This past week I have finally found the time to sort through the many unpacked boxes (left from our move in the Spring!!) and our house is beginning to feel more like our home – just in time for Christmas. The biggest challenge, for me, has been personalising a rented house so that it works well for us as a family and reflects who we are. I think we’re finally getting there, and so I wanted to share it with you.
Our house is a typical period terrace (late Victorian/Edwardian I believe – I must ask my sister!) with two rooms downstairs plus a galley kitchen, then bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. We also have a third floor with another bedroom, which will become an office/guest room/play area/whatever we need it to be! So we have a fair bit of space to work with.
I’m not the most naturally tidy person (just ask my mum!) but I do like my house to have some kind of order, and so making the most of the space we have is really important to me. I find it a constant challenge to stop the spread of Little Man’s toys from taking over the entire house, but I can try and make sure other areas of our lives are kept in check…
For instance, my craft supplies now live in the dining room – crochet yarn in baskets on the welsh dressed, papercraft in the cupboards beneath, and sewing supplies in a nearby cupboard with my jewellery making stuff on top. You don’t know how happy it makes me to know exactly where everything is for those rare moments I get to sit down and craft!
The dining room itself is often taken up by everyday household activities – clothes on the airer, piles of stuff on the table that need sorting, and bags dumped where they land when we come in cold and wet. It’s a transitional room and one which we are still working on, but sorting out the cupboards has really given me hope that one day we’ll get it right.
The kitchen is, again, a practical room which has been hard to personalise. But we are getting there. The fact that we have very limited storage space has actually been quite a blessing in disguise, as it has made us think rather than simply shoving things in cupboards. I love the hanging racks for our pots and pans, which would normally end up in the cupboard, and the plank of wood across the top of the fridge and freezer is the perfect spot for storing all our small kitchen appliances. It’s tidy and personal, in its own way.
But my favourite part of the kitchen has to be this little shelving unit that shows exactly what teas we have available at any time. Our friends all know just how many varieties we like to have, so it’s great to have them in easy reach and bringing a little bit of brightness to the wall, don’t you think?
The final room downstairs is our living room. This is the place we spend the most time as a family, so it seems perfect to fill it with things that reflect us as a family. The painting on the wall was made by my friend Dawn as a wedding gift and takes pride of place (it’s the first thing you spot when entering the room). The silver frames on the adjoining wall have prints of each of the 8 pagan holidays in the Wheel of the Year…
We’ve also made a little “altar” in the alcove, one shelf for my and one shelf for TJ, to keep the things that we feel connected to at the present time. Little Man’s contribution to the room is, of course, his toys! It’s so nice to come home, flop on the sofa, and know this room is a real family space.
Upstairs things get even more personalised, without losing the practicality. Our bedroom is a really decent size, and we’ve managed to fill every space with storage of some kind. But we’ve also filled it with things that reflect our relationship… last year I chose a romantic rose theme for our bedroom and you can see that we’ve been slowly building on this idea with photos of loved ones dotted around and a feature rose on the wall. We’ve also opted for pink bedding, and a matching pink blackout blind.
A blackout blind is really important for us, as our neighbour tends to leave his kitchen light on all night long (how crazy is that?) and it shines out directly beneath our window. We chose this blind from Direct Blinds and it was so easy to fit as it comes ready cut to fit your window exactly and has a safety latch for the cord.
This is something I wish we’d had when we got Little Man’s blackout blind a couple of years ago, because my worries over him getting tangled in the cord made me snip it, which wasn’t the most practical thing to do!
Little Man’s room is the epitome of making the most of space, as it is far smaller than his room in our old house. We’ve added a bookcase to his room to store the hundreds of books he already has, and opted for a chest of drawers rather than a wardrobe to avoid the feeling of crowding in such a small room. Like us, he has photos in his room and we plan to add many more as he loves looking at them and telling us who they are and what memories they show.
And that’s about it, for now. I still have to sort out the top floor, but once that is done we’ll be ready to decorate for Christmas. Isn’t it lovely to have a warm and cosy home to return to at the end of a winter’s day?
Thanks for virtually visiting our home, I’d love to know what you think. It would also be fun to hear about what you’ve done in your home to make it reflect who you are!
Disclaimer: The pink blackout blind was provided by Direct Blinds in return for this post. However the style and content of the post are my own. I would happily recommend Direct Blinds, having used their service and being pleasantly surprised by the vast range of options, ease of selecting a made-to-measure blind and the speed with which it was delivered!