Wednesday, 27 October 2010

They say the most stressful thing in life is moving home...

It has been six months since we moved into our flat and, despite my love and appreciation for the views, the convenience of the layout, the gorgeous gardens and having George the horse living just over our garden fence, I admit that this, the 8th time that I have moved home, has taken me the longest time to settle.

We moved from our last address because our landlord would do no repairs to our house but insisted on raising the rent twice annually. The condition of the house was appalling and we could no longer live in such a damp, cold and crumbling environment for any longer. The other children that lived in the street were bullying my son daily and my partner’s health was suffering.

We moved into our flat within hours of viewing. I was immediately attracted to the large, open rooms, the position on the mountainside, the three well looked after gardens, a beautifully decorated room for my son and the security of having an authority as a landlord instead of a crooked cowboy. Within three days, with a great deal of help from our families, we had decorated the living room, largest bedroom, the bathroom and passageway and unpacked the majority of our belongings.

Within a month, we completely transformed the garden. Flowers bloomed in every colour of the rainbow. It was the beginning of a long, hot summer and we had our very own breath-taking landscape right on our doorstep.

However, the rush, the stress and the hard work was exhausting and, although the move was the greatest thing that we have done for our sun and I would never, in a million years, return to the last house, I felt homesick. I have moved house 7 times in 10 years. Where is home?

Homesickness is depleting. When I close my eyes, I sometimes forget where I am. For years, I have had a reoccurring dream about moving home where we move to a house that is made up of all different parts of past properties that we have lived in, with a garden of one house, a front door of another, a bedroom of another, and so on. In my dream, I am emptying boxes of things that I have lost in past home-moves. The air is dusty, the walls are rotting and past friends that I have lost through moving surround me. I think that this dream sums up how I feel inside. I still feel ‘disentoriated’.

Last month, I decided that enough-was-enough. I could not possibly put us through moving again, we are very lucky to have found such a treasure in our hometown and I may as well make the most of what we have. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it has gone”. I woke up one morning and headed straight to B&Q. We redecorated the living room. When we first moved in, the living room was very well wallpapered, but it needed a lick of paint. We used spare paint that we had been keeping in the shed, painted three of the walls with Magnolia, and painted the feature wall Aqua Blue. The colour looked pretty with the lightly coloured wooden effect laminate flooring and newly fitted designer electric fire place and it was a great transformation that cost no money, although, over the past six months. I felt that the Blue was ‘uncomfortable’ to have to look at everyday.

I had already pondered what Red paint would look like on the walls. as we had recently been given a gorgeous, yellow-leather 3-seater settee and a matching 2-seater. The furniture made the Aqua Blue of the feature wall look worn and dull and the Magnolia made the yellow-leather look more like a dirty shade of white. I bought a tin of Crimson coloured paint and a tin of Ivory coloured, too. The decorating took just two days to complete. The night we finished, I took a step back, a deep breath and I smiled. For the first time, it felt like home.

I now hove the ‘decorating bug’. I find it amazing how a colour can, not only change a person’s mood, but also have an affect on everyday life. With a few scatter cushions, a new rug and some pretty nick-knacks, our living room is now cosy, warm and more like home than any of the places that we have lived before.

Tomorrow, we are having a shower fitting in the bathroom and the walls have been tiled from bath to ceiling. I woke up this morning and, once again, headed straight for B&Q. Today, we bought white, gold and silver wallpaper for the remaining bathroom walls and matching accessories and we also bought paint for my son’s room, His room is one of the nicest in the flat as the previous tenants had it professionally decorated for their child. The door and walls are cleverly half-covered in a Ton-And-Groove wood effect, using paint, wooden beading and Dado rail and above is wallpapered light yellow. The wood-effect is such an uncanny replica that only last week, my son noticed that it is not actually wood, but a painted grain. It is not until you knock it that you realise that it is a normal plastered wall. The radiator is covered with a fretted surround, concealed for safety, which is the feature of the room and right above the radiator is the window, which, if opened, is just an arms reach from the garden flowerbed just outside, so the view is great and he has privacy, as there are no houses facing his room.

Although the bedroom is decorated so immaculately, the snug feeling of having designed and created a new room is like a hug of familiarity, so I am hoping that my son can feel more relaxed and not feel like he is in another child’s room. The paint colours that I have chose for the walls are Midnight Blue to repaint the wood-effect in hope that the texture of the grain shows through and a bright Yellow for above. The image in my mind of how I think the colours will blend together looks really good. I just hope that I do not spoil an already beautiful room. My son is really excited and I made him a promise that he can help.

I am hoping to start decorating this weekend. When the bathroom and my son’s bedroom are complete, we have just the kitchen left to decorate. In all of the properties that we have lived at, we have never had the chance to decorate much more than the living rooms, as we have not stayed long enough, so, to me, this will eventually be the closest to home that I have felt since I moved out of my parent’s house 10-years ago.

So far...





(Which attracts very cute looking Gnomes)

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