It’s been almost six weeks in our new home now. We’ve unpacked as much as we can, tried to make headway with the jungle of a garden, and done a fair bit of entertaining. Now it’s time to take stock. I always knew that this house was going to evolve slowly. It’s bigger than our previous home for one thing, and the purse is now pretty much empty. But apart from that, I’ve had in my mind for a while that it’s time to jump off the bandwagon of unsustainable consumerism.
Live With It
I’m lucky that there is very little in the house that I absolutely hate. Well, with the exception of the two blue staircases. The walls are all neutral, as are the carpets. The kitchen (while not entirely to my taste) can be tweaked, and I can live with the bathrooms. There’s absolutely no reason to rip out fittings that may not be all that old, in order to just reflect my personal taste. Even the kitchen floor tiles (which are reddish/pink by the way) will be left alone.
Image sources: 1.Amber Glass Table Lamp Base, £150, Laura Ashley Lighting and Mirrors. 2.Aria Vase with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, £46.50, Charles Ted. 3.Rustic Living Room Roller Blinds, £32.50, English Blinds. 4.Isaac Antique Brass 1 Light Wall Light, £55, Laura Ashley Lighting and Mirrors. 5.Jardim 3 Seater Sofa, £779, DFS. 6.Thistle from Boråstapeter In Bloom Wallpaper Collection, £52, Wallpaper Direct. 7.Cushions from Made.com. 8.Frida Kahlo Poster, from £10.95, Desenio. 9.Trigon Rug, from £275 psm, Rug Artisan.
It will be an easy job to paint out the blue stairs, and even paint the kitchen cabinet doors, and those are the first things on my list. Paint is relatively inexpensive after all. And they do say that you should live in a house for a while before you make any major decisions. That’s absolutely my plan. Besides, there’s far too much to do in the garden and that will keep me busy for now. Plus I can always make pretty moodboards when I need to flex my creative muscles – knowing that they can come in handy later anyway.
Re-purpose and Re-Use
Unpacking all of those cardboard boxes that had been in storage for months was therapeutic. I’ve amassed a lot of stuff over the years and some of it has been boxed up since the last time we moved. I didn’t want to leave anything unused and invisible again, so it’s all come out and put somewhere. It may not be it’s final resting place, but it has made the place look lived in and cosy. I’m determined it will all get utilised even it it gets repainted or re-purposed. Sometimes it’s good to look at familar things with fresh eyes.
Image Sources: 1.Cup Pull Handles, £9.95, Plank Hardware. 2.Aged Brass Café Curtain Rail, £80, deVOL Kitchens. 3.Haddon Kitchen In Charcoal And Burnished Bronze, from £15,000, Kitchen Makers. 4.Harmony Stone Rustic Ceramic Wall Tiles, £33, Porcelain Superstore. 5.Brushed Gold Instant Boiling Water Tap, £519, Fohen. 6.Paxo Pendant, Black, Original BTC. 7.Distressed Metal Eat Sign, £47.50, Cox & Cox. 8.Urban Industrial Large Round Serving Board, £94, Puji. 9.Braided Jute Oval Rug, £51.99, Walton & Co.
Second Hand is the Way to Go
I’ve already bought a few items of second hand furniture to fill the empty rooms, and I’ve been amazed at what you can find on online marketplaces and local markets. It’s the way to go. Even if you have to use your imagination a little bit and picture a piece with a fresh coat of paint, or just styled in a more contemporary way. Similarly, things I’ve brought with me that don’t suit the new house are getting sold off, or even given away. It’s a great way to connect with the local community and it feels good knowing that your unwanted items will be put to good use. I’ve even given away, blinds and curtains that the previous owner left behind and the grateful recipients were delighted with them.
Buy Less Buy Better
Of course some things can’t always be found in the second hand markets. I’ve tried to look for sofas this way but truthfully I’ll never be happy with pre-used upholstery. This is true even if I could find the style and colour I’m looking for. Which I can’t. So, for now, I’ll have to be patient, wait for the coffers to start filling again and probably wait for the January sales or hunt for ex-display models. And one thing is certain, I will only be buying once.
Peer Pressure is a Bitch
Finally, I’m not giving into the very real pressure to create a home for anyone else but me (and the BF of course). I had a conversation with an interior design friend recently (a high end interior designer) and when I explained that the new house is one part 200 year old cottage, and one part nineties extension she said “How exciting. Are you going to merge the two halves, or will you leave the cottage authentic and make the new extension ultra modern?” The answer is neither. The two halves will emerge slowly from all of the above. There’s no rush. And if anyone else is feeling the pressure, remember, real life is not in those Instagram grids.
NB. A lot of the items on my inspiration boards are things I already own, or in the case of the wall light, were left by the previous owner.