As I prepare to move house, together with the huge amount of possessions I’ve accumulated over the years, I thought it would be fun to show you the stops along the way to where I am now!
My first home purchase was a one bedroom modern basement flat in Glasgow, bought in 1995. It had absolutely no architectural features and storage heaters. I LOVED it. It was my own place in the city centre, I was 21, and it was basically furnished with my first credit card and several trips to Argos, Next and MFI. This was in the pre digital age. The estate agents details had an actual printed photo of the front of the building stuck to the front page:
I don’t think my flat is even seen in the picture, as it was down in the basement!
I moved from Glasgow to Edinburgh in 1998 with work, and my beloved Glasgow flat was swapped for a 2 bed warehouse conversion in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh. ‘Warehouse conversion’ makes it sound much grander than it was! It was probably smaller than the previous flat, but double the price. This was the era of ‘Changing Rooms’ which I followed religiously. I painted the main bedroom lime green with gold shelves, the hallway had blue walls and purple skirting boards, and I thought it looked the business! Thank goodness that this was still pre digital photos, and that my tastes moved on.
My flat was the top right-hand one
Next stop: 1999 and work brought me back to Yorkshire, where I bought my first actual house, a 2 bed early 20th century terrace overlooking the city walls. It was still an era pre house-hunting via the internet, so found via a lot of phone calls to estate agencies and long distance train trips from Edinburgh. It was the paint effects era: inspired by Linda Barker I colourwashed the kitchen red, and purple skirting boards appeared again in the living room, which I painted a deep blue. I discovered Ikea for the first time, acquired my first Billy bookcases, developed flat pack assembly skills and started a collection of power tools….
This is the only one I couldn’t find the original estate agent photo for. It had a navy blue door in my day.
I loved my terraced home, but work took me to Nottingham in 2000. I ended up going for a new house to facilitate a quick move, choosing a 3 bed semi on a new housing estate north of Nottingham. I learnt how to put up 10 curtain poles in a week, plumb in a washing machine and dishwasher, and sewed my first curtains. I also learnt that adding character to a magnolia box and square of grass isn’t as easy as you might think. After a few mis-steps with far too bright paints, I eventually applied the principles of feng shui and developed a far more supportive environment, which deserves a post to itself in future.
By the time I sold this house, estate agent details had graduated to including digital photos, but online house hunting was still in it’s infancy.
After 5 years it was time for home number 5: I swapped the modern house for a 1930s traditional 3 bed semi on the other side of Nottingham, of which I became only the second owner! It had been well loved but was ready for an update, so this is where I really got stuck in, learning how to fit my own kitchen and bathroom, lay laminate and tiled floors, wallpaper, and even developed my gardening skills! Curtain making was pretty much outsourced to my mum, to whom I am very grateful. Feng shui dictated that the house should largely be painted white, which supported my evolving taste. My now, I’d describe my taste as eclectic: I love chandeliers and a bit of sparkle, but within cosy, tactile schemes and plenty of wooden furniture. I will never be minimalist in terms of possessions but I like clutter to be tidied away and for everything to have it’s place, meaning storage is of necessity always at the forefront of my planning.
So after 11 years here I’m now packing up ready for home number 6! I can’t wait to share it but I’m not going to tempt fate just yet, so watch this space.
That’s my house journey: 20 years and 5 totally different homes – what’s yours?