Some homes just aren’t forever. Whether it’s because you’re renting, moving around often for work or if you just know you’ll upgrade as soon as you can, not all houses are homes and not all homes are forever.
Just because where you currently are isn’t forever, it doesn’t mean that you can’t build a home and more importantly, love the space you’re in. I’ve talked many times about how important I think our immediate environments are, and nothing has changed. When I like the space around me and it serves me well, my life is just better. No, it’s not automatically perfect or magical, it’s just better. This is true for so many of us.
Today I thought I’d share some of my musings, my thoughts and (at a stretch) my tips for building and keeping a home even though it’s temporary.
Below you’ll find 5 concepts, ideas and tips that might just help you truly enjoy your house and home with minimal investment and no long term commitments, whilst focussing on all that you already have, use and love.
Invest in smaller, movable pieces
You’re always going to be able to find a place for that photograph in a new house or flat or converted mini-van. There’s not always the guarantee that you’ll be able to house your beloved, custom-order, corner sofa though. Even though I’ve daydreamed about beautiful armchairs, dining tables and wardrobes galore, I know that it’s safer (not to mention cheaper) to get those pretty prints I have my eye on or the rugs that can be moved super-easily.
Whilst I do have a few larger pieces that I love – my dining table and my new G Plan dresser (babe) – I am prepared for the day when I might have to say goodbye to them. I won’t be happy about it if it happens, BUT there is one big reason why it won’t sting too much…
Find gems on eBay or at Auction houses
I am a big eBay-er. I sell a lot of pre-loved things on eBay and recently I’ve been buying more and more via eBay. Honestly, I used to turn my nose up at some second-hand things, thinking why anyone would buy a grubby old table when they could buy a new one at IKEA for the same price. Thankfully, I’ve weaned myself off that way of thinking and realised that second-hand or pre-loved pieces of furniture have this thing called character. They’re usually unique and with a bit of TLC turn out a million times better than a £50 IKEA table.
Auctions are a newer discovery for me, but after a trip to one earlier this week, I realised just how much you could get on a relatively tight budget! If you’re in a place that you know isn’t forever and need some furniture that also may not be forever, then buying second hand is perfect. Usually, you’ll get stuff that will be able to sell again and you also can build a home that’s not straight out of the IKEA catalogue…
Style corners or sections instead of entire rooms
When we first moved into our little house, I quickly got frustrated that I didn’t have a ‘perfect’ room yet. I wasn’t completely happy with anything. In hindsight, building a home takes time and instead of trying to get everything perfect I should have styled what I did have first.
Styling corners or sections of a room instead of the entire thing is not only more manageable but it takes a lot of pressure away! Chances are that if you won’t be in the same house for very long, making each and every room perfect for you will make it harder to leave it all behind. Shelving, gallery walls and corners with side tables and plants can be put anywhere, in any room, in any house. It also means you can play around and change things up literally every week… so it’s win-win.
Focus on function
Fun story, our front dining room was a home for boxes and miscellaneous crap for the first two months we were here. Jonathan insisted that he didn’t want to have a dining room – sparked by some childhood trauma – because we could use the room for so much else! We never did use the room for much else, so I decided to drag the dining table into space and finally make it useable. Now it’s one of my favourite rooms in the house AND gets used every day.
My lesson here – and the thing for anyone reading this to take away – is that in a non-forever home, making use of things is a much better idea than waiting until all the stars align. Can’t afford to create a second living room just yet? Then use what you have to create a room you can use. Perfect probably won’t happen – but trying out something in between useless and perfect is always going to be more fun, isn’t it?
Accept the things you cannot change
If like me, you live in a nice house with a kitchen and bathroom not quite to your taste, then you’ll know that in the long run, it’s easier to just accept them for what they are than to lose any more sleep over them. Sure, I might give the bathroom a lick of paint soon and I might even put up some shelves in the kitchen. Will I be mood boarding dreamy hexagon bathroom tiling, looking at different coloured grout and working out the cost of polished concrete worktops? Nah mate.
Recognising that thinking about these things when you’re in a rented place, or know that you could be moving in 6 months, is a big step toward just enjoying your home for what it is. Personally, I’ve already spent too long worrying about the brown carpets in our rented house. I can’t change them and I’m going to make this house pretty darn beautiful despite them.