Monday, 6 August 2012

Moving while standing still

Over the last year we have toyed with the idea of moving house.  We have had dreams of a cottage with a couple of acres of land where the horses could live with us.  The dream actually went as far as looking at a few properties.  We did find one perfect cottage with about 5 acres, but we did not feel drawn to the area where it was located – we could not imagine feeling at home there.

We had our house valued by three estate agents as a preamble to putting it on the market.  This felt really odd and gradually we came to realise that we actually love our home and garden.  It is true that it is in an urban area rather than in a rural idyll.  It is true that it is only a semi-detached property surrounded by others.  And yet it is also lovely.  The garden is large and private.  We have lived in the house so long—24 years—that there are many little features that are personal about the place – like the shrine room; like the little sculpture bought in Malta that I set into the wall where there had been a hole;
like the murals painted in the loggia and two of the bedrooms and window freizes in the loggia;
like the fact that we have two lovely wood burning stoves instead of central heating.  I had found myself saying goodbye to things and feeling a little sad about that. 

With the thought in mind that we would probably be moving to a smaller place, we started to get rid of excess possessions and furniture.  The first place to tackle was the loft which had become a dumping ground, with the eves heaving with accummulated stuff.  The loft is converted into a room and we used it as our bedroom when the boys were at home, but it had not been used for a while.  We cleared it out, reorganised the eves and turned the room into a workspace for me to use for craft work and writing.
Sorting out excess furniture throughout the house, we gave an incredible amount of furniture to Cardiff FreeCycle and started to feel refreshed by the extra space and less clutter.  Gradually we became less and less keen on the idea of moving and more and more appreciative of what we already had.

In the end we decided not to move but to change our home to be more like our dream home.  This month we have spent probably about what it would have cost us to move house on doing some of the things we have always wanted to do to it.  Richard and I have laid solid bamboo flooring in the lounge and dining room.  

We ripped out the false wall in the lounge which hid the horrible doors we never used and the old pipes that were not connected to anything.  Next week we are having a new bathroom fitted.  The house looks fantastic and feels like a new home.

In the kitchen we replaced ladder-rack shelving and various cupboards with two Welsh dressers and a sideboard.

In the garden we have fenced the entire length one side – covering up the unsightly patchwork of some of the neighbouring fencing and making the second part of our garden more private.  We also took down a tree that was too big and dominating and now have a table and chairs in that area, making it a pleasant place to sit.  The first part of the garden had to be completely cleared out on one side in order to put in the fencing.  It  had become overgrown with shrubs that had got out of control.  Now that it is clear I've had great fun choosing new shrubs to put there – a clematis, a potentilla, lavender, a ground cover geranium, a fig tree, a jasmine, and a few others whose names escape me.

So our home is transformed and we feel like we have moved . . . without moving. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!