Thursday, April 12, 2018


On Saturday, it was one year since we bought our house. 365 days since we collected our keys and officially became homeowners. The time has flown by and I can’t quite believe we’ve hit our anniversary in our little abode already. 

I found the the whole property buying process stressful, overwhelming and the form filling felt never ending. Once we got to the point of completing and collecting our keys, we (naively) thought a lot of the hard work was done - and boy, were we wrong!

In this post, I wanted to reflect on a few things I’ve learnt since that time... 

Your version of clean might be very different to someone else’s 

I’ve heard of people walking into their new home and feeling a real sense of pride. In fact, we felt that we had been royally mugged off. The previous owners had left the house that we were expecting to be pristine and neat for our arrival like a complete tip.  

There wasn’t an inch of the property that had been cleaned and they had kindly left their weeks worth of rubbish behind the kitchen door for us to dispose of. The kitchen cupboards took four of us three hours to clean and the cooker was equally vile.  There was an array of grubby work trousers discarded on top of the fitted wardrobes in our bedroom and when we cleared them, we discovered a gap between the wardrobe and the wall.  

Long story short, we decided to dismantle them for fear of what could be lurking there. I’m SO glad we did; among other things, we discovered used tissues, empty microwave meal trays, a worn Borat manki and dirty boxer shorts. How lush eh? 

Hopefully, you don’t encounter such vileness as we did but on lower level, always be prepared that someone else’s version of cleaning a house could differ greatly to yours. 

Not everything will run smoothly

It was pretty clear to us quite quickly, following the above, that things with the house may not go exactly as we planned. 

When we saw our home without the presence of the last owner's furniture, it was apparent that we needed to decorate almost everywhere which was not something that we were expecting. We also then discovered that a number of our walls were in need of a little TLC. Cue some fine filler and a call to the plasterer -  and further delays!

Magnolia is a bit boring 

When we first went paint shopping, we settled for magnolia thinking it was an easy choice. We opted for it in our lounge and up in our bedroom too (we opted for white in our two other bedrooms; one being my dressing room and the other being our guest/Ben's office). 

In just a year, I have grown quite tired of the shade in our living room and I am already re-imagining the space completely differently. Magnolia has proved a bit mundane and I want to make the room a bit more exciting so once we have finished up the last bits of our hallway, we are redoing it! I only hope I don't get the same urge to switch it up again next year!

You will probably find some amazing things secondhand 

I am forever checking Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace for house bits because it is incredible what you find! Even by word of mouth we have picked up some great bargains, including our sofa, which was nearly new that my in law's neighbours didn't have space for. We paid just £20!

Obviously, I do still love to scout our homeware pieces in shops but I get a real sense of pride when I find something secondhand that will look great in our home. Especially when I am getting it for a fraction of the price but still in excellent condition. 

When people offer to help you, let them

When we first moved in, Ben and I were set that we would do everything ourselves and without any assistance. We would get the house looking perfect and then invite everyone over to admire our handiwork. 

In fact, we had a bigger task on our hands than we expected and we could not have achieved what we have without our close family and friends. Even on the first day, it took four of us three hours to clean our kitchen enough to be able to put food away! Since then, we've had people in helping us strip wallpaper, repaint, correct light fittings - the list goes on. 

It can be so easy to be too proud to let people lend a helping hand, but honestly, you should feel lucky that people are willing to offer their support. I certainly do! 

The lion share of the work was still completed by us and, when I look around sometimes, I can't hide my pride at the fact that we have done something we didn't at one many points think was possible; we have made our house a home. 

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