We've come to a point in our monthly expenditure that excites us.
The £25,000 loan (which we had to take out to do structural work on our house when we bought it nine years ago) has finally been paid off.
Turns out £400 a month loan repayment is quite crippling on one and a half incomes.
It excites us for various reasons, but none more so than starting to attack the list of 'Things I'd Really Like To Change In Our House If We Had The Money'.
This past month has seen us redecorate the spare room (aka The Room Of Doom) from a dumping ground with beautifully sanded and stained floorboards that weren't visible due to the sheer amount of detritus in it, to a 'big boy bedroom' for The Boy; his main birthday present. There were
many tantrums a few dodgy moments along the way when I was worried that we wouldn't get it done in time, closely followed by realising the bed was larger than anticipated and we needed to change the room plan around. But it's done now, he's sleeping easily in it and we just need to find somewhere to house all the things in it which were temporarily (at least I hope so) relocated to the attic. And our bedroom. And the porch. Under the stairs. The airing cupboard…
You get the picture.
Coming up in the next few months I have plans for a redecorated kitchen. This will probably only involve painting the walls as replacing the cupboards is unnecessary, but I might treat us to some new lino or remove it entirely to rediscover my beautiful terracotta tiles which were covered up when our little one started toddling (and falling over).
However first of all is the living room.
I don't want to repaint it because I find the muted wedgewood blue and cream walls very soothing and calming in the evenings, however the carpet needs changing. Primarily because when it was carpeted nine years ago, I'd had the great idea to have a dark wedgewood blue colour on the floor; this colour also went in our bedroom. The rest of the house however, is the same sand colour and it makes me wonder what on Earth I was contemplating when I had that brainwave. The other reason it needs changing is because we unfortunately have carpet moths which we're finding difficult to get rid of. As they feed on natural fibres in carpets, and 80% of it is wool, we need to replace it with something less palatable.
As well as recarpeting the living room, we will be replacing the sofas. Quite frankly, our Ikea two-seater and three-seater settees have done us proud over the past twelve years, but no-one now sits in the one in the bay window as they can't get out of it, and the big three seater regularly sees me slide from it onto the floor. The seat has no firmness, the cushions offer no back support, and I find myself slipping further forward until it becomes a battle to just stay off the ground. They served us well when we were first buying furniture, but now we can afford to shop around we'll be looking for some great seating solutions from other retailers.
Our living room is a bit odd in shape and proportion; it has a few sticky out bits with alcoves and bay windows, and the door is in an inconvenient place. When we were first trying to work out where to fit the two hulking, Scandinavian beasts we couldn't even put them in the room and try them out as there isn't the space to move them around if we had changed our minds. I drew a floor plan, my husband made 'to-scale' paper models and then we fussed around for a while coming up with the right places for them to go. We've maximised the floor space, and created a near perfect living room. Next time we go shopping for sofas however, we will be taking the floor plan and measurements with us!
What lessons have you learnt over time about decorating a home?
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