Making a house a home

Over the years my husband and I have lived together in three different accommodations. We started off in his bachelor pad, a one bed maisonette, in which I gradually moved myself into over the first six months and just never left…

He bought this flat a few months before we met, rather run down and in desperate need of some TLC. His goal was to gut the place and start from scratch. He’d ordered the kitchen early on but thankfully I came into his life before he got any further and adjusted his ideas! I added a bit of my own creative flare and we made the place ours. We lived there for a total of 5 years and it was the perfect place to start off our love story, a cosy snug, where we could shut off the rest of the world. But as time went by, we were evolving as a couple and had our little fur baby to think about so we decided to sell up and buy our first house.

House hunting is fun isn’t it?! Getting to have a good nose around other people’s properties, seeing how they choose to live and what they’ve done to the place. We were adamant that wherever we decided, we would be putting our own stamp on it like before.

We ended up with a good size three bed terraced house in a nice cul de sac spot. Right on top of all the essentials we needed – shops, train station etc. Inside, it was all very neutral when we moved in, nothing garish as such, just not our taste. The artex ceilings and wood chip wallpaper however weren’t as forgiving in the end!

The plan was to tackle each room at a time, gutting it completely then revamping the hell out of it! It started off as so much fun and suddenly became a bit of a chore. It was over double the size of the old place after all and unfortunately I only have a relationship with a paintbrush and roller when it comes to DIY. I’m the finisher, the one with the eye for appeal, the interior designer I like to think! We stopped after a year or so to save and plan a wedding then carried on where we left off before finding out Smeckle was on the way. From then on it was all systems go and a month before she arrived the last room was finished. We saved the best for last, a lovely little olive green nursery with wooden floors was waiting for our little one, girl or boy.

We lived there for another year after Smeckle joined us, four years overall and we planned to stay there for a while at least but circumstances changed and we decided to start a new life in the country. Back in July we moved into our current location. A three bedroom detached house in a lovely little village. We didn’t look at many properties this time round. We were a bit more specific as to where we wanted to locate and fell in love with the chosen one as soon as we stepped foot in the door. It came on the market the day before we looked at it and from the moment we walked out, we knew it had to be ours. Thankfully our offer was too good to refuse and after a successful completion we moved in.

Again it needed modifying to our taste. We were used to open plan living, so we decided a couple of walls had to go! This was a much bigger job than we’d taken on before and needed the professional help to make it happen and with having a little one now, we didn’t want the house to become our life and interfere with what should be family time. So after some very stressful preparation, the works began while we holidayed in Spain back in September. Our technique was to do it in two stages. Hit the entire upstairs first then round two would be the worst of the work where we’d have to find somewhere else to live.

After Christmas the builders started and we moved into a lovely little cottage a couple of villages away. We stayed there while the house was a building site and move back in for a week before heading off to Disney and finishing off in Devon to stay with family. A much more pleasant way to get it done! Like always though nothing goes the way it’s meant too and hiccups happened along the way but now we’re safely on the other side of it. This time we decided to paint the whole house white, a crisp, fresh start. It’s a beautiful blank canvas just waiting to be filled with the memories that make a house a home.

We may have made things hard for ourselves over the years, none of it was by all means easy but it was all very much worth while. Certain times, it tested our relationship and in hand it made us stronger. We achieved our materialistic dreams and Smeckle now has a lovely way of life to live but if there’s one thing it all taught me, it’s that no matter where we are, as long as we’re together, we’re home.

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