Journey From Heart To Home is a document of my travels from the desert heart of the USA to my coastal home in beautiful Byron Bay. I’ve always valued travel as a way of exploration, not only of the beautiful world around me but also of my inner world. That part of myself I know is my core, or my soul. As a 60s girl, I seem to be born into the realm of inner exploration! Travelling is a wonderful opportunity for me to connect and to see life for what it truly is.
The desert of the USA – Sedona through to Palm Springs has always provided inspiration for me. There’s something about the rocky landscape that captivates. I’m drawn to it, in a completely irrational way. It’s raw. It’s bold. And there’s nowhere to hide. I find I come up with the best inspiration in this kind of landscape. So many books have been born there! It eeks out the best parts of what’s going on inside – and I relish these times. I tend to travel to the desert on my own – just me, myself, I and the land around me. Indigenous cultures have always valued the heart beat of the land. They know the land speaks to them – it provides a pathway; a kind of road map for life. A connection to the heart. This is what I experience when I’m in the desert – so any opportunity I can seize to spend time there, I do. Connecting to my heart is an important ritual for my life. Living life from the heart – an open heart – ensures that I’m living my truest life. A life that’s in rhythm with the universe. When you dance in unison with the universe, then you are living exactly as you are meant to.What could be more captivating, inspiring and honest than that.
What inspires me most about travelling though, is the coming home. It’s the bringing back of my best self, into my day to day life that drives me to keep exploring. Home is the place where I can be myself. Home is an expression of how I see life. Sometimes it’s only when you step out of home that you find the truest value in it. As a mother, it can be difficult to justify times spent away from my teenage angels. But I find that when I do step out, it benefits not just me, but adds a layer of experience to the kids lives also. Everyone benefits when mum spreads her wings.
I’ve created this collection with the hope to inspire you to explore the world – both your inner and your outer world. Through this collection I hope that you choose to surround yourself with the things that resonate most with who you are and how you see the world. After all, it’s the things that we surround ourselves with, it’s the stories that we build and the earth that we choose to tread that is the sum of who we are.
Working with the team in the creation of this range has been a joy and a privilege. We launched SF Bedlinen in 2012 and the range keeps growing and the story keeps building. Our story is one of individuality, of being yourself, of creating a life that fits your skin. Of being confident. Of knowing exactly who you are and how you want to live.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do….
‘Making a garden is somehow like conducting a symphony – different plants come forward at different times and you need to think carefully about their placement in relation to each other’ Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
I love this quote, taken from the book Garden of a Lifetime by Anne Latreille and written about Cruden Farm, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s vast and inspiring garden in Victoria Australia. It’s such a lovely reminder of what it means to grow a garden – and how, at the heart of it all gardening requires a certain kind of rhythm for the plants to flourish to their full potential…
From a practical perspective, it is simply the thoughtful arrangement of plants in a space that makes for a harmonious garden. When I look outside at my own little patch, I love to imagine that my plants are all dancing in rhythm and ‘coming forward’ in unison Of course, I don’t always get it right – but I find the process of trying to create a symphony is the most satisfying thing of all.
When growing up, I’d leave my city home every summer to spend the school holidays in the countryside with my Nan and Pop. Nothing much happened in the little town where they lived, and so time passed slowly, punctuated by the small rituals of their daily routines.
Hot hazy days were filled with simple practices that, for the most part, revolved around caring for home and family. For Pop that meant tending the vegetable garden and ‘keep his grass down’. For Nan it was time spent at her old Singer sewing machine and cooking in the kitchen. Hours went by watching Nan sew my Barbie doll’s new wardrobe or pottering around the kitchen, stewing peaches that fell from her peach tree and brewing jams and marmalades that she’d later offer as gifts to relatives on ‘visiting’ days
Although legend has it she was no gourmet, I relished observing how Nan did things in the kitchen and in turn, her teaching me how things were done. If it’s true that one’s passions are handed down through those who are passionate, then I know where my love of life (and stewed peaches and jam!) was first nurtured. ‘The only true gift is a portion of thyself’ said American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and I believe it is the precious objects of time given to you by others that makes up the sum of who you are. And although all the time in the world has not turned me into the sewing expert she once was, I do fancy myself as a bit of a gourmet in the kitchen. Or so legend has it, that is!
‘I want a house that has got over all its troubles. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.’ Jerome K Jerome
If the walls in your house could speak, what stories do you think they would tell?
Would they be thrilling tales cloaked with high drama and suspicion, or charming fables of love and romance? Perhaps the walls would talk of joy and celebration or the laughter and the tears that make up your life and the history of those who have come before you.
Would they be words of wisdom – words of comfort and guidance? Or are they brand new walls, just assembled and a little wet behind the ears, waiting eagerly for their story to begin?
