“ I ’ m the opposite of a minimalist – my favourite rooms are filled with pattern and print . Packed , rich interiors , filled with objects ” – Sonia Solicari
middle of a private conversation and tell you to wrap it up .” In the house that I grew up in there was only one phone – in the kitchen . The only way to get anything like a private conversation was to hide in the space where the freezer used to be . “ These memories might be particularly poignant in the 20th century when we start to recognise things in each other ’ s homes ,” says Sonia , “ but the Victorians were also hyper-aware of this – as telegraph wires were being put up and homes were being connected by plumbing and pipes .”
HOME IS FOR THE MAKING
Sonia lives in Crystal Palace , south London . “ I love it here . It ’ s where the Great Exhibition moved to in October 1851 and there ’ s a strong connection to Victorian London . My house is an Edwardian two-up , two-down on one of those really vertiginous streets with sweeping views over London ,” she says . “ I ’ m the opposite of a minimalist – my favourite rooms at the museum are those from the 1870s and the 1970s . They are both new rooms , and filled with pattern and print . Packed , rich interiors , filled with objects .” Sonia ’ s own home is filled with a collection of vintage finds and objects that bring her joy . “ I ’ m a big vintage hunter and put lots of thought into how I display and curate my collections ,” she says . “ I gather things I ’ ve found , or gifts , and they speak to each other and begin to form a narrative . They bring a lot of joy . Then my children add to the displays – I ’ ll find plastic figurines hidden in there . Sometimes I think to myself how great it would be if we could do that at the museum , and guests could leave little things behind .” In many ways , the museum ’ s response to Covid has invited guests to do this . “ We hope visitors will be intrigued and inspired by the personal stories of home life that run through our new and reimagined galleries and programmes – from diverse contemporary and historical stories in the Home Galleries , to Stay Home , our rapid-response collecting project documenting home life during lockdown . We asked for people to submit their stories and were overwhelmed with the response . There was everything from positive stories about gaining new skills and people getting to know their families again , through to stories of anxiety and loneliness . We got a full range of emotions . It ’ s a very moving archive .”
Micro museum ! Curate your own collection of treasured objects at home using one of our display cabinets .