Sixteen years ago, on my 23rd birthday, I moved into my own home. Never being one to do things by halves, it was a pretty busy day. I took the day off work for a job interview. When the interview finished, I collected the keys for my new house. Having filled up the car with everything I owned from my mum’s, I drove to my new place and emptied the car. All my worldly possessions piled up in a small corner of the bedroom. The phone rang, I’d got the job. I immediately quit my old job and in the course of a day, my whole life changed forever.
When life gets in the way
I’ve never really been one for spending much time at home. Prior to having children, I worked long hours. When I wasn’t working I was usually out with friends or exercising, and during my annual leave I’d always go travelling. Other than basic redecorating when I first moved in, the house wasn’t my priority. I got planning permission on part of the garden and sold it off as a building plot so I had some equity in the house. I moved out but still owned it, moving back in after we got married when I was pregnant with Libby.
Eventually, we put new windows in and patio doors. We built a decking to make the garden usable for the children as it had previously been on a huge slope. A new boiler was a necessity, as was a new bathroom suite. We did the kitchen bit by bit so it’s almost done now, but the rest of the house needs a lot of work. We’re hoping to move over the next few years to be closer to the girls’ school, so it’s time to put some TLC into this house before we do.
A long list of improvements
We’ve got to the point with this house where I’m not quite sure where to start. Everything needs redecorating, starting with the children’s bedroom. We need more built-in storage so there’s space for the mountains of stuff the children accumulate. We need carpets upstairs, and flooring downstairs.
At the moment, we’ve got floorboards throughout the house, which I do love but it’s absolutely not practical with a dog and two children. Instead, I’m looking at laminate wood flooring. It will need to be a really good quality one that won’t scratch and I want to be able to use the same flooring throughout the downstairs, plus in the bathrooms and landing upstairs.
Whilst the main reason for redecorating and making improvements is so the house becomes easier to sell, I’m also looking forward to it being a bit more homely for us. We all love it here, but I’m very aware that the girls don’t have a typical children’s bedroom. Their toys are all in a corner of the living room and they share one wardrobe for all their clothes. Living in a beautiful home has never been a priority for us. Enjoying life has always come first, and it always will. But it will be a great feeling to invite people round and be proud to show them where we live.