A whole year at home is something we dream of- or do we- when dreams become reality this is what it looked like….
Justin, how did the way you used your home in 2020 change?
It’s been a massive change, as I’ve found myself in Gloucestershire full time as opposed to just weekends. Usually, my partner Alastair and I are here with friends, but with just the two of us here full time, it’s been a different experience. There are things we now get out of the house that we didn’t fully appreciate previously, such as setting a small dining table in a bay window. I’m also experiencing my house in a way that I never have before. Working from home was always something I did at the kitchen table, but I’ve since had to create an office for myself. Without a commute, I wanted work to be a place I could shut the door on, so I chose a first-floor bedroom, which is also bathed in wonderful afternoon sunshine.
What did you find were the unexpected benefits of lockdown / spending the majority of the year at home? What did you enjoy most?
The garden. It was a complete sanctuary for Alastair, who is a passionate and less fair-weather gardener than I am, and his work has been transformative. We had a summer of butterflies, birds, roses and dahlias. I also really got into cooking – one-pot cooking has become my thing.
What are you most looking forward to doing at home (and away from home) when restrictions are eased?
I’m looking forward to entertaining inside and outside. We’ve put a log burner in the old barn, and we’ve set up a party space inside, so it will be fun and safe. I’m also looking forward to going to South Africa again to see my family.
Is there anything you feel has become more, or less, important to have at home?
Good internet is essential for us, and comfortable, properly sprung upholstery – which is lucky as at Justin Van Breda London we’ve recently partnered with a workshop that’s launching a collection of bespoke upholstery with eight-way hand-tied springs.
Have you noticed any new requests / desires from clients emerging in light of how they are using their homes differently?
My clients are focussing very much on home life, comfort and making home an intimate space. They’re also wanting to ensure that their homes cater to all the different family members’ various activities, from exercise to art hobbies and entertainment.