It’s been five years since we moved in to our house. An extensive amount of work went in to renovating the property, resulting in us having to refit almost the entire downstairs space. Of course, I didn’t complain about it because for the first time in my life I was allowed to choose a new kitchen! I can’t tell you how excited that made me feel: sad but true.
At the time, I collected pictures of my dream kitchen, bathrooms, fireplaces etc. (toilets even), made sure I was clear on what we wanted and had sourced everything in good time. I would recommend anyone doing a renovation or extensive work to do this. You can make a scrap book or a Pinterest board, or look online for some family living space inspiration. However you do it, you can really see your ideal home coming together. When you undertake a renovation, the last thing you want are the builders surprising you by asking what kitchen/bathroom units are going where. They need to know a lot of it in advance so that they can plan their work.
Everything had to be chosen and fitted within a relatively short space of time and once we moved in, cash flow dictated that the soft furnishings side of things got somewhat neglected. I got the basics, put up the pictures we’d brought with us and tried to ignore the obvious spaces that were crying out to have something in or on them. After a while, you didn’t notice them anymore and they were forgotten about.
Five years on and some things are beginning to look a little tired. Fresh coats of paint have been applied to cover up grubby finger marks, carpets have been cleaned and a few extra prints have been added to the walls here and there as we’ve acquired them. Then finally, after years of searching, I found a round table for my kitchen (that seats six) and replaced the coffee table in the living space (actually a piece of garden furniture), with a ‘proper’ one.
With the addition of a few cheap soft furnishings, such as scatter cushions and a rug, I’ve given my family living space a much needed makeover. I’m so pleased with the results, as the place seems much brighter and more vibrant than it was before.
There are still a few places on the walls that need filling (throughout the house), but I have plans, oh yes I do. One is to turn a photo I took in Rome last year into a canvas print. I have lots of great photos that I could do this with. I also made some framed pictures for my dining room, using wallpaper that I never got around to having put up in there. These rolls have been sitting under the dresser gathering dust all this time.
Doing a complete overhaul on a house was an amazing but stressful experience, with so many decisions needing to be made in such a short space of time and for a house that we had never lived in before. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the house for the last five years and I’m now in a position where I can enjoy making small changes in my own time, with a confidence that comes from experience of living here.
The kitchen is our main family living space. It is a place where we live and eat, where everything happens and it is the most important room in the house. This bright, light and airy room is a reflection of the type of family we are.
What does your house say about you and your family? Do you have a place that you think of as the hub of your home?