While we were looking at moving this year, the universe seemed to get involved to hurry things along, which has actually worked out for the best in the end. We now have a space that is much more suited to our needs and our future plans, which is a big deal. However, it also means that I have to deal with trying to make it feel like home.
I'm a big fan of my home comforts and all the little bits and pieces that I've collected over the years. You may wander why I have a solar-powered nodding Jack the Skeleton next to an antique decanter set, but to me, the two go together perfectly. Everything in my house has been chosen carefully, looked after and teamed with other things to create a mix of items that I love. Not having them out or in their right place can actually be really stressful for me, which is one of the reasons I hate moving.
Over the course of the last month - we've now been in our new house for a month and a day - the husband and I have been working to make the place feel like home. This has been fairly easy for him, as all he really needs is a comfortable chair in the lounge and all his computer stuff working. For me, it's about making the space mine (or ours), which is a bit more complicated a process.
Scents I love
Each room in our old house actually had a scent theme - except the husband's games room because I wasn't wasting home fragrance on that mess - so I needed to do the same in this house. Luckily, I have a massive collection of candles and have been collecting reed diffusers so they are always to hand, so I was able to start sorting this out straight away.
I started by using my trusted Shake n' Vac on the carpets to instantly make all the rooms smell a lot fresher and then I got candles lit every time I was in the house, choosing warm and welcoming fragrances. Once furniture was moved into the right places, I set up reed diffusers - well out of the reach of the cats - so every room has it's own scent.
All of my reed diffusers are from Heyland and Whittle - as are many of my candles - and are great because you can get refills and replacement reeds to keep them going. The lounge is warm and welcoming with Coconut, Vanilla and Black Pepper (which is now sadly discontinued), our bedroom is all about relaxing with Jasmine and Lilac, the bathroom is Green Tea and Grapefruit and my reading and writing space is all about the smokiness of Lavender.
This small step has made it so much easier to relax in each room of the house, even the few that don't have a set scent.
All the little touches
This was a bit harder to do, as we needed to get new furniture - much of which was donated by awesome friends (thank you!) - and work out the best way to arrange every room before we could even start unpacking small and breakable things. To help me get to the point that I could unpack faster, I focused on one room at a time, starting with the lounge, as this is where I spend a lot of time.
The main problem was that we don't have a fireplace in this house, so I can't set up everything the way it has been in our last two houses, meaning everything was going to be different. This might not seem like a big thing to some, but it genuinely threw me through a loop and I ended up doing a fair bit of rearranging over the course of a week.
In the end I found homes for all the ornaments with the husband helping me by confirming that where I put everything was best - he knows I'd still move stuff even if he said it looked good so this was mostly just him humouring me. I've now been working on each of the rooms in turn so they all have things in them that make me feel at home and completely comfortable, even if we do still have boxes to go through.
Our own space
Since moving to Leeds, he's always had a room for his stuff, which I join him in quite often but that he knows is his to do what he wants with. I was meant to have this in our old house, but the lack of space meant that it was mostly taken over by boxes, so my space ended up being the lounge, which wasn't really all that great as it was also the place we had guests, ate dinner etc etc.
One of the biggest draws of the new house was that there is room enough for us both to have a place of our own, even with the spare bedroom being used as temporary storage. For the first time in years, I spent this weekend unpacking books to sit on shelves rather than having to be stacked up in boxes. My space has become a library, complete with winged armchair and writing desk.
Since organising this room - and re-organising it a few times to accommodate more bookcases - I have felt so much more relaxed. Books are a big part of my life and having instant access to loads of them makes me so happy - honestly, you should see me in a library or book shop. I've already spent a lot of time in my room and feel so at home in it. The husband also knows that if I'm sat in my chair with my feet up and a book in my hand, I just want to relax alone so I've already been able to enjoy more 'me time'.
No blank walls
It took me ages to put together our photo wall in are old house and so having pictures up soon became something that made me feel at home. Having lots of blank walls, therefore, kind of looks a bit sad and empty. While I am waiting on permission to use picture hooks, which would make life so much easier, I've been exploring other options so as to hang frames - some work and some don't - and now have a few things on the walls.
Even without decorating, this adds a bit more of our personalities to the space while we plan what we're going to do when. It also makes me happy seeing the photos and art that I've carefully chosen over the years out of boxes.
While we've still got some way to go, I'm very much feeling at home now, even with the boxes that are still waiting to be unpacked.