AD | This is post is a collaboration with King & McGaw, purveyors of the finest art prints at affordable prices.
There are the bare bones of a home: the building, the celings, the plaster – the structural ladyfingers of the tiramisu. And then there’s the dusting of cocoa powder, merely decorative and unnecessary though your dessert would feel distinctly lacking without it.
Home in the sense of belonging is rarely found amongst the walls or the woodwork. It’s more often found in the harmony shared between the superfluous and the functional.
It’s uncovered in quiet corners, in distant radio stations, house plant choices and the oven glove splattered with spag bol.
It’s unearthed in art prints resting lazily on the back of a sofa or hanging above a desk.
You can find it in the dusty second-hand pottery from Amalfi, stumbled upon by chance one sun-drunk afternoon – the kind punctuated only by coffee and the leisurely waltz of your trench coat poodling behind you. You smile at other time-rich Sunday strangers.
Those items are the real storytellers; often unassumingly humming along in the background of our homes until we’re called to examine their presence more closely, just as I am now.
Then, there are those items we bring into our homes simply because they are pretty; serving solely to remind us that even when we feel swamped by monotonous routines and body admin aka BODMIN (oi oi smear test), we can at least count on our decor to inspire us forward.
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life”
– Pablo Picasso
When you’re wiping down counters and pairing socks between adverts – there it is, a piece of art asking absolutely nothing of you.
Those finishing touches or so called decorative items give us permission to get lost and distracted, if only for a few seconds when we’re passing through, or glancing up from our phones.
They lead us away from the ordinary and towards the stuff that makes us throw the duvet back each morning.
Like charcoal for the gut, they detect our restlessness with alarms and red Royal Mail slips and everything else that sucks the joy out of everyday existence and they draw it out of us, replacing it with something happily familiar.
With more and more of us transitioning into remote jobs working from our own kitchen tables and couches, our personal space is perhaps more important and more compromised than ever.
Where are we to unwind and recharge, now? We’ve forfeited our place of disconnect.
The temptation to answer one last email is forever making eyes at us across the table at dinner, or mid conversation with a friend you haven’t seen in three years. There it is, glowing like a firefly or Sleeping Beauty’s toxic spinning wheel.
At some point we cross-bred work and home into an over populated modern microcosm of notifications, alerts, noise and blue light on demand. Home time simply doesn’t hold the same meaning it once did.
Now that they’re serving as multifunctional break out areas, the way we style and decorate our homes matters immeasurably. Needless to say, when King & McGaw reached out to me to collaborate, I jumped at the chance to pick a few key prints to add new energy to my living space.
Founded in 1982 by Gyr King in his Brighton basement, King & McGaw have grown from a small screenprinters into a leading publisher, producer and retailer of high quality art prints and frames.
Working with some of the most prestigious museums and institutions worldwide, such as Tate Gallery, V&A Museum and The Andy Warhol Foundation, King & Mcgaw are well known for their premium artworks, timeless masterpieces and rare and limited catalogue. They also boast a diverse collection of affordable contemporary and vintage prints. Today, it runs on the simple ethos of making inspiring art attainable for all.
When it comes to choosing artwork, we’re often overwhelmed by options and crippled by the fear of commitment – a blank wall is as daunting as any poet’s blank page.
That’s where smaller prints really come into their own.
Whether you want to create a cohesive theme between rooms with complementary colourways, or you want to add layers of tension to a neutral space with a bold pop of colour, a selection of smaller prints can be both transformative and anchoring in the home.
I went for two timeless vintage prints from King & McGaw. The first being a vintage Vogue cover print from February, 1945. I love the delicacy and sense of space in this print and the muted green adds an understated contrast against the echo of earthy tones present throughout our home.
The second print I chose was the Penguin Books The Great Gatsby cover. A reminder of how the exhilarating Gatsby-esque pace can runaway with us all sometimes. The colour coded front cover is one of the most recognisable designs in the world; it’s nostalgic, iconic & the perfect way to pay homage to a literary classic.
Whatever home means to you, fill it with joy won’t you? It’s conducive to the downtime we so desperately crave after a busy week in the office. And by that I mean the home / social life office – the city that never sleeps.
If a funky bathmat telling you you look cute naked puts a smile on your face in the morning, then you’re doing it right.
And if framing one of your favourite reads acts as a gentle reminder to scroll less and escape more, then that’s a home well-made I’d say.
Love you bye.
If you’d like to add some King & McGaw prints to your own home, you can use my code LAREESE15 to enjoy 15% off. Valid until 3rd July on all prints (except limited and rare).