Monday, January 12, 2015

Careful what you wish for

On the weekend I visited a friend at her new house. She and her partner had just finished building. Walking around the freshly-completed property, I enthusiastically admired their efforts. 

You see, I've always dreamed of a "blank slate" house - one where I (or we, depending on the level of give-a-damn from my husband) could choose everything from the interior paint to the bathroom fittings and kitchen splashback. 

But when I asked my friend about how great it was, she said actually filling in the blanks of a new house wasn't much fun at all. After the expense of building, she didn't have much left to splurge so most of the furniture and linens were Budget with a capital B. She explained that after spending hundreds of thousands on the actual construction, she couldn't let herself to go on a big shopping spree at Freedom or Pillow Talk to get wall mirrors and quilt covers like they do on House Rules. 

The other thing was that although the house had things in it - tables, chairs, sideboards - there were none of the things that make a house a home. No knick-knacks, or piles of mail or framed photos. They haven't been there long enough to accumulate the detritus of daily life. They didn't even have a bookcase. 

So I learnt that perhaps a empty house probably isn't that fun to decorate unless you have an unlimited budget and lots of time on your hands. And so I went home with a new appreciation for my vintage crockery collection, the magazines strewn across the place and the fridge covered in magnets holding scraps of paper that were once important. 

Have you ever started from scratch with a house? Was it fun or stressful?


  1. I'm looking forward to starting "renovations" this year. I'm excited about transforming our house but I do still look forward to one day building our dream home. I figure the collection of all the things that make a home a home will eventually happen despite my budget (plus I'll always have all the knick knacks I've accumulated so far that will come with me!).

    1. How exciting! I always think that the memories you have collected along the way are what makes a house a home.



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