So what is it that makes a soulful home?
This is a question that I get asked a lot and think about frequently when styling, photographing and writing for editorial features.
Some homes have it in abundance and other potential projects that come across my desk leave me cold. For me it is a combination of energy, spirit, visual beauty, comfort, smell and a sense of the individual - rooted at the heart of the space. It is about being a home not a house: a place that is valued and loved, a feeling that materials are honoured and looked after and where life is real, not played at.
It doesn't matter whether minimal or maximalist, tidy or messy. It is not about aesthetics and expensive interiors - it is about a sense of identity, the essence of a feeling, the glimmer of something special but not seen, an inherent intensity that quietly exists. I have always felt very intuitive about people and situations and I have the same feeling with homes, the moment I walk through the door.
Spaces are undeniably linked to their owners - their personal sense of warmth or lack of good spirit, immediately affects the karma and energy of a space. Aesthetically things can look beautiful, but if there is an underlying sense of ego or chippiness, then our primal emotions are immediately piqued. Beauty becomes beauty no more - merely a pretty shell but with no substance and no soul.
We live in a world where we are often told what good looks like and it can change with the wind, as fashions come and go. The most fabulous spaces for me are the ones that raise a glass to individuality and positivity - full of personal treasures and finds that tell the story of their owners, in all their timeless glory.
For it is the story that manifests the heart of a place - when that is a thing of beauty, it nourishes the soul. It is when a house becomes a home.
Top image - Lynda Gardener Room + Board. Photography, Marnie Hawson. Styling: Lynda Gardener, Words, Ali Heath
Bottom left image, top row: Wood Edit. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Brent Darby.
Bottom centre image, top row: Anton and K. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography Brent Darby.
Bottom right, top row: Tom Cox, Hám Interiors. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography Alexander James.
Bottom left, second row: Hannah Beaumont Laurencia. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Alum Callender.
Bottom centre image, second row: Alex Legendre. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Emma Lewis.
Bottom right, second row: Marta Nowicka. Styling and words, Ali Heath. Photography, Brent Darby.