Once upon a time, but not so very long ago, Bingley and I moved into our first house together. Technically I wasn't moving in, supposedly I was still at College, but in those tempestuous can't go a single hour without being with you days, I spent most of my waking (and sleeping hours there). It was a large 2 bedroom unit with an ensuite, a poky early 80s style kitchen and a courtyard. Even though we were sharing it with one of our college friends I was enraptured. The stained 15 year old carpet and the interesting textured ceiling and the old lady light fittings were part of its charm. As were the floral cane sofa bed, the red chipboard table tht we had our tv on and the old manky foam mattress tht we slept on the floor.
As time went on we scrounged an eclectic mix of thrifted, donated and cheap furniture that I tried to fit into the space and to bring together with a budget approaching zero. It never worked and as we bought more (much of it necessary as our idyllic little place had no storage) the space began to contract.
When we fell pregnant with the Elfling I was determined to buy quality, matching furniture. I wanted her room at least to be bright and airy and to have an ambience that calmed me as soon as I entered. I think I did relatively well, and am still happy that we bought the matching antique teak stained solid wood furniture. It made me so happy. But as a little Monkey, and then a Possum were added, there was no space. Even with Ikea like genius, there were still 5 of us in a 2brm house. The kitchen was still poky and we were exploding at the seams.
When it was decided that we were moving to this house I fell in love at first sight. To be honest, the thing that had me weak at the knees was the built in storage. After months of having to deal with "piles" of things that had no place, the idea of somewhere to put everything was swoon worthy.
It wasn't until we were moved in, and the number of mystery boxes had started to dwindle, that I allowed myself to properly fantasise about decorating the house. About deciding on themes for rooms and choosing soft furnishings and little elements to bring it all together. I think, after years of living in Ikea/thrift/crowded hell, I did't think it possible that we could do it anyway. I bought an exorbitantly expensive "grown up" leather couch and nearly hyperventilated at the cost. But I wanted quality. I sourced and bought the slimline LCD TV, the TV cabinet, the lamps, te bedside tables. I spent all my tax return and my FTB bonuses and most of our careful savings.
And then last night we invited our closest friends to come celebrate our grown up house. Our red and dark wood bedroom. Our chocolate brown and warm wood and red accents lounge room. Our glorious kitchen with miles of bench space that could display my favourite sleek white serving ware. Harry's bright room with the matching nursery furniture. The girls' pink confection of a room with glossy soft white furniture.
But my favourite thing of all, was stringing fairy lights over our front verandah, and sitting in my hammock, looking at the glittering icicle lights and feeling like I finally had a home that I loved.
I'm not "playing" house any more. I am lying on my buttery leather couch, looking at my fairy lights as Bingley watches our modern TV in our neat and open and airy lounge. It feels like my house. Wind chimes tinkling in the breeze, solar lanterns swaying and it's mine. My style, my taste, I can't describe how perfectly happy it makes me. To look out and see beautiful things. There are still things to do, things that need work, things for me to buy. But for te first time since we left the house that gave me my babies, I feel like I am home.