As exciting as travels are, as important as work trips will always be, as cosy as Winter countryside walks - my home will always be my number one destination and my place of safety, comfort and joy. I've always been a homebird - even through we travelled a lot for my mums job when I was a child, the moment I got my own home I knew it meant everything to me. Especially now in the Autumn and Winter months when we all want to feel safe and warm, the home (never a house, always a home) has become my most wanted destination.
I wanted to share a personal post with you guys to let you into my humble space on this planet and share some of my favourite things that make a house a home.
1. Decoration. Decoration within our house is not fancy, neither is it expensive. I prefer rummaging in vintage and antique stores for a bargain, or hitting up the H&M Home sale (last year I may have gone slightly overboard with candles and other teeny decor items - which I ended up spending £200 on. Massive WHOOOPS!). Vintage vases with character, big vases to store fresh flowers in, and furniture with a little bit of history and personality. Add in some gorgeous mood lights for cosy evenings in - I can't stand harsh main lights when I get home from a busy day at work. I like to build a cosy and relaxed atmosphere, and lamps and small lights are the best. I love my star shaped light* from I Just Love It which keeps moving around the living room dependant on my mood. It projects just enough light to see around you, yet be super cosy. Perfect item for the living room or the kitchen.
2. Candles. For me, candles make all the difference. I always make sure we have a drawer stocked up on scented candles - my favourite places to buy from are: Homesense; H&M Home; Primark and Wilkinsons for cheap, long lasting and deliciously scented candles. I read The Little Book of Hygge recently and genuinely feel the time of my childhood spent living near Copenhagen has had an impact because I have been living a very hygge lifestyle for a very long time! And you'll see that candles are pretty much the number one item on the Danes list of things that help one achieve hygge.
When I can grab a candle that looks and smells great, I know I've got to get it. Like this vanilla and sandalwood candle* from I Just Love It, which quotes 'This House Runs On Love, Laughter And Prosecco.' which I think is hilarious and slightly true!
3. Flowers. When Liam and I first started dating, he promised me that as long as he was around I will always have fresh flowers. And I have to say that 90% of the time, that rule still stands strong even three and a half years later! I love fresh flowers - and if I could, I would fill the whole house with them. I usually have fresh flowers in the kitchen as it's the busiest part of our house; also the living room to brighten it up; and in the bedroom I have a dry bouquet of lavender which sits on the chest of drawers next to the bed. Flowers really make me smile, and help create beautiful flatlays for Instagram and my blog.
4. Food. Ok, ok - you knew food was going to come in to the mix at some stage right? The smell of homecooking is what really makes a 'home' for me. I am so proud to say that most people who have entered our home have left and said that they feel really cosy and really welcome here - and I truly believe that's partly because there is always something in the oven or on the stove. I love cooking, the ritual is like a medicine for stress and periods of feeling down - even better when friends and family come over so I can cook and socialise at the same time! Comfort food is my favourite to make, but I also love experimenting with new recipes and challenging myself. You can find a stack of some of my favourite recipes to cook here and give them a go!
5. Kitchen. It's not all about the food in our kitchen - it's also our favourite place to socialise. When friends come over, there will always be snacks, some drinks and a warm atmosphere. Our kitchen is also where me and Liam spend time catching up after busy days at work or when he's been away on a work trip. The kitchen is used for cooking, working, blogging, socialising, brainstorming, drinking, dancing, and taking a long sigh of relief on a Friday night with a glass of wine in hand. Living in the countryside, we have to take advantage of local produce from the woods and fields around us, and even the sea which isn't far away at all! In the Summer, we plan food festivals and where we'd like to go; in the Winter we get together to experiment with eggnog recipes and catch up over a yummy roast dinner.
6. Sundays. Sundays are sacred - these days are made to spend with family, and on your own wellbeing. Lives are so busy, jobs have long hours, and stress has almost become normal. But no one and nothing is allowed to touch our Sundays. As a freelancer, I don't take calls or emails on Sundays as a rule; if I blog, I blog because I want to not because I have to. I think traditions and rituals are important to keep as families, and when you start your own family you can introduce new traditions. Some of our traditions are:
- We always have Sundays as family days with a roast dinner. I like to cook the dinner whilst everyone chats and catches up! But occasionally my mum does the roast which tastes amazing and so homey!
- Sundays are also the days that Harvey is allowed to come to bed in the morning to snuggle, sleep and most of the time play
- Friday evening is for catching up with each other and/or friends with a glass (or three) of wine to wind down after the week
- On Boxing Day, we always have leftover turkey curry cooked by Liam - it's become his speciality!
What makes a house a home to you? Share your tips below in the comments!
MY FAVOURITE HOME PURCHASES: