How I rent

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The British obsession with owning property (a house, and a *family* home) is well known but there are some really innovative discussions out there right now about what home might look like.

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How_I_rent is an account started by @grillodesigns (author of a book of the same name), who rents herself to show how even rented accommodation can be made personal and individual. Peelable wallpaper, tips for no-nails gallery walls, plants, throws: it’s so refreshing and it’s actively addressing the stigma around renting.

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If this had been set up a few years ago it would have been glossy influencers talking about their starter flat before buying properly; in a few years this might be a trend exploited by companies to get millennials “used to” the idea that they’ll never own in the way their parents did. But as it is, it’s joyful, authentic and full of gorgeous places.

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Equally fun is this great series called “Single Women and their Spaces”, a somewhat misleading title in that it covers single or divorced mothers as well as single and happy about it women and travellers, but it’s also nice to see interviews with women about something other than how they chose paint colours for the childrens’ rooms and who cooks most in the kitchen. Here are a couple of taster articles from Tennessee or Lisbon.

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Photos of Charlotte Jacklin, Heartzeena and Emma Jane Palin’s flats (two of EJP’s bathroom – proof that paint can make a huge difference.)

podcast of the week

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I became aware of Garance Dore some years ago as her stationary line at the time (cheery mottos scrawled in gold handwriting; mid century esque fashion sketches of a woman in a hat or sunglasses), was super popular. I thought it was just be a marketing fad and whilst I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t that interested.

Then a few months ago I found her Instagram page and was intrigued by the calm desert vibe, the talk of meditation and the strong female friendships on it. Now I’ve downloaded a bunch of episodes from Garance’s podcast “Pardon my French”.

Despite the savvy title and intro blurb, it’s a radical and authentic series of conversations with women about how they identified the path they wanted with regards to living their life. Mainly there’s a sense of Garance’s interviewees having calmly and consciously made their choices earlier and enjoying the consequences of that.

The series is an encouragement to re-examine your assumptions about fulfilment, happiness, the shock of refinding desire in your 60s, and what maternity and femininity might mean. In particular it feels almost shocking to hear women publicly say they never wanted children, or prefer their plants to their children. Shocking because surely this should be an open conversation now, and liberating because it’s not.

Queenie

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Must read of the summer. Upsetting because it’s true, uplifting because she writes a redemption arc that feels like it should be possible. Also an ode to friendship as an anchor and laugh out loud funny.