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Book Review: The Foraged Home pairs ‘slow photography’ with the beauty of found objects

Foraging is an activity I have always associated with the process of searching for and gathering food but recently, I’ve noticed the word being included in hashtags accompanying images that are completely unrelated.

Instead, they are tied in with beautiful and interesting interiors and still-life captures featuring rustic objects and natural elements. Think vintage furniture, old linens, natural textures and foliage from the garden. There’s nothing mass-produced to be seen. Everything has had a previous life. There is an element of ‘storytelling’ in the carefully considered inclusion of objects. Unexpected combinations. Mismatched chairs and crockery.

For me, there is something quite comforting about these images and I have become curious about the process of ‘foraging’ for the home. When I came across The Foraged Home, of course I needed to delve deeper.

Featuring a series of creative, character-filled abodes throughout the world, this book offers a glimpse into the ideas and foraging approaches of the resourceful owners of each property.

The uniqueness of each home has been captured beautifully by brother and sister team, Joanna and Oliver MacLennan. Joanna practices ‘slow photography’, taking time to connect with her subject and the natural light available, resulting in fewer photographs that have depth and richness.

Profiled in the Coastal chapter is ‘Captain’s Rest’ in Lettes Bay, Tasmania. Owned and designed by stylist, storyteller, teacher and sailor Sarah Andrews, this is a home I have been admiring from afar for some time now. Featured in Country Style and Home Beautiful, you may have already come across this little beauty. If not, The Foraged Home is a great introduction.

The book describes Sarah’s use of an array of found objects from local recycling centres and materials from old furniture to develop the look and feel of Captain’s Rest. Sarah admits that her “styling is more like storytelling” and the images from the book help to convey the story of Captain’s Rest.

The ‘Converted Church’ in Boonah is another favourite of mine and this features in the Wild chapter. In her Instagram bio, Cheryl Carr, owner of this remarkable home describes herself as a “curator and shopkeeper, stylist and prop sourcer – finding the beauty in the found and foraged”.

Cheryl’s storytelling presents itself through the collections of objects she curates in her home.  “I don’t like mass-produced things. Older things have more staying power, I find.” Fossicking for forgotten objects that are both beautiful and functional, and also have a story to tell is a process that Cheryl has mastered.

The Foraged Home is a celebration of creativity, resourcefulness and slowing things down, even when it comes to creating the spaces in your home.   

Buy your copy of The Foraged Home here.

Tracie Hartley

Books, interiors and photography are like oxygen to Tracie Hartley. As a creative, she has curated an aesthetic entirely her own (follow her @traceharts). Obsessed with all things ‘slowing down’ and ‘simplifying’, we're grateful to have Tracie on our team. Tracie lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW with her husband, two young kids and border collie.

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