One thing I’ve noticed in my rather limited experience of visiting men’s houses, is that they take an overall much more minimal approach to decorating than women do (or at least my friends and I!). Looking around now my home is stuffed full of interiors ‘stuff’: magazines, flowers, lamps, cushions, pictures…. some bloke’s houses look barely moved in to.
Some – not all, however. I’ve been in the house of one man that rivalled my own for how clean, tidy and shiny it was. There literally aren’t many things that impress me in life more than a man with a well-decorated, tidy and thoroughly DIY-ed home.
Alvine Ruta rug – £150, IKEA
For me my house is an evolving beast. It changes with the seasons, according on my mood and current lifestyle. I’ve been working a lot lately so the focus has been on low-maintenance; stripping out as much of the clutter as possible and having somewhere cosy and clean to come home to at the end of the day. When the kids were younger I preferred brighter colours and more playful patterns. I love it – I could potter around tweaking my house for days.
What am I saying? I DO potter around tweaking my house for days.
I’ve recently been going at the living room. My house has an L-shaped downstairs and just before I moved in the wall between the kitchen and dining space was knocked through to create an open-plan space. You walk into my hallway then into the lounge, which leads to the dining area and the kitchen, where my workspace is. Open plan-induced noise aside this works really well for us; I like being able to keep an eye on the kiddos while I’m cooking dinner or cleaning up and even though the space isn’t huge we don’t need a palace right now. All those toilets to clean… no thank-you.
Stockholm cushion – £12 IKEA. Ludde sheepskin -£30 IKEA. Tray and side table… guess where? IKEA.
Because of this set-up I like to define the different areas; I have a rug for the lounge area, one for the dining spot and another that leads into the kitchen. I feel like this helps differentiate the different purposes these spaces give.
Recently I’ve had a bit of an overhaul of my accessories in the living space and kitchen (you can see how it looked previously here, and when we first moved in here). This might not SOUND like much (er, if you’re a bloke maybe) but I’m telling you, the difference is huge. Even fellow accessories lover Bryony noticed it when she came over last week.
Blanket, IKEA. DIY’d eBay table.
Cecily floor lamp, £90 c/o BHS.
Looking around there’s still loads more I want to do. I want to work out how to create a larger work space somewhere in the house (but would rather not have this in my bedroom) as it currently doubles as my booze storage area/countertop next to the fridge. The big iMac really only gets used for recipe research and music listening so maybe this even needs to go? (shock horror – not my old baby!)
Fruit bowl, £15 Ben de Lisi at Debenhams
I also want to pare down my belongings a bit. Even looking at these pictures it’s quite surprising how ‘busy’ the room looks with my bits and pieces – do I need the random pictures I bought on eBay? Should I be keeping my teapot and butter dish in the cupboard? Is there really such a thing as too many cushions? How do I stop my house being over-run by toys?
For me, a home is more than just a few rooms stuck together by cement; it’s a living, breathing and evolving environment. Can you feel yours changing as you do?