Image

Home

What do you love about your home?  For me it is cosiness.  I don’t like big, open plan homes with lots of space and sparse furnishings – they seem very cold and unfriendly to me.  There are times when I wish I could be more Spartan in my decorating style and live in a less cluttered space, but that wouldn’t be me and I wouldn’t feel as comfortable.  I like colour and pattern.  I like being surrounded by things that are special to me, or have been gifted to me by someone I love.  My home isn’t very sophisticated or adult looking.  I have nice artworks, but then they are, quite often, accompanied by something silly or incongruous.  I have lots of vintage items, but then they’re sitting with something from Kmart or a discount store.  I don’t care – it’s whatever makes you happy, right?

My house is small.  But that’s ok.  My hoarding habits are probably better being contained anyway 🙂  But I do like cosy.  I like to feel cocooned.  I like to feel safe and enclosed.  I like to look around the room and see all my “precious things” – they have memories attached to them and they’re important to me, even if they’re not “on-trend” or matching or stylish.  I have started culling a little bit – as much as I like my stuff, even I have to concede that I do have a lot of junk.  But if something has a real emotional pull – I keep it.  It’s there, in my life, for a reason.

So, what makes a house a home, to me…..

  1. Colour.  I like white – I really do – but I would always pair it with lots of bright colour.  Shabby-chic white I love – because it’s distressed and homely and paired with lots of pretty colour, wood finishes and interesting textures.  But stark white, I can’t do.  Plus it shows up dirt too easily ha ha.
  2. Plants.  I am not a great gardener, as I have pointed out before.  But I do like lots of plants around the place.  Greenery is good.  As long as it stays green 🙂
  3. Soft furnishings.  I like a cushion or two.  Embroidered tablecloths.  Throw rugs and patchwork quilts.  Especially when they’re handmade ones.  Curtains I can take or leave – at the moment I am stuck with the ones that came with the house – but I HATE vertical blinds with a passion.  Unfortunately, I have those too.  They will be going as soon as I can afford to get rid of them.
  4. Candles.  I definitely have a bit of a pyromaniac streak.  But I love the soft light they give (hey, I’m in my 40s – I need all the soft lighting I can get!) and they create such a nice ambience.  I love the fragranced ones – vanilla, berry and gingerbread are my favourites.  My house always smells like cookies.
  5. Books.  I am a bit ridiculous with books.  I have LOADS.  But I just love having them around me.  A house without books is not a home. For me, anyway.
  6. Pets. This is one aspect that I am currently lacking in.  It’s so sad.  For most of my life I was surrounded by animals.  Now I don’t even have a budgie or a goldfish.  I am working on getting cats though.  One day (in my fantasy world) I will have a  property large enough for geese and dogs and rabbits and chickens, cows, and sheep again.  One day.
  7. Art.  Whether it be a family heirloom worth thousands, or a cute crayon scribble created by a special munchkin in your life, it’s important to have art around the place.  Things that inspire you or just make you smile.
  8. Music.  I always have music playing.  I have to have at least the radio on when I’m cooking or creating.  It helps to block the world out and focus you inward.  Plus, I like to sing.  I would die if anyone else heard me, but it is one of life’s joys, having a sing-a-long to a favourite tune.  As long as the neighbours don’t complain, it’s all good.
  9. Nooks.  I nearly bought a house last year purely because it had a reading nook with a balcony overlooking the garden.  Oh I loved it.  But I did not like the neighbourhood or the low popcorn ceiling (ugh!) or the ugly dark grey carpet (I was never sure if it had originally been grey or not…).  I really struggled to let go of that reading nook though – it was glorious.  I’m still dreaming about it now.  I would have spent my life in there, snoozing in the sunshine or pondering the Universe.  Sigh.  But nooks are important.  Every home should have a cosy little corner somewhere.  A place you automatically go to recharge and recoup.
  10. Photos.  I think it’s important to have photos in your home.  Family photos, travel photos, childhood photos – they’re all important.  They remind you where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

