Home, wherever you are...
I talk a lot about making memories and what home means to me. It defines everything we do at Oak & Rope, and this is my yard stick....
I shot this video in February 2020. My Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer and as a knee jerk reaction I grabbed my children and went ‘home-home’ for a few days before he went into hospital.
We simply hankered down and spent a few wonderful days together, as you can see. We were all worried about what was ahead, but for some lovely days we managed to forget about everything else. What followed was a pretty bumpy ride for all of us, particularly for my Dad.
It would take another 18 months before we could see them again thanks to Covid, and this little video became so important to me. (Sound on! It is set to an old recording of miniMe singing 'Wonderful World'' aged 10 with her Grandad!)
Luckily my Dad is now fine, but looking back on this there are many tell-tales of what continues to be so important to me.
For as long as I can remember I have aspired to travel and explore. Inspired by Norwegian childhood heroes like Thor Heyerdahl and Roald Amundsen and older cousins who went abroad to study.
As soon as I could I set off on my own adventures. I travelled around Europe, I spent a few months in the Middle East whilst still studying in Oslo, until I eventually established reasons to stay in London in the 90s. For a quarter of a century I have called England my home...
On my recent trip back to Norway I could however not help but to reflect on how much I am the outcome of my roots, despite the journey I have been on since I left . I took this photograph in a disused sawmill near my parents’ house, and it captures so much. I spent my childhood playing in sheds like these with the backdrop of stunning natural surroundings and a level of freedom my own children are unable to imagine.
This sawmill may not have been used for all the time I have been away, yet my childhood impressions have defined my designs a thousand miles away, 25 years later!
The irony is not lost on me that my heroes main achievement was to make it back home safely. I seem to have missed that part out of my own story as I have made the most wonderful life in England with my children, my co-pilot, friends and amazing team...
Reading this made me take a closer look at what has been steering me in the face for a long time. The designs we create in The Oak & Rope Workshop is both a nod to the Scandinavian home I originate from at the same time as it allows other people to create objects for their home which is unique to them and carries their stories with inscriptions of meaningful places, dates or quotes...
Very often Oak & Rope creations are given as milestone presents for life's major events. There is however a lot to be said for taking a conscious look at what we ourselves buy for our homes. Humans are by nature seeking meaning. As Ellei says, when our spaces are created to reflect something deeply personal to us, we are more likely to stay satisfied with our creations through the changing whims of the design world.
Creating a home you are happy with can not be done by copying something from Instagram. Rarely does mass produced fashion provide personality to your home. You would have to be quite lucky if an interior designer could second guess your true needs. You should not rely on friends or family picking out these special pieces for you. Create pieces that are right for you!
Take the time to explore Ellei's enlightening blogs on this topic in full. Reflecting on these, together with seeing the many pieces we have created in our workshop over the years, here are a few suggestions for what you should put on your wish list when you are renovating, moving into a new home or simply continuing creating YOUR HOME:
- Include the places that are important to you. Our doorstops or mileposts originally were created to show us how far we were away from loved ones.
- Our swings are often bought to pass on traditional childhood memories to children or grand children.
- Celebrate family sayings by engraving them on a bench, bread board or peg rail. Was there something your Grandmother always said to you as you left the house? Pass on the tradition by engraving it on something you use every day in your home.
- Is there a quote you find particularly motivating? Be sure to include it somewhere you can see it all the time. Maybe on a shelf?
- Do you want to change how you live? Our Family Technology Recharging Stations have enforced rules, made deeper connections and helped families find time to recharge in a traditional sense. A bench at a beautiful spot in the garden will encourage you to 'just sit' for a moment and may even make you spend more time in fresh air.
- If you have memories of something from your past that you can not find anywhere, we can make something truly bespoke for you.
Surrounding yourself with sustainably created pieces made to last for generations says a lot about who you want to be and how you see your role in the world. With the longevity of The Oak & Rope Company pieces chances are you will not only make an impact in your own home today, but also in the homes of your children and grandchildren as these are passed down.