My house...

posted on: Wednesday, 16 February 2011

I have a relatively short history with houses. I haven't lived in that many. Spent my entire childhood in one house. Then the first house that my husband and I cohabited in was a one bedroom flat. When I arrived on the scene it was a resolute batchelor pad; all black furniture and hi-fi systems (those where the days when your graphic equalizer was something to be reckoned with). I painted the furniture and sold the stereo. Our kitchen was so small you could stretch your arms out each side and touch opposite walls with your fingers.

From there we moved to our first proper house. I loved that house. To this day it remains the place that carries some of the sweetest memories; the place we lived in when we got married. It was Victorian townhouse; with an attic and a little flower garden. We cherished that house with every attention. I used to spend my weekends prettifying it, as that was before children, when frankly I had all the time in the world. We would have dinner parties and host our friends for racous weekends, playing at being grown ups.

When babies came, we moved from that beloved townhouse to a newly built 'family' home, out of town. It was in a cul de sac with lots of other people 'just like us'. Although, as it turned out they weren't really like us as they seemed to love their new houses whereas I just never, ever really did. That was the shortest time we owned a house; we sold up before baby number 2 arrived.

In effect, we stumbled across our farmhouse. We knew of the house and had been inside it before, but never in our wildest dreams thought we could buy it. But a convergence of circumstances meant that we got a chance to and so when I was just 10 weeks pregnant we moved in. It was the biggest gamble but we did it anyway. One sight of Boo, aged 3, running across the lawn with the budding wisteria on the flint house in the background made me realise: this is the place.

We swore we would never need to leave and so have spent recent years restoring it, tweaking it, making it ours. And now I spend more time here that even I imagined I would. It encapsulates everything that home is meant to be for me. But each day, I go through this routine of making it look like a 'Country Living' spread and each day, the rest of my family mess it up! Life messes it up. And instead of spending just a weekend putting it straight, I spend every day doing it. It's that cruel trick: you long for a beautiful abode, you spend your hard-earned cash on having a house to be proud of, then the tyranny of keeping it beautiful sets in!

all pretty images via tinywhitedaisies
It's a good house; people often say that when the walk in the door, it has a good feel to it. It's a house that witnesses the ebb and flow of family life, every day. It's crooked and old and comes scarily close to flooding when the water levels are high. It looks out on acres of fields and when the wind blows sometimes it feels like the whole place is going to pick up and take off - Wizard of Oz style. Oh, and squirrels have moved into our attic...but even so, I am rather grateful I live here.


  1. Lovely nest you have sweetie! Wish you a pleasant day!!!

  2. I can't even tell you how envious I am, it sounds so beautiful!!

    I have lived in quite a lot of houses and don't really have a particular attachment to any of fact I always think that I haven't actually found my house yet....still looking :) xx

  3. I couldn't imagine living in a house that didn't feel like it was a sanctuary. And yours sounds just like it is :)

  4. Lou, i seriously want to come and see your farmhouse now. it sounds so magical! and yeh sometimes its a positive that your house is in a mess, that means you can appreciate it so much more when its tidy :)
    While growing up in sydney, i lived in 2 houses (3 including the one i lived in for the 1st year of my life but i dont remember that one) and the most recent one i lived in in sydney does not feel like home at all! we moved there when i was 17 so have been there for nearly 4 years but it has nothing on the house i lived in before then. We had the best neighbours, best area, tiny house but it didnt matter. I LOVED IT. i cannot wait to make a house like that for my future children (wont be for a while haha) it was the best way to grow up. and it seems your boos love where they live :) and thats all that matters xx

  5. It sounds wonderful Lou!! Such a nice feeling to come home too as well.
    Don't ever leave is such a gift to be able to give your family a home
    to love and a home to come too. Best of all, you and your husband will be in it and that will make all the difference :)

    Jeanne xxx

  6. Oh Lou, I can not tell you how many times I sit reading your blog nodding... this was one of those again. While my house is probably not as grand and beautiful as you farmhouse, I agree with all the sentiments here (including the squirrels in the roof... I caught 15 before we finally managed to stop them... the hubby would leave to work with his suit, lunch and a squirrel in a cage... to free at the local country park)... I also share your house history... crazy!! I imagine your home is filled with love and very tasteful at that. Beautiful post. Lx

  7. I am with Simone.. I am still looking for 'my house'. The truth is I haven't owned since I left Sweden some 22 years ago. Life as a nomad is rewarding but comes at a price. One day I hope to be able to find a home as lovely as yours sound.

    Thanks for your comment today.

    xx Charlotta

  8. I am not a new house kind of person either. When I am with clients with a brand new cookie cutter home, I sometimes want to shake my head. Trying to add persoanlity to these boes is hard.

    Your home sounds wonderful.

  9. oh L...when i hear you speak like this i want to jump in the car...grab the kiddos from school & make the journey to you...
    i know what its like to love a surprises!

    that image of your baby girl running across the lawn and i'm ready to buy it from you!
    now the kids are bigger and the memory list is getting longer...heaven!

    aahhhh...enjoy it every day...messy {creative chaos!} & tidy {mummy love!}
    melissa xxx

  10. Dear Lou, your house sounds absolutely beautiful and idyllic. It must be really hard to keep it looking how you want with children, that's one of the things I think about! I'm sure the mess would drive me mad. You will have it exactly how you want it one day when they're a bit older I'm sure.

    I've lived in my house for fourteen years, the longest I've lived anywhere ever and I love it. I tidy up every night before I go to bed. My life can be chaotic enough so it's lovely to get up and it's all perfect. Plus I have a cleaner twice a week. The Actor's always moaning that's too much, which it is but I feel an obligation as I employed her and she's totally lovely and needs the money.

    Hope your week's going well so far xx

  11. Sounds heavenly....even with the resident squirrel....

  12. Isn't it lovely to love a house - I know that feeling as I just love my house - you have a lovely field - we have lovely tree tops across the valley and when the wind picks up here we too feel like we are in the wizard of oz!! No squirrels here though - just the odd pesky possum but we love it just like you do!! Hugs from me all the way to your lovely cosy home. Leanne xx

  13. Lou! I loved this. Please share some photos of your home. I thought that these photos you shared were in fact yours. I was ready to make my way over to your place to stay for the weekend :) Enjoy your day my friend xo

  14. the second photo with the flowers is simply lovely!

  15. Found you through A Place for Tea. Lovely photos.

  16. Lou,

    Your house sounds like a piece of paradise and a happy home..I have never lived in a place that I haven't instantly walked in and fallen head over heels in love with just like a relationship, and you can tell a house that is loved, it becomes a home. I know what you mean though with children...I love a beautiful magazine worthy space, but I have also grown to love the mad chaos and trail of toys at the end of the day as it is from happy children doing what they should be doing!

  17. I am so happy for you that you found a place that you really love and your family can happy in. I am with you on the whole making the house look pretty thing and the kids constantly messing it. I go through the same thing every day ...

  18. YAY! sounds amazing so pretty
    xx emma

  19. you've perfectly encapsulated everything i love in a home. it needs to be old and creaky and soulful.

    lovely to stumble upon your blog.


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