The houses we choose to live in say so much about who we are and how we prefer to live in the world. They speak of what we need to survive – not just from a functional perspective of providing shelter for our family, but from an emotional one.
Your home is a participant in your life, not just an obersver. It should both inspire emotion and satisfy the senses. At its very best, if should reflect and support the very essence of who you are, providing you with a place to retreat from the world, a place to cast off your pretences. A backdrop on which your story can unfold!
In this way, every room in your home offers its unique emotional perspective, working to enhance the ambience of your home as a whole. The kitchen, for example, is the hub of the home. It is the engine room, ensuring your survival on the most basic of levels – we need to eat to live.
But it does so much more than just feed the hungry hordes. The kitchen brings families together. Where there is food about, there are people about, all gathering to feast and let go of the events of the day. In this way, the kitchen is the great connector. It is a place where we can communicate authentically and revive ourselves enough to move on to the next leg of the journey.
The bathroom, on the other hand, is our sanctuary. It provides us not just with a cleansing space but a place to unwind, to reconnect with our souls and our hearts. The ritual of bathing purifies the spirit and calms the inner self. The act of sloughing away the residue of daily life helps us to feel renewed and ready to take on whatever life throws our way.
If you think about your home as having a kind of heartbeat of its own, then when renovating and decorating it makes sense to address your choices and the assemblage of things, not just from a practical point of view, but from an emotional one.
For it is the feeling in a house, created as a result of the stories unfolding there, which will best convey the story of your life so far.
By Shannon Fricke
Originally published in Inside Out magazine
In the work that I do, I rarely look back – it seems that when it comes to design and living (as in life) – the here and now and the trends going forward become the focus… But, every now and then, when I’m feeling a little nostalgic, I’ll go back through my past work; possibly as a way of reminding myself how far I’ve come… By chance today, I opened a copy of my very first book – sense of style: colour – written in 2005 whilst sitting on my bedroom floor. The writing of this book was a watershed moment for me… The first time I braved myself and declared my most inner thoughts and feelings on design and living to the world. That is, my belief in home as more than just a collection of things that we buy. But rather an emotional support structure – our heart centre – that needs to be tended in the image of our truest self… Upon opening the book today – my eye was drawn to one paragraph. And of course, it’s the most important paragraph of all, for me, right now. I thought I’d share it with you…
‘I believe that the simplest principles of living provide the best instruction. Life teaches us that to develop a relationship of any kind – whether with a person, or even with food, or in this case with your personal colour palette – you must begin by simply being open to the possibility of it. I know this is tricky in this day and age when we allow ourselves such small increments of time for carrying out our daily tasks. But, it’s impossible to connect with anything if you don’t give it exactly that – time.’
‘Find a quiet part of the world – this could mean lounging in your living room, sitting in the park or lying on the beach and just – STOP. Live in the moment for a second. Have a cup of tea to give yourself an excuse to just be still. You’ll enjoy it. I promise. Then look at and absorb the wonderful colour combinations that exist around you. Engage your ‘third eye’ and simply think, see and feel. Reconnect with your senses.’
‘Understanding colour is, to some degree, a process of enlightenment. Remember, that colour is not a mystery – it’s always available to you, it’s there everyday, there are beautiful combinations in every corner of your world. Becoming aware of them is the first step on your journey towards forming a relationship with colour.’
And as with colour. So with life.
LESSON 1 – Finding Your Imagination…
Sometimes good things can come from doing nothing, from just being still and allowing the mind to wander. From daydreaming… I find, it’s the ideal way to begin any kind of creative journey…
Freeing yourself from the monotony of day-to-day living and letting your imagination take you where it pleases is one of the most effective ways to resolve what you need and desire from life. How is it possible to connect with a true sense of who you are if you don’t take the time to reflect on all aspects of how you are living? How is it possible to create a life you love living in and conjure an ambience that soothes your soul, if you don’t stop to acknowledgement the kinds of experiences and environments that make your heart sing…
In childhood, we all instinctively appreciate the benefits that come when we use our imaginations. By daydreaming, creating our own alternative worlds, we learn about the complexity of relationships and the environment in which we live. It’s how we begin to understand our basic emotions, what makes us happy and sad.
Have you ever observed children when they are building their own private world? Whether it’s a wooden cubby house, or simply a sheet thrown over a chair, their process of creating and inhabiting secret spaces is simple and pure – the name of the game, although they are possibly not conscious of it, is simply to nurture the spirit. How wonderful to possess the inner freedom to create a world that truly reflects the needs of your soul…
Alas, as we grow into adults many of us lose the capacity to dream. Purpose takes over from play. The drive for success takes over from experimentation. But is it ever too late to begin again?
So today, take the time to stop, to daydream – and remember the things that nurutre your spirit. That’s the first step to creative living. Once you create the space in your heart and mind you’ll be amazed at what creative thoughts bound forth…