HomeTuesday, November 26, 2013
What is that makes a place feel like home? Fin and I lived in our last flat for nearly three years, but we never felt as comfortable there as we do where we are now. On paper - and who am I kidding, in reality - the last flat was much nicer. It was newer, it was bigger, it was comfier. It had two bathrooms and neither of them had a beige bathroom suite, which is more than I can say for our current flat. Being inside our bathroom now is like being inside a biscuit.
So why do we feel so at home here? The location is better, I'll give it that. The city centre is easily walkable and there's a huge, wild-ish park right on our doorstep. We're right at the cul of a little leafy sac, so it's always quiet. It's the most peaceful spot I've ever found in this moderately bustling city. I don't know if that's it, though.
We've somehow managed to make this place feel more ours. Like the last flat, this one's furnished with someone else's crap cast-off furniture, but unlike the last flat, none of it's lilac. Is there a worse colour than lilac? I don't know if there is. Maybe chartreuse, but it's a close one. (Here's proof, if proof were needed, that lilac couches are a Very Bad Thing).
Our living room now is filled with warm colours, layered patterns, natural textures, candles, wood. The artwork on the wall is there because we love it or it means something, not just because it happens to have lilac in it. It has carpets on which Smidgen and Eeyore can do their crazy dance instead of skiting across shiny, dust-gathering laminate.
It's just comfy. It feels like us. It feels right.
I mean, don't get me wrong. It's small and weirdly shaped and the bathroom really is hideous. I would never buy this flat (or the one currently for sale downstairs), much as I love where we are. But I don't know if I'd buy somewhere else, either.
Someone asked me the other day, if we had the money, would we buy a home of our own. My honest answer is that I don't know. The thought of moving again gives me the chills, and not in a good way, but I don't think it's just laziness that makes me hesitate.
When it comes down to it, I don't think my feelings have changed much since I wrote this post back in 2011. Buying property just doesn't look like everything it's cracked up to be, especially since I've seen friends unable to sell those starter flats that seemed like such a good idea a few years ago. And now that I've figured out how easy it is to make your walls look pretty with some wrapping paper and a cheap frame, I care even less about my ability to paint the walls a crazy colour. (Seriously, Cavallini gift wrap looks so good in this Ikea frame that I've started hanging one in every room. Top tip.)
Sure, it would be lovely to have somewhere we could call our own. In my dream world, it would probably look something like that picture up there, and it would be on a hillside with a burn bubbling past, and we would have a pet alpaca called Jorge, but do I need that to feel happy? Do I need it to feel comfortable? Do I need it to feel like I'm home?
I don't think I do.
Image of Emma Campbell's Kenyan home shot for The World of Interiors April 2012