A Tale of Two Homes


Did you ever see our home in Hampshire? I’ll see if I can dig out some photos. It was a rented flat, one of 4 which made up an old mill house. It was surrounded with rivers and riddled with damp! The garden was communal, huge, and it felt like we lived on an island!

Our new home is an upstairs maisonette. We have our own garden, loft and garage so are quite spoilt! The flat had a lot of work done on it before we moved in with new bathroom and kitchen suites, wood floor, carpets and all walls beautifully painted.

Our old home was furnished with items from a car boot sale. I think we got everything we needed for about £60. It was a complete mismatch of furniture and the floor was wooden but scratched and flawed.

Our new home came with furniture which all matched, it’s well put together and we bought some lovely curtains and lampshades as finishing touches.

It’s been really fascinating to see how these two different environments have shaped our lives.

In the old home we were not precious over anything. Everything was cheap and second hand, it could all be replaced very easily. We could quite happily spill tea on the sofa, or food on the rug! The home never looked clean even when we cleaned it, so we didn’t spend too much time or effort in cleaning or tidying. Our home was lived in!

In our new home there is an image to uphold. It seems like an insult to have such a lovely kitchen covered in letters and clutter! The surfaces look messy if there’s one item on them, it’s noticeable if the windowsills or knick knacks are dusty and yes…we have coasters!

This flat is gorgeous but because of that I feel like it has to be kept cleaner and tidier so that it looks ‘right’. We have also noticed that we go out for walks a lot less in this home. It may be because we are seeing family more often, but also we were encouraged to get out of our old home because of the damp!

It’s amazing how a different environment can change your life so much. I am definitely more ‘precious’ over this place which is making me wonder how we’re going to cope with the mess plum will make!

We considered getting a new sofa recently. Then I thought about how you’re not allowed to eat food near my parent’s new sofa. Then I thought about how we didn’t really care what we did with our old sofa, we used it for the purpose it was intended, and didn’t mind if it got ‘used’. So in the end, we bought a second hand sofa instead!!!

I had a friend tell me of someone he knew who didn’t like the stress of owning something too new and perfect.
If he bought a new car or motorbike he would grab a handful of gravel and throw it at it!! I know the feeling, my car was so much more relaxing to drive after my first dent!!

It’s hard to choose between the home being furnished with items that look beautiful and items that are practical. I want my home to look beautiful, but I don’t want the stress of having to protect these items from the wear and tear of everyday life.

I think perhaps I will always make sure our larger items (sofas, tables, beds) are practical and then perhaps put some little beautiful things around the place (vases, candles etc).

Or should all practical furniture be beautiful as well…?

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