Most of all, your home should be a place of sanctuary and security.  It should be the place you feel happy to fall asleep in.  The place you can’t wait to get to at the end of the day.  Granted, I am a bit of a hermit, and I probably spend more time at home than most people.  Because I need lots of me time and space, anti-social wench that I am 🙂

My seven-year-old niece had a sleepover at my place on the weekend.  She slept with me (much more fun than sharing with Daddy – he snores!) and although I copped a few kicks to the back during the night, it was nice to share my space with that precious little person.  Having her be comfortable and feel secure with me is what home is really about.  I want my home to feel cosy and welcoming to everyone who visits me.  Especially the little ones.  That is way more important to me than having the most expensive furniture or crockery that matches my napkins.  Because home, most of all, should be about family – whatever family means to you.

Hope your home is a happy place today and always.

x

IMG_9273

Advertisements
Image

Decorating FTW

I’m finally getting sorted in my new house.  I have procrastinated long enough, waiting to have all the storage display furniture I need in order to put things away and stop living out of boxes.  But, having come to my senses, I have decided that if I wait until everything is perfect and I have everything I need (or want), I will never get tidy have a home that I can actually feel happy to have visitors in.

So, with that in mind, I did a big clean up today and proceeded with some serious nesting.  My new console table in the entrance is great – it will enable me to store lots of stuff and it’s light and easy for me to move (with removable shelves).  I had wanted a sideboard/buffet for this area but had been unable to find one I liked or could afford.  In the end, I figured an “open” storage item would be better in my little house, and make things feel less closed in. I want to get baskets for the bottom shelf but am having trouble finding just the right ones, so at the moment it has IKEA boxes in it (not shown)
– they’ll do for now.

img_4137

I am going to have the big mirror mounted on the wall but, for now, it will just sit on the table.  It’s heavy enough to stay put.  I’ve tried to make all the knick-knacks and decorative pieces in the same sort of colour scheme/tone.  There’s artwork by my brother, a vintage child’s suitcase (rescued from a rubbish bin!), some op-shop finds, a stone gargoyle from a visit to the UK, tarot cards and a teeny weeny little vintage ivory elephant my Mum gave me.  I kinda hope the elephant is actually bone, not ivory…but it’s really old so I’m thinking it’s the less-than-p.c ivory.

img_4140

I think it’s all come together well.  I just hope I can get the rest of the house sorted and fit for human habitation and guests.  I actually hoovered and mopped the floors today!  Like a grown up person!  I did laundry and weeding and dusted and generally acted like an adult.  Hopefully this will not just be a passing fad for me.  I’m trying to be more domesticated.  I need to get a smaller vacuum cleaner for the stairs and second floor – lugging my big Dyson up and down the stairs is not great for my back.  I’m still suffering with a sore rib (it’s Costochondritis which is very painful, but nothing serious – just gotta give it time to settle down) and so I’ve probably done more than I should today.  I’ve lifted lots of heavy boxes and not rested at all so am expecting to be a bit delicate tomorrow.

img_4139

My craft room is still in a terrible state (hence the crafting lull I find myself in currently) but I am hoping to tackle that next.  I am dying to get stuck into something creative.  At the moment, the most creative I am being is moving boxes from one end of the room to another and figuring out ways to stack them so they don’t collapse on me.

Hope your day has been productive and happy 🙂

Image

Cosy Corner

Still nesting… I swear my little crow gets moved around at least 400 times before I find a spot for him.  He’s very fussy about where he goes (or, at least, I am) and doesn’t like to be somewhere that’s not in full view.  So, he’s sitting atop my brand new butler’s trolley / display cabinet thingy.  I love it – it’s so cute.  Room for books and knick-knacks and other stuff (ie junk) that needs to be quickly shoved into a drawer when people come over.

I don’t always buy brand new things – normally I am a hunt-around-until-you-find-it-second-hand kind of girl, but I wanted to have a few new things for myself this time.  Especially this piece – it’s quirky and colourful and just a bit different.  It matches with everything else and yet stands out at the same time. And Mr Crow seems to like it 🙂

photo

I’m still in a mess everywhere, but am resigned to being in that state for quite some time.  Setting up a home takes a while and I want to get things right, not just chuck stuff around the rooms and say “that’ll do”.   So I am doing little bits at a time – that way it is less overwhelming.  I’m still struggling with motivation about life in general right now (got a lot going on and my brain has decided to just not deal with ANYTHING) so putting stuff away and being tidy is not exactly a priority (I say that like it is EVER a priority for me).  But the more little cosy corners I have, the happier I feel.  Eventually, my whole house will be one big cosy corner – I hope so, anyway.

