April 2018: Inside Out

March 26 2018

Looking at picture perfect interiors all day long sounds like fun, but even the nicest of jobs can become fatiguing in its own way.

Looking at picture perfect interiors all day long sounds like fun, but even the nicest of jobs can become fatiguing in its own way. The painstakingly positioned furnishings and flowers, the contrived tastefulness, the obscene luxury. It can get a bit formulaic and dull. So being nutty about interiors of all kinds, and wanting to keep things fresh, I follow a variety of different instagram accounts, and some of my favourite are actually those of Urbex Photographers, where the interiors are very imperfect indeed. 

For anyone unfamiliar with the term (also known as Ruin Porn), it is short for Urban Exploration; the hobby of brave souls possessed of a sometimes morbid fascination with empty and decaying spaces. They roam, usually in small groups, occasionally illegally, through deserted asylums, hospitals, factories, theatres, prisons, palaces and sewers the world over. When nature takes over forgotten architecture, the effect is mesmerising. 

There is something undeniably compelling, if not creepy, about places once populated by many people that now lie empty. Corridors are the worst, and rooms with chairs or medical equipment left behind. These rooms are like the Marie Rose of the built environment. An unfinished story, abruptly abandoned halfway through, leaving a sense of mystery. Browsing images of peeling paint, flapping wallpaper, flooded floors, dusty chandeliers, disarranged parquets, and creeping ivy throttling once-opulent staircases, is probably not the most common of pastimes, but if this curious habit has any appeal then try @violent_crumble @thireyephoto @the-decay-photographie @maria.urbex.photography @jamiebettsphoto @nik8photo and @richkern for a good old spooky scroll! 

Zoe Hewett is an interior designer and founder of Stylemongers Of Bristol www.stylemongersofbristol.co.uk