Knick-knack paddywack…

I absolutely love clean, simplicity in a home and am not at all a hoarder (except when it comes to paper. I can’t throw a single piece of paperwork away). But at the same time, I do believe that a few well-chosen knick-knacks dotted around coffee tables and shelves are a great way to add a bit of character and texture to your home. The trick is to make sure that each item has some meaning to you, or a story behind it. That way it’s not just ‘stuff’ but actually little momentos of your life dotted around – a bit like photographs.

For instance, my husband and I were wandering around Greenwich a few months ago, when I spotted this little guy in a junk shop.

Guinness, anyone? :)
Guinness, anyone? 🙂

As a beer lover (and a person that used to work full time for a brewer) I couldn’t pass up his smiling little face and proud potbelly. Guinness was actually the first beer I drank in the UK, and is a brand that I absolutely adore. So having him on our bookshelves, hiding amongst the photos and the books makes both of us very happy. And every time I look at it, I remember our day out in Greenwich, as well as my first drink in London.

We also stumbled across these little guys when we were in Japan, and while we didn’t take them home, this photo makes me smile so much that it’s going in a frame on our wall. I wish we had brought a few, but this will have to do until we go back. I could imagine them in the kitchen or even resting on a windowsill in the bathroom just to add a little unexpected fun. Or maybe on a shelf in a nursery.

Japanese toys as fun little touches in a room

As for how to style it, we try and keep colours working with one another, without it all being too perfectly matched. So bright colours layered against creams, blacks and light woods. Or graphic prints like this one, mixed in with photos and characters.

Graphic Print
Graphic Print

And we keep it to one hero item per space, with a few accompanying items layered around it (books, photos, or a vase) to give it a context. Try to achieve a bit of visual rhythm, without it looking too cluttered.

What about you – do you like to use quirky items to add texture, or do you stay more minimalist?


1 thought on “Knick-knack paddywack…

  1. Once again I have to think this attitude comes from Grandma Berdie. She had a few fun things here and there, and I believe I have the gene as well. We went to the art museum in Milwaukee and I came home with a covered dish that projects a hologram of whatever is in the dish. You see a frog sitting mid-air but can’t touch it. It sits on one of the tables in the living room, for conversation. It works.

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