I spend a lot of my time on Instagram fantasising over all the lovely home interior pictures I come across, amongst pictures of fashion, food and other mummy’s. It always makes me wonder, how real are they? As much as I try to make my house look nice, it costs a huge amount of time and money to furnish it in the way I see in all these pictures. And at the end of the day, with a toddler in sight, lets face it, not one room will be free from books, toys, clothing or clutter.
We don’t live in a posh house, nor do we live in an overly big house but our house is home. We moved in just over two years ago before we fell pregnant with Leo and it needed a fair bit of updating. A fresh lick of paint in every room, a new kitchen and the back garden needed some serious TLC. Before I became too big and useless to help with any of these tasks, we set about painting the entire upstairs. We started with the bathroom, walls and ceiling, then moved onto our room as I figured that’s where we would spend most of our time (all be it sleeping) aside from the living room. I knew that the cupboard wasn’t big enough for all mine and George’s clothes and shoes, and the carpet was seriously worn and a horrible green colour. But before we could get on with any of these larger tasks, we found out I was expecting in the September.
In a haste and fuelled with excitement we decided it would be best to sort out the room for our new arrival. So by the time February had come we had completely revamped the baby’s room. We removed all the horrible shelving that filled an entire wall, painted the room in a bright yellow (regardless of the fact we didn’t know if it were to be a boy or a girl) and bought the furniture ready to fill the room.
Month by month we took on a new task. We left the outdoor work until the summer but whilst we had the time we re-painted the spare (junk) room, the living room and the kitchen. The kitchen was by far the biggest task. It was painted a horrid peachy colour which just looked dirty and the tiles between the kitchen units were a mix of the peachy colour on the walls and a mottled green. I spent hours leafing through DIY magazines and google-ing images of modern kitchens on a budget when I came across this beautiful kitchen which was painted in a dark blue with white units and teal coloured accessories. As my hormones kicked in I told George that our kitchen was to look like that and nothing else would do. So we headed for our nearest DIY store and bought buckets of paint for the walls, the tiles and the kitchen units (it’s amazing what paint you can find these days).
With no rest for the wicked, George set about striping all the cabinet doors and revamping them with a glossy white paint out in the garage because the fumes were too strong for a pregnant lady. When he then took to painting the tiles, I had to evacuate the house and hide at my parents for the day whilst the smell dissipated. A good few coats of paint later and two weeks of George slogging away out in the garage, the kitchen now looked unrecognisable. (Although there is still a few things which need fixing, like a unit to disguise the boiler, a new sink and new worktops- isn’t there always).
It was soon summer, my stomach had swollen and I couldn’t bare the heat. So I left George in charge (under strict orders) to re-landscape the garden. I knew exactly what I wanted doing but I had to trust him to get on and do it. With a little help from his parents the garden shed got moved from being right in front of our patio doors to the back corner of the garden (I will still never know why someone decided it was a good idea to place a massive shed in front of the doors which blocked out all the daylight). We then took to a bit of weeding, moved the back border, lay some more patio slabs to create a bigger seating area and purchased a trolley-full of plants to add some colour. The following year however the plants never grew back and the garden looked sad again.
So last summer, we designed a new layout for the garden and George spent another couple weeks in the garage slogging away making giant planters which formed a low wall around the edge of the patio. We then spent a lot of time researching which plants to buy for our type of soil (listen to me all green fingered) and purchased yet another trolley-full of plants. So far, I am pleased to say that the garden now looks complete and even though it’s winter and the ground is covered in leaves, we still have a few flowers in bloom. Fingers crossed for the spring/summer.
Needless to say over the last couple years (between having a baby) we have spent a lot of time and money on revamping our house yet it still looks nothing like those in the pictures I see spilled all over the internet. But that doesn’t matter. Home is what you make it. It’s where memories are made and cherished forever. It’s not about the designer labels, or the decorative ornaments. It’s about the time you spend there and the people you spend it with.
Home- it’s what you make it.
Mummy Hazel xxx