One of the things I had intended to do this year was make our home more… well… homely. When we first moved here we were all of a dither with big stuff that had been going on. The move was a rush job anyway, one that certainly took the then 18 month old Josie by surprise. She and I were here when the first of our furniture arrived; we’d been in the house an umber of times as it’s a new build and so you can roam about before purchasing. She liked it empty. The a big burly man appeared carrying HER sofa and added it to all the beige carpet and magnolia and she went MENTAL. Josie is certainly one of the people in the Puddle family who rather resents change and bringing furniture into the previously neutral and uncluttered place with lots of stairs was not on her make-me-happy list.
There is a picture somewhere of her screaming hysterically into my lap. Yes, I’m that sort of mother. I take photographic evidence before I comfort. There is a similar one of toddler Fran upside down in a toy box. She was howling admittedly, but it was still worth the photo-opportunity I should probably have done some work on reducing the stress levels this move would give Josie; I didn’t learn though as a few years later we went to a holiday park for a break and half way through the week she rather pathetically told us she liked our new house but wished we had brought a few of our things to it. We’d forgotten to mention it was only a holiday and she thought we had moved!
The house suffered next from the fact that not only was I in post trauma apathy, something I have since discovered I do with considerable aplomb, but I was a bit busy. Our shops got busier, the child were a lot of work and we had really very little money. The beige carpets (not our choice, got lumbered with them) and the creepily bland walls gained nothing more than the marks of considerable wear. Compared to many of the houses in our street, this one has probably lived 26 years for the 6 it has been built for. Maybe there is such a thing as the human:dog years thing for wear on a house with 4 home educated children in it. I damn well hope so to be honest, otherwise I just have to own up to being a rubbish housewife!
Things improved when we had a brief spell with some actual money; a lick of paint went up and Max and I managed to go furniture shopping somewhere that wasn’t Swedish. After looking about for an interesting coffee table for a while, we ended up being seduced by a rather lovely dark wood one due to it being half price in a clearance sale, which in turn led to some more lounge furniture and some very grown up looking sofas. In fact, our living room is probably still considerably more grown up that we are, but hopefully we’ll get to age into it! But I’m permanently disappointed with myself. I’m messy – and so are my children to the power of 10 – and I’ve lost the knack of making a house feel like a home. I keep meaning to somehow add homely touches, decorate corners with nice things and hang curtains I made from fabric I chose, like I did in the olden days. Somehow I still feel like I camp in this house and we might be here for a while, so I really would rather not feel like that.
So if you have hints and tips for making a house feel more like a home without spending too much, please feel free to suggest them. Somehow I need to get cosy and inviting back into the atmosphere here; if nothing else it might encourage me and the
reprobates children, to take a bit more care of the place.