image from style-files.com via pinterest
I have a confession to make. I'm a little bit addicted to lifestyle and interiors blogs. It's a slightly healthier and cheaper option than it's parent addiction (now cured) which was homes magazines, or 'house porn' as I affectionately thought of it. Mine is a deep love for beautiful cottages and old houses, white washed walls, crisp linens and wildflowers from the garden in a jam jar. It's a love of spacious loft conversions, funky textiles, ingenious DIY and reclaimed wooden floorboards. Tiny clever homes, canal boats, windmills, I could go on (and often do).
Reality check. We live in a 2 bedroom flat which comes as part of our salaries. It's ours for as long as we're employed by our university, perhaps until early next year but hopefully longer. There's plenty of space but the furniture is shabby and the walls are covered in old sticky backed plastic and are in dire need of a repaint. Our linens are garish, our pots are battered and our bathroom has smelly drains. Sometimes I dearly miss my lovely white wedding present bed linen (in storage, I couldn't part with it) and cast iron pots (ditto, bad minimalist!) After a lazy evening of interior blog binging I look at our home with a critical eye.
When I do though, I am reminded of all that is good about where we live and why we live here.
1. No rent to pay, that has to be number one. We never have to worry about rent or utility bills, that's pretty amazing.
2. When the walls are damaged, there's no need to be precious. We can sellotape our own art gallery up on the wall (picture to follow!) The boys love seeing their pictures up and I don't have to worry about the paintwork (we've always rented and this has always been a concern).
3. It won't break my heart to say goodbye to any of our linens, pots or crockery when we want to up sticks. What we have suits us fine and will last us until we want to move further away (when we leave Asia I'm guessing).
4. Our house is easy to clean. We don't have much furniture and all the floors are tiled. A quick sweep or mop and we're done. No carpet to worry about. Painting and plasticine play are not a problem.
5. When I miss having a garden I can take a walk around the lush green campus and enjoy the flowers in bloom.
6. Ours is a happy, lived-in home. We all spend a lot of time here and it suits our lifestyle very well.
7. Did I mention that it's free?
This isn't our perfect home but it is our perfect-for-now home and I'm very happy to be living here. It's worth remembering that when I was living in the UK with my good pots and lovely linens, there were many other things I was fantasising about. Like a husband who was home during the day, a chance to live somewhere exciting and a new career...
We got rid of most of our belongings because they weren't making us happy. I don't need fancy pots to cook with or shelves full of books to read. I enjoy looking at lovely things but I don't need or want them in my life.
I'll most likely keep adding beautiful interiors to Pinterest but I'll try to keep it in perspective and remember how lucky I am to be living this life.
Have a happy weekend.