Wednesday, 19 November 2014
the good, the bad, and the ugly
Like most bloggers, I've got a fairly unhealthy Pinterest obsession, and I'll admit right now that there have been times when I look around at our little house and it's raggedy carpet, ugly worktops and UPVC windows and start making a long list of things to change. Pinterest is a really great resource, and it constantly supplies me with heaps of inspiration and information (particularly when it comes to enviromental issues), but I do find that if you spend too long pinning pictures of impossibly perfect homes, it can make you forget everything you love about your own home. So after a particularly long session pinning pictures of perfect Scandi homes, oak floorboards, rustic kitchens and wilderness-style gardens, rather than working out whether it's worth replacing the worktop in a rental property, I decided to just take a few pictures to remind me of the things I love about our (very small) house.
The Conservatory (Top)
Firstly, the fact that we've actually got a conservatory is blessing in itself; it gives me the space to store my craft supplies in a way that makes sense and is easy to acess, and it also means that if I'm working on a photoshoot for work, I can just leave everything out rather than having to tidy away at the end of the day. It's also the lightest room in the house, with three large windows, which means I can get some fairly decent photos even in deepest darkest winter. Admittedly, it's basically just a plastic box stuck to the side of the house, and come November the temperature drops to pretty much sub-zero, but it's nothing an extra jumper and a bathroom heater can't fix!
The main problem with our house is the bedrooms - not the size or shape, but the fact that there's only two of them; early next Spring, we're going to swap with Ben and go into the small room, while the kiddos share the big room. They're going to have to have bunk beds, and it's probably going to be absolute chaos - but they're both looking forward to it, and it's a good excuse to buy some more lovely prints and make some crafty bits. The bedrooms themselves are pretty nice; they might not be massive but they're light and airy, and the window sills are big enough to store books and plants on; ours gets the light in the morning and Ben's gets the sun sliding across the wall as it goes down.
I did a little tour of the bathroom here, and mentioned then how small it was; it also has the worst marbled tiles (seriously, I can't fathom why people would choose marbled over plain white) and these awful old taps. But, for all the marbled horror, it's a relaxing little space with a really deep window sill that's home to my (usually dying) plants and little collection of beachy finds. And if I squint, the marble effect is hardly noticeable anyway (although I'd love to rip them all off and replace it with some of those brick-effect tiles!).
I think out of everything in our house, the thing that gives me the hump the most is the carpet in the lounge and all the way up the stairs; I always crop it out in photographs because it's literally just horrendous. It's brown, brown, and there's literally no hiding it - it makes the whole place seem darker and is just plain ugly. When we moved in, we replaced the tiles in the bathroom and kitchen, and the carpets in the bedrooms, but we're stuck with this one; if money were no object, I'd rip it up and either replace it with bare floorboards or a more neutral carpet which is slightly less, well, ugly.
The smallest, darkest, ugliest room in the house, I often wonder if I might enjoy cooking more if the kitchen wasn't so... awful. With similar marble effect tiles to the bathroom, and one of the most horrible worktops I've ever seen (mottled green and brown, anyone?), pretty it ain't. That said, it is a massive improvement on the way it was when we moved in; torn lino, cupboards with chipped paint, artex all over the walls.... it looked a little bit like one of the 'before' photos on Homes Under the Hammer. We plastered over the artex, replaced the flooring, painted the cupboards and took some of the doors off to make open shelving, then I added some plants, washi tape and retro crockery and pyrex. You can see the results of the makeover here, and while it's not the best kitchen I've ever seen, it's definitely not the worst either!
The lounge is probably my favourite room; it's where I do a lot of my work, where the Husband and I watch all our box sets, where we eat dinner at our thrifted charity-shop table and where I snuggle on the sofa with some crochet or a book. It is a teeny bit dark in the winter, and that brown carpet rears it's ugly head again, but it's got a mantlepiece (something I've always wanted in a home - finally, somewhere to display my vintage bits and pieces!), and it's a pretty good size and it just has a really lovely feel to it. It feels homely and comfortable and safe, and that's definitely not something you can buy in a DIY store.
This is a collaborative post.
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