For me, seduction came in the form of a modestly-sized terrace house. It might not be huge, but my house, on a curvy, tree-lined cul-de-sac, is all about the enticing detail: a little stained-glass window here; original floor boards there; and adorable period details everywhere. The place is cries out for fabulous furniture (and cushions, and wallpaper, and rugs, and...) that befits its beautiful form.
On the other hand, following the gestation and ejection of two children, clothes don’t look as good on me as they once did. Even my feet have grown by half a size, thanks to the pregnancy hormone relaxin (great for squeezing the head out; not so great for squeezing the toes into Sophia Websters), and the larger shoes I’m forced to buy look QE2-esque from where I’m standing (in my baggy leggings). Apart from handbags, which are always your friend no matter what you look like (latest purchase: Hill & Friends' Happy Mini Bag in hot pink, with winking smiley clasp), shopping for stuff to wear has started to lose its appeal. Plus, of course, I don’t go out much any more - yup; those darned kids again.
And so, bit by bit, I’ve stopped making a beeline for Burberry and started heading to Heal's instead - a sofa doesn't care about the size of your feet or waistline, and it's great for cuddling up to while watching Game of Thrones. Now, when I type ‘Ale…’ into Google, ‘Alessi’ pops up instead of ‘Alexander McQueen’. Even on Facebook the evidence is there: my Liked pages are now more about cushions than culottes. Yep; however much I might try to hide it under last season's Sandro dress and some manky Stan Smiths, I’m being unfaithful to fashion with furniture.
But what about you? Are you similarly smitten by all things home decor? Or will fashion always be your first love? Take our failsafe quiz to find out...
1) Which of these women would you most like to be?
a) Kit Kemp
b) Cameron Diaz
c) Carrie Bradshaw
d) Anna Wintour
2) What’s your idea of a great night out?
a) Out? Why would I want to go out?
b) Somewhere fabulous, like The Ned, or the Mondrian
c) Annabel’s – I’m desperate to see the new House of Hackney furnishings on the terrace, and I’ll wear my matching HoH dress
d) New York’s garment district, darling
3) What are your views on fidelity?
a) Is that a new fabric range from Liberty? What are the colourways?
b) As long as it looks like I’m being faithful, that’s good enough for me
c) I’m definitely into it. But you can be faithful to lots of people, right?
d) Till death do us part
4) Who is your favourite handbag designer?
a) I use a plastic bag these days
b) I’m loving House of Holland’s new range for Habitat – doesn’t Henry do bags?
c) Oh I just love anything by Celine
d) Those new-season Gucci Sylvie jacquard-panelled leather shoulder bags are simply stunning
5) Describe what’s on your sofa right now
a) You mean my new Arlo & Jacob velvet sofa chaise? Well, I’ve banned the children from looking at it, and styled it up with some Timorous Beasties cushions
b) I’m getting my vintage chesterfield reupholstered in a Missoni fabric, so there’s nothing on it right now
c) My lovely, squashy sofa is strewn with my latest shopping purchases – I’m trying to decide what to wear for date night...if the babysitter doesn’t cancel again
d) I think I sold my sofa to pay for that Pucci dress. Let me just go check…
6) How do you dress your children?
a) In anything that won’t stain the posh new sofa
b) In nice clothes that look cute photographed against the Eley Kishimoto wallpaper
c) In H&M and a bit of Stella McCartney. Like me.
d) I like the hipster basics range from Gray Label. Ooh and Petit Bateau for classic Parisian cool. And anything sold on Babyccino Kids – that Courtney Adamo is sooo stylish. And…
7) What hashtag are you most likely to use on Instagram?
8) Stand in your living room and look down at your feet – what’s your first thought?
a) Doesn’t that Rug Company rug set off the reclaimed floorboards beautifully
b) The pattern on my last-season’s Nike’s would look amazing on a dinner service
c) Ooh, look how my new Charlotte Olympia velvet slippers go perfectly with the new carpet
d) I only bought these Louboutins last week but they’re looking a little tired already – it might be time for those Tom Ford heels…better sell the fridge…
Mostly As: You’ve chucked out your Jimmy Choos, your fashion fund has become cushion money, and in place of a wardrobe you’ve installed a velvet chaise longue. You’re not just cheating on clothes with furniture; you’re a brazen hussy when it comes to your home. And we’re proud of you!
Mostly Bs: Yes, you have a cute Stella McCartney dress – but isn’t that from, like, eight seasons ago? And your Mulberry handbag definitely predates Johnny Coca. You’re trying to keep up fashion appearances – and succeeding for the most part – but the truth is you’ve discovered Matthew Williamson X Duresta upholstery, Henry Holland X Habitat cushions, and Kenzo Maison at Amara bedding, and your love of fabulous patterns, colours and fabrics has transferred to your home. Your wardrobe might have suffered, but at least your living room looks lovely.
Mostly Cs: When you go out, you’re the same super-stylish lady you were five years ago, even if you now go out once every five weeks, instead of five times in one week. But the drastic change in your life is that you’re now in a polygamous relationship – you’ve discovered the delights of home décor (and doesn’t your pad look pretty!), so now you’re sharing the love between fashion and furniture. How very modern!
Mostly Ds: You made your wedding vows to fashion, and you have absolutely no intention of breaking them for the latest chiseled chair or sexy sofa. You agreed to stand by your man, and that man is Marc Jacobs, not Jonathan Adler. Wallpaper, reclaimed wooden floors and soft furnishings come and go, but Louboutins are for life. At least until they get a bit scuffed, anyway.