May your home be happy today and always x

Image

Craft Room Sneak Peak

I would like to say that I am being much more organised and tidy in my new house, but my pants would immediately perform an act of self-combustion, and then I would have another mess on my hands, not to mention one less pair of pants, so I shall tell the truth : I am hopeless.  I have not gained any organisational skills and am still unable to keep a well-presented home.

To be fair, I have only just moved and I know these things take time.  Or, at least, that’s what everyone keeps telling me.  They don’t specify how much time, but apparently it is a reasonable amount and I should milk it for all it is worth.  I am mostly struggling with knowing where to put everything (having ditched a lot of my old storage items before I moved, like an idiot).  And I want it to look nice too, so I am focusing on making things look pretty, instead of just finding homes for it all.  There’s a big part of me that just wants to get rid of everything and start over.

I’m also struggling a lot with the old black dog right now and trying to ignore it isn’t working.  I was planning on starting to exercise again this week, go for a walk around my new neighbourhood etc, but I injured my foot badly (don’t even ask me how because I don’t honestly know – I think it was getting up and down a ladder on the weekend, but I’m worried it is plantar fasciitis) and I am hobbling around like an old woman.  I also have a very painful rib which was, possibly, caused by some over-zealous hugging from my youngest nephew a couple of weeks ago.  He squeezed me like a tube of toothpaste and, although it was very sweet and appreciated, I was very sore afterwards and now feel like I actually have a cracked rib.  I know I don’t – he’s only 7 and I doubt he’s strong enough to break someone’s rib – but it hurts.  I do have a bit of a weak spot on that side, having damaged it before, so it’s not totally surprising, but is is annoying and makes me feel even more feeble. (NB : note to said nephew’s Mother – don’t be mad at him.  It’s not his fault his Aunt is a bit pathetic, and I will take a hug from him, or any of his brothers and sisters, any day of the week.  And it is also possible I hurt it some other way, like coughing or breathing weird or bashing in to something…because I actually do that quite often).

So, all I want to do right now is sleep (which I am also not doing very well at the moment – it is eluding me every night and I am waking up later and later each morning) and not do anything.  Again, failing as an adult.  I did do my dishes last night though, so yay me!

But, I know I will get things sorted and have things the way I want them.  I can be a tad hard on myself and not allow myself any downtime.  I’ve nearly sorted my craft room/office and am itching to get stuck into some projects, especially as the weather is starting to warm up and I don’t need to be tucked up in the lounge room, practically sitting on top of the heater in order to keep warm.  One side of my craft room looks like this :

img_4101

…so neat! So orderly!

…And then the other side looks like this…

img_4103

…I like to call this the “Giving up on Life” side of the room 🙂

So, as I said, it is getting there.  I just have to whittle away at the mess and chaos and try not to be impatient about it.  I can only do so much when I am working full time and I have to give the black dog some room too (should probably give him a permanent basket in the corner, quite honestly).  I am still very, very grateful to have my own place (it honestly hasn’t sunk in yet, although the panic about paying for it has) and am trying to remember that and that I can take as long as I like to get it just right. Basically, I am just aiming for being able to see the floor at this stage!

Hope you are happy and settled and have order and peace in your little corner of the world.

x

Image

Pottin’ Up

As mentioned before, I am quite a neglectful gardener.  I go through phases where I am all about gardening and taking care of things, and then I fall into a state of meh.  Translation : I forget to water things, allow plants to become root-bound, let things die, and basically just get really slack where anything plant-related is concerned.

