsills around the house to catch the natural light. They are highly collectable and the more rings they have the more sought after, and valuable, they are. Coincidentally I also happen to have one of the amber coloured ones with one ring that Jian Wei bought me as a christmas present two years ago.
William Morris wallpaper covers many of the walls in their eighteenth century home and the stunning etched glass panelling was bought as reclamation and installed to separate the lounge from the hallway. The house was originally an Inn and so boasts many original features; imagine oak beams ceilings and attic rooms with views of the river. It's clear Joan and Rob have a myriad of inspirations when it comes to the interior designs. Their philosophy of 'never keeping a house within its period' is executed artfully, with puritanical country house oak furniture sitting comfortably alongside 1930s prints and shelves of midcentury ceramics.
As you can imagine, I would happily have moved in there and then.
I cannot thank Joan and Rob enough for allowing me to share this insight into their enchanting home and I am sure you will all enjoy it as I much I did. There were so many things Jian Wei and I forgot to photograph unfortunately so you'll just have to imagine the rest!