It will be white. Or neutral at the very least. Like you see in the pictures of those glossy double-page spreads in magazines. Sentimental photos and quirky art will be tastefully displayed in groups of colour-pop photo frames. The whole thing will feel coherent. It will flow (that’s what designers say isn’t it?). Surfaces will be homes for treasured knick-knacks and individual “pieces” collected throughout our life together.
Colour will come from accessories, changed periodically and whimsically, with little or no regard for a cushion costing £40. The floors will be sparkling, the curtains always pulled, the beds always made. It will be cosy, homely, comfy and yet stylish. Period details from the structure of the place will co-exist with modern touches, and all in a palette of pastels against the white. There will be a log burner and a rug. But no dust; there definitely won’t be dust.
At least, that’s what it looks like in my head, our new home.
In reality we will live in it, so it will be nothing like that dream. Surfaces will be covered with what Husband lovingly dubs “stuff”. The walls will be filled with an eclectic collection of family photos and the children’s art. The floors will be cluttered, the walls will be marked, the colour scheme will be anything but neutral because it would look dirty as soon as the paint brushes were dry. And I will take great care to source accessories at the best price possible and which will last. There’s no room for whimsy in this household I’m afraid.
Right now our current house has been on the market for three months and had only one viewing. Our 1980s box, the one I refused to see three times before being finally persuaded to give it a chance. The place we’ve knocked about, extended, improved, tended and titivated. Our address for the last ten years, which has seen us become Mr and Mrs, become Mummy and Daddy.
I quite like it now, our house. We have a good amount of space, have replaced the kitchen and bathroom, plus added an ensuite. Everywhere has been carpeted, and decorated many times over. Looking out on the garden through the French doors as I write this, the plants are verdant and green, with various shades of purple and white flowers (I think it needs some pink and yellow to mix it up a bit).
But we want to move. We need to move. To scratch the home improvement itch that is consuming us both. If we weren’t moving I think I’d want another baby, and given Husband went off for a permanent procedure three years ago, that’s not an option on the table.
So I will nurture our new home instead. I have set up Pinterest boards for my ideas, ripped bits from magazines and daydreamed about knocking down walls (just call me Kirstie Allsop). The reality is that we want to buy a project. Hopefully one with swirly 70s carpets and a brown bathroom. A shell with potential that will take us up to five years to put right. And it’s highly unlikely that everything will be white with stylish pastel accessories, because we have two Tinies and family living (or ours at least) just isn’t like that.
But I can dream. My name’s Louise, and I’m an Ideal Home-aholic.
Louise Turner is a mum, wife and writer. In between running her business helping companies win awards she writes about Husband, The Tinies and their family camping adventures at www.allthecampinggear.co.uk She likes gin and sleep, but doesn’t get enough of either.