House Nerd

Follow House Nerd

Follow on Bloglovin

Peeking into People's Places

Search House Nerd

Why I Love Shibori: and How to Style it in Your Home

Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017 in: Obsessed With DIY Nerd Life

“You need a hobby.” Mr Nerd didn’t just say this, he pretty much shouted it. “You don’t have a hobby and you need one.”

We were in the middle of one of our lovely shouting matches that make me feel bad for our neighbours, yet at the same time I am not going to be the first one to pipe down because piping down signifies weakness, people. I can’t even really remember what we were fighting about. It probably stemmed from something small, like I asked him how the chicken was, and he said it needed more salt, and I called him an ungrateful turd, etc. So basically normal marriage stuff. But for whatever reason, and however we came to it, there he was, yelling that I needed a hobby.

A pop of indigo in this sweet guest bedroom makeover by the talented Emily Henderson. Shibori looks fantastic with cane and other warm brown tones. 

At the risk of revealing the total space cadet that I am (is there such a thing as toddler brain? Because I have it) I don’t even remember the context of that argument. All I remember was replying, confused and incredulous, “What do you mean I need a hobby? Writing is my hobby,” and he was like, “That’s your work,” and I was like, “Yeah it’s work AND my hobby. That’s actually awesome!” and he was like, “No, it’s not the same thing. You need a hobby-hobby.” I retorted that we have a BABY now, who has time for a hobby when you have a baby? Shall I collect stamps? Start embroidery? Netflix and stalking strangers on Instagram and eating dumplings not count as hobbies? Excuse me.

It is like Mr Nerd thinks that HIS kind of hobbies; racing motorbikes and riding his mountain bike and playing video games and watching dumb viral videos on Facebook, are proper hobbies, and the things that I think are perfectly respectable hobbies – like drinking too much coffee and going on Pinterest - don’t count.

Welk I can now smugly say to him that I might have found a hobby. Something that’s fun and tactile; out of the house and away from a screen – shibori.

A big vat of indigo dye as photographed by Bohemian Bunnie.

This Californian home from My Domaine mixes white, neutrals and natural materials with shibori for a light, fresh look. 

Shibori cushions around a gorgeous banquette seating area in this Californian home on My Domaine

Firstly, I’m not being original here - there’s nothing new about shibori. This ancient Japanese fabric dyeing technique has been around since the 8th century, but in recent years it’s experienced a resurgence - and for good reason, my friend, Twinkle and Whistle interior designer Nelly Reffet, tells me.

“Although its popularity has been growing for some time - at least four years - shibori could not be more in line with the current trends as we're moving away from minimalist everything and towards more eclectic, bohemian, colour-and-pattern-heavy interiors,” says Nelly.

“Beyond the look, it's also a traditional technique which appeals to many, as people re-discover the virtue of DIY and focus more on learning creative techniques than ever - a way to be more grounded in an increasingly digital world where we sometimes feel like we tend to lose touch with who we are, our traditions, our "savoir-faire" and the world directly around us.”

Shibori drying on a line from the lovely blog Local Milk

Shibori is very pretty, it’s not really that difficult to DIY and it looks amazing used in our interiors. I’d seen it around a bit (thanks in part to my Pinterest hobby) I’d always liked it, I just had no idea before how fun it was to do yourself. I recently took part in a shibori tutorial hosted as part of Stackwood’s Handmade Holiday workshop late last year.

We were taught the process by the lovely Tanya of Old Grey House, aka she who shiboris best, and we all had so much fun. I felt like a kid in arts and craft class again. There’s something a bit childishly magical about taking your fabric out of the dye and opening it up to see how your design translated in real life, kind of like the grown-up version of making a paper snowflake and unfolding it to see how it looks.

see more

Saved from Knockdown: A 1970s City Beach Home Given a New Lease of Life

When Penny and Mat bought a dark, dated and daggy 1970s home in City Beach, they thought it might be a knockdown job – and their friends presumed they would bulldoze it and build anew, too.

But when Penny and Mat decided that instead they were going to renovate and extend to make it a home for them and their four kids under 12 – while living ...

see more

How to Make Any House Feel Like Home: My Tips

When you were growing up, you probably dreamt of the day you’d have your own place. I was way too dorky to get invited to house parties and do normal teenager things like hook up with boys, so daydreaming about my future house was pretty much my hobby. One of my first (and quite possibly strangest) blog posts was about how I even kept a glory ...

see more

Ready for Summer Entertaining! Our Garden Makeover in a Weekend

Okay, honesty time. If I didn’t have a blog, I don’t think I would do a QUARTER of the stuff around our home that we do, and especially not in the time frames that we do it. I am just too lazy, people. I think one of the main reasons I became a journalist was because subconsciously I knew that I always need a looming deadline to move my ...

see more

Thinking of Extending Your Home? A Builder Shares 10 Things You Should Know

In my job I continually meet people who say they have always thought about extending their home – but for some reason or other they hesitate to take the first step. Often they find it daunting because a) they presume that getting a quote for such a big project will be a nightmare in itself and/or b) they presume it will be out of their budget ...

see more

A DIY Makeover for a Daggy 70s Willetton Home

Would you buy a house you hated? Could you make an offer on a home with an interior you didn't like at all - a home that was actually a particularly ugly example of the era it was built?

Home owners Craig and Emma Croxford did – buying a 1970s Willetton house that was so depressing and needed so much work that it actually brought Emma to tears ...

see more

Ahh, Peace and Quiet: How to Minimise External Noise in Your Home

Hi House Nerd,

I live in an old home in Fremantle that I am renovating and would love some tips on how to reduce road noise in my house. Being close to the street and constructed of weatherboard I hear every car that passes and it is getting quite frustrating especially when trying to sleep. Have you written any blogs on this problem and ...

see more

A 1980s Renovated Home on a Steep Scarborough Site

Amy and Andrew Palmer-Millin stumbled upon their new home by accident. They were house-hunting in seaside Scarborough and were on their way to a different home open when they chanced upon the place that was to become their next home. “We accidentally went to see the house, it wasn't on our list to view at all,” says Amy. “We drove past and saw ...

see more

Presents for Everyone: Gifts for Hard-to-Buy-For People

Hands up if you’ve started your Christmas present shopping? Hands up if you are stuck? Every year I make a list in the Notes section of my phone for the people we have to get presents for; and I jot down ideas as they come. Every year I get a little stuck when it comes to present ideas for at least one particular person or another.

As I have ...

see more

Happy Christmas Guys + Making Plans for House Nerd in 2017

Coming up to Christmas and the end of the year, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has been reading and therefore supporting House Nerd the past year – I appreciate it so much. Perhaps more so this year than any other year.

2016 hasn’t been the easiest year for a lot of journalists in Perth, or across Australia for that matter. The ...

see more

Have you read?