Moving house is a time in which you forget all about your garden and focus entirely on more pressing matters.  Your garden does not get a look in.  It withers and crumbles in front of your weary eyes as you stumble about looking for boxes.  When you’ve actually moved into your new place, you notice how sad and near-death everything looks.  Then you pretend you didn’t notice and avert your eyes.  Or, if you’re a crazy person like me, you apologise to your plants on a daily basis and promise them the sun and moon if they will just stay alive until you can sort them out.

img_4077

This weekend I did lots of re-potting.  Many of my succulents had outgrown their pots and were trying to escape by falling over and/or sending out roots into the air in the hope of finding new ground.  It was a sorry spectacle.  My kalanchoes were so pathetic they barely resembled kalanchoes at all, and I had a couple of cacti that had definitely seen better days and probably wouldn’t see many more if I didn’t attend to them soon.

img_4059

I have a very sunny, enclosed outdoor area which is pretty perfect for succulents.  It’s warm and protected from the weather.  It also means that, when I am little Miss Green Thumbs, I am also warm and protected from the weather.  I have some fears that, in Summer, it will be like a hothouse/sauna, but for now it is useful and perfect fro my needs.  I have my little citronella candle a-burnin’ near my potting table, so I don’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes (they love me) and it is suitably near to the kitchen so I can make tea (very important).

Anyway, I re-potted kalanchoes and echeveria, pelargoniums, haworthias, cacti and aeoniums and gave them all better homes.  Some will need re-potting again soon but at least they can have a bit of respite in the meantime.  And I can feel less guilty.  I have some other plants that need my attention too, so will try and get those done this week.

img_4073img_4070

So, my plants and I are settling in to our new digs and trying to make sense of a different environment and lifestyle.  I was starting to feel a little bit root-bound myself, so it is good to start afresh and make plans for the new growth, instead of letting rot set in (did you like that little analogy there? 🙂 )

Hope you are blooming wherever you are planted x

img_4058

Image

Winter-Spring Beauty

Despite my ever-neglectful approach to gardening, I am lucky to have a garden full of colour at the  moment.  My succulents and other hardy plants are blooming and sprouting all over the place – I love the little buds and new growth.  It’s always amazing to me that such beautiful things can develop from my sad efforts at green-thumbery.

Everything needs re-potting and moving – you can see in some of the photos how the poor little buggers are reaching desperately for the sun and light – but, as I myself am moving very soon, they will have to wait a bit longer.  Hopefully everything will survive the move and the new surroundings.  I don’t know what kind of sun/light situation I will have at the new place, whether my garden will be in shadow or full sun for most of the day – this remains to be determined (ie I didn’t actually think about it at the time of purchase).

I’ve noticed a few early tulips coming up in my neighbour’s garden – every year they have a beautiful display of bulbs and annuals.  Maybe down the track I will try those too, when I am settled and feel I have properly put down roots of my own.  Not sure how long that will take and whether I will feel right at home straight away.  I really do hope so. I’m going to try.  I need a place to call my own and to be proud of and want to welcome people into.

I hope to grow some vegetables and herbs, as well as purely decorative plants.  It’s so nice to cook with produce you have grown yourself and makes everything taste that little bit better.  I have lots of plans – let’s see how many come to fruition!  You know I will document both my successes and failures 🙂

Enjoy today, wherever you are, and try and see some beauty in it, if you can x

Image

When I Have My House

House-buying is hard.  It is scary.  You have to deal with sharks and idiots and your own self doubt and timidity.  You have to worry about money.  You have to worry about making bad decisions.  You have to fight your fear of being locked in and stuck in a situation you fear you can never get out of.  You have to fight the urge to crawl into bed for a hundred years and not come out until the world is less scary again.

But, on the plus side (and I am really trying to find plus sides in my life right now), you get to have a home.  Your own home.  It will be a struggle and new worries will pop up now that you are responsible for everything that goes on within those four walls.  If stuff needs fixing, you have to get it fixed – you can’t just call the property manager and get them to sort it out.  But, by the same token, you can get whoever you want to fix it and WHEN you want them to fix it.  You don’t have to wait three weeks to have a leaky tap sorted.  Granted, you could also be a grown-up and learn how to fix a leaky tap yourself but let’s deal with one thing at a time here!  Baby steps, people, baby steps!

