There’s No Place Like Home

July 11, 2014


In my new job as Freelance Digital Editor for IKEA FAMILY LIVE Magazine I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of home in our lives (which luckily for me means lots of times on interior blogs and Pinterest). My thoughts always return to my own current living situation, how happy my home makes me and what I can do to make it lovely.

Looking back, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many times I’ve moved home in the last ten years. It’s actually insane and I’m a little bit ashamed to admit it.



Sixteen times.

That’s sixteen lots of boxes, way more than sixteen rolls of brown tape, sixteen removal vans (actually, once I did it with a shopping trolley and a Ford Fiesta), sixteen times my favourite shelves have been dismantled and re-built, sixteen times I’ve packed and unpacked my life. I’ve been to Nottingham, London, back to Nottingham, Olney and Milton KeynesSixteen times. 


My theory is that I was always striving for something to click. Waiting to move somewhere and get that realisation that yes, I belong here, this is where I’m supposed to be. But it never happened and I was always thinking: where next? Where next? I never knew where I wanted to bring my family up or where I wanted to call my ‘forever home’ (but I did know lots about where I didn’t want to live).

I also used to have a dislike of going away from home. I have no idea where this came from – day trips were fine but I wouldn’t like to stay anywhere overnight – when I look back on it now it seems very strange. These days I spend every other weekend in London and journey around as much as I can; Southampton last weekend, Amsterdam a couple of months ago. I like to adventure, explore and to visit. I spend the majority of my non-sleeping time at work or away so home has become a place of function: eating, sleeping, washing. And it’s always a lovely retreat.



I moved to my current home last year. It’s a much smaller house than I lived in before, the children have to share a room and it’s in the completely unsexy location of Milton Keynes (I used to actively aspire not to live here – love you really, MK!;) but I can honestly say this is the first place that has truly felt like home to me. I adore it: the L-shaped living space that means we’re all together all the time (usually in a bit of a mess…), the bedroom that feels like ‘me’, the kitchen my dad built, the skirting board my mum painted.



I love that the way I decorated speaks volumes about who I am, from the chevron rug to the eBay paintings and the unread magazines in every room. The kids’ drawings everywhere, the barbie shoes in my knicker drawer and the cushions and throws that I just. can’t. stop. buying. We really are home.



Home is the people you are with, the comfort you feel with your belongings around you and the happiness within yourself. It’s not your location or the sofa you bought from IKEA: they’re just fun extras that make life a bit different.

Do I want to be in Milton Keynes in this home forever? Noooo… visiting the beach for a few hours last weekend confirmed for me that my ideal will be somewhere by the sea, where my children can live an outdoorsy life. But for now home is home and home is happy, and we love it this way. So until I’ve saved up to buy my beach bar in Mediterranean Europe, our little house in MK is it.

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  • Reply My Two Mums July 11, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I love this. The home we are in is not quite our happy home yet. But it allows us to be close to the beach and lovely woodlands. I know once we find our new home it will feel just right.

    • Reply alice July 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      I can’t tell you how excited I was to see you both in an issue of IFL when I started a couple of months ago! I worked there 3 years ago and it really is the most lovely team of people. Your makeover was fantastic.

      And I’m totally jealous of the beach ;) x

      • Reply My Two Mums July 23, 2014 at 11:43 am

        We adored our make over. So sad that we moved out of the loft last year and are still trying to replicate what they did. But at least they gave us the base to work from. They were all super lovely too :)

  • Reply Toffeeaple July 11, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    You are just a short distance away form my home! I have been in MK for 43 years and I have loved each place that I have lived in; I hope you feel settled.

    • Reply alice July 11, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you! I feel very settled here. Everything is so convenient, it’s brilliant.

  • Reply Margarita July 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    it’s very sweet. I’ve moved about 10 times in 10 years, so I can see where you’re coming from. The best thing I heard once is to do what you can, with what you have, to make your house a home. Don’t spend too much, don’t be upset with “perfectionism”, just do what you can with what you have, and give it some love! Your home looks lovely.

    • Reply alice July 11, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you Margarita! I think in the old days I used to battle with not being able to reach that level of perfectionism but then I realised I was going to never have a home like a pinterest board ;)

  • Reply Katie July 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you, im 34, you could be my little sis and my husband has filed for divorce… long story, so very hard, gosh so very hard. I have no idea why or how divorce happens, the letter from his solicitors is unopened on the printer… Thank you for your posts xx

    • Reply alice July 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      So sorry hear that Katie :( You’re welcome to email if you need a friendly ear. Sending love xx

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