How to use the home to explain the past, the present and the future, with Sonia Solicari

The Director of the Museum of the Home comes on to the Country Life Podcast to chat about all things house and home.

Look around you. You might be reading this in your home. Or perhaps someone else’s home. The point is we spend a lot of time in our homes, more so now than ever before (apart from that year we don’t talk about).

They are our own private spaces — reflections on ourselves, our styles, our opinions, our choices, our ideas. Every choice you make when it comes to your home, from the wallpaper to who you choose to share it with, is both an extension of yourself and often an extension of the world around you. Homes are something we look at most days, and yet something that we probably don’t often think about all that often.

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I know this now because I spent 30 minutes talking to Sonia Solicari, the director of the Museum of the Home, who opened my eyes to what ‘the home’ really means. At her museum, based in Hoxton in East London, the home is used to understand and explain history in a fascinating way. Through rooms, from a parlour in 1695 to what the living room of the future may look like, we can understand the world around us.

These are just some of the fascinating insights from our talk. Another one is how Sonia explained to me how everyday objects often found in the home changed our lives. Did you know that the invention of the thermostat may have given rise to the moody teenager? There’s a free little titbit for you.

It’s been one of my favourite podcasts we’ve done and I would highly recommend you listen to the rest. There’s even a bit where a squirrel interrupts me by staring at me through the window, but I’m not sure if Toby left that bit in. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (the podcast, not the squirrel).