Today I have been working on clay plastering in what will be our bedroom in the barn conversion. There is still a little finishing off to do, clearly visible in the image above, and of course as it is not yet dry it looks rather patchy still. But we are definitely not going for a perfectly smooth and polished finish on our walls. The walls will mostly be painted with breathable, natural clay paint, but the imperfect finish will somewhat remain.
For me, the imperfections in our work are all simply going to add to the character of our home. I find perfection in surfaces and finishes to be rather impersonal, and to my eye, highly polished and crisp design can sometimes feel a little cold. The soft undulations in the somewhat imperfectly applied clay are perfect for my taste.
I appreciate that it is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. But I like the more organic and natural feel. And though we are never going to be able to create the same level of finish that can be achieved by professional plasterers – for me, that is not a bad thing.
Our imperfect plaster work will be one of many ‘rustic’ features that I feel will blend in well with the reclaimed materials and the old stone building itself. I am hopeful, as I get the clay on the walls, that we will feel that we are living in an old building and not in a new build box. It will be filled with the old and the hand-crafted and, I hope, will be quite quirky and interesting – not necessarily much like the typical home.
This is definitely not the only way to go in sustainable building and interior design, and you can indeed have a more modern and streamlined look while doing the right thing for people and planet. But for me, organic, natural, personal and imperfect will always be the way I wish to go.