When I was growing up, my family and I lived in many different homes and a few different countries. We lived in old Victorian houses, a 1930s house, a house that could only be reached by what seemed like 100 stairs, a Hong Kong high rise, and a Marina front apartment, to name but a few. But it will always be the old, beautifully quaint, black & white cottage, still my parent’s home, that has my heart.
We moved there when I was in my mid-teens, not long having returned from living in Hong Kong. I’ve made memories there with my family and still close friends. I remember winters spent leaning into the warmth of the kitchen’s old aga, Christmases, summers spent revising for exams in it’s immaculate garden, and fun times spent getting ready to go ‘out out’ with friends. Now I’m not saying this is where my love of old things began, I think it is something that has always been there, but it has undoubtedly influenced my choice of home and the things I like to fill that home with.
I like things with history, like the old stones in my rings, I like to wonder who once wore them. I like to imagine what our street would have been like when our Edwardian home was built, who lived here and what they were they like.
We will never be the people with the immaculate home, all clean lines and minimalism. We have three children and we are doing up our home on a small budget, it would be an unrealistic aspiration for us. But that’s OK, because I happen to like things that have had a bit of a life. I don’t mind the odd scuff, or scratch here and there. Good job really, as even our new things don’t stay looking new for very long.
So in this vein we have filled our home with a love for second hand. Our living room was furnished by ebay, even down to the fireplace, and the previous owner’s hand me downs, are dotted all around the house. There are the odd bits from charity shops, mostly old books (I love the way they look) and giant serving plates. We’ve painted old drawers, cupboards, a dining table and chairs and enjoyed every minute.
Would we be doing the same if our budget was endless, well that’s hard to say. But are we pleased with what we’ve done so far? Yes, we are. For us, it’s not about having the perfect home (thank god for that), it’s about having a home that feels like just that. A home.
Now there are times where I curse biting off more than we can chew. There are times where I wish for more money to get the jobs done. But there also times where I sit on that second hand sofa, all cosy in my dressing gown (in a hideous shade of purple), and think I’m very proud to call this house our home.
Ow shush your noise… we all love a good old cliché now and again.