So, this morning, feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed, and sad about having to leave my little rented house and the lovely suburb that has been my haven and my security for the last three years, I started trying to think of all the things that I should see as positives.  And there are lots of them, if I just take the time to really look (and not be such a party-pooping, down-in-the mouth pessimist).

  1. I will have my own home.  I never thought I would accomplish this.  Fifteen years ago, I had about $1000 to my name.  Now I am buying a house.  I have worked hard for this.  I have saved and scrimped and been a total tightwad so that one day I might be able to buy myself a little house that is all mine.  I’m allowing myself a little bit of pride about that.  It’s a big deal.
  2. Having your own place means you can paint walls bright purple if you want to.  I don’t want to, but I can if I want to.  And nobody can stop me.
  3. No more rent inspections.  Hallelujah!
  4. I can get pets!  I get to be crazy old cat lady after all 🙂 Finally!
  5. I can knock as many holes in the walls for picture-hanging as I like.
  6. I can knock out walls altogether if I like.  Although I should probably get a professional to do that.  Not just start swinging a sledgehammer about because I’m bored and there’s nothing on TV or I’ve watched too many episodes of Masters of Flip.
  7. I can have a beautiful garden.  Or let it all die and just have weeds if I like.  It’s my house AND my garden.  I can do what I want.
  8. Nobody can tell me I have to move out.  Except maybe the bank, if I forget to pay my mortgage.  Or my hoarding becomes a real issue and the council condemns my place and tells me I have 30 days to exit.  Don’t laugh – it could happen.
  9. I don’t have to worry about spilling stuff on the carpet, or marking the walls, or breaking stuff.  I don’t plan on doing those things, but if they DO happen, no one is going to get cranky except me.
  10. Because it’s a two-storey, my craft room will be upstairs.  So all my mess and junk and chaos can be contained on one floor.  The ground floor will be neat and tidy and look like a grown-up lives there.  This is my plan.  I’m not very good at following plans, so we shall see how this one pans out.
  11. Financial security.  Nothing is certain in these un-certain times, but equity is something to hold on to.  And I don’t want to be still renting when I am 80, because rents will be like a bazillion dollars higher than they are now and I will be a crazy old cat lady pensioner.  As it is, I will be paying a mortgage until I’m in my 70s.  Which is a little scary.  But I am trying not to think about that right now.  It makes me hyperventilate and feel a bit sick.
  12. I will have an actual spare bedroom.  Not just a couch.  My Mum can come and sleep in an actual bed when she stays.  I can have my nephews and nieces over to stay.  Friends can drop in and stay the night.  I can be a proper hostess.  I can also just hoard more stuff in the spare bedroom.  Let’s not kid ourselves – you know there’s a very real possibility of it happening.
  13. While I’ve been fretting over the thought of being locked in to a mortgage, I should have been calmed by the thought of never having to move again if I choose to stay there long-term.  I hate moving.  It’s the pits.  I’ve moved four times in the last 9 years and also moved three libraries – I’m so over it.  After this month, I never want to see another packing box ever again.  Or at least for a good long while.
  14. I can start decorating properly and figure out what my style is.  I can experiment with colour and designs and really make this home my own.
  15. I can discover a new neighbourhood.  While I am going to miss South Perth dreadfully, I am going to get to know a new neighbourhood and maybe find some awesome spots to walk and eat and catch up with friends.  Maybe there’s some nice parks.  Maybe they have cool shops.  Maybe I will have really great neighbours. I don’t know the area well at all, so I am going to try and be brave and get out there and see what’s what.  And I have a car – I can always drive to South Perth if I am having withdrawal symptoms.
  16. The house will be all mine.  Did I say that already?

So, there’s lots of positives.  I know I am lucky to even be able to purchase a house at all and I am trying to remember that.  Because not everyone is so blessed.  I’m lucky to have always had a roof over my head, whether it be a rented one or my own.  Coincidentally, the roof in the new place has some issues, and I will have to sort them out otherwise I might NOT have a roof over my head but, I can do that.  Because it’s my house and my responsibility.  Roof and all.  See you in 30 years 🙂