Everytime I open a design magazine and see all those amazing interior spaces I start to feel dissatisfied with my home.
Let me explain something to you – we live in (what I think is) a beautiful home. It’s just not a design-magazine-worthy home, no matter how much I wish it could be. Here’s why – I didn’t start with a blank canvas (even though we built our home). As much as I’d have loved to have gone out and bought everything brand new when we moved in, there’s just no way that budget would have allowed it. We moved in with furniture my husband and I had brought with us from our flatting days, some of which was passed on from grandparents – think pink lazy boy rockers (the chairs, not the grandparents). Some of our furniture was eager first purchases from when we first moved in together – before I had developed a clear sense of my own style, and was still giving my husband-to-be a major vote in these decisions (uncomfortable bright blue lounge suit). And some of it was just purely functional, showing the wear of 3 small children climbing all over it, or was obviously bought cheaply when funds were at a premium. Sound familiar? I’m guessing that most of us have started out in similar circumstances.
Slowly, slowly I’m putting together the home of my dreams. Slowly, but surely…one to-die-for print, carefully chosen cushion and off-the-wall second hand shop purchase our house is moving from one phase of our lives to the next. And this is a transition that most of us will make.
We don’t all start with a blank canvas, and a huge budget. Looking at décor magazines gives me inspiration – I’ve learnt that I don’t need to pick up and idea and transfer it wholesale into my home. What works best for me is to pick out exactly what it is I love about a photo in a magazine and decide how to translate them best in our home. I’ve learnt to bear in mind that many of the amazing photos in the amazing magazines are vignettes – shots put together to show a flavour or a mood rather than a snapshot of a complete room.
There are parts of my house I absolutely love, and other aspects that I put up with until I can change. There are design ideas I’ve tried that haven’t worked, or that other people may not like but that I do. It’s not all perfect, but it is a home filled with love and laughter, and noise and handprints. And one day it may well be in a design magazine – for now though, I’m happy to consider it a project and live happily in it. X