If there’s one thing I’m going to take away from lockdown, it’s how important home is.
I’ve always been a bit of a homebody and a night snuggled on the sofa bingeing on Netflix is pretty much bliss for me. Over the last few months though, I think home has taken on a whole new meaning for a lot of people – me included. During this tricky time, home has provided a sense of security, and has made us feel safe.
You only have to scroll through social media to see how much time people have spent during lockdown primping and preening their homes. From a simple lick of paint to constructing full on adventure playgrounds in their back gardens, we as a nation have been extremely busy making our homes – whatever their size – as comfortable as can be.
In about a week, we’ll be celebrating one year in our new home. I can’t believe 12 months have passed already! And I definitely could never have predicted the amount of time we’d be spending together at home this year.
Our impending ‘houseaversary’ (sorry) has got me thinking about how pleased I am that we made the move last year. It’s true that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do but it’s also one of the most important investments you’ll make in terms of your lifestyle and how you and your family live.
There are still loads of things we need to do in the house (and garden for that matter), but there’s no rush. We’re planning to be here for a very long time. We’re taking our time to make sure we make the right decisions on things. However, I’m pleased with our progress so far.
If you’re moving house or thinking about it, here are a few things we’ve learned along the way…
The importance of a flexible space
Home offices are definitely having a moment. And from the look of things, many of us will be working from home for a while longer yet…maybe even for good!
Not everyone has the luxury of a space that can permanently be an office – most of us need to make the space flexible. Our third bedroom is our office / guest room. I’m incredibly grateful to have this extra space and it’s important we make the most of it.
Generally spare bedrooms tend to be on the smaller side so if, like us, it serves as an office 99% of the time, a sofa bed is a brilliant space-saving solution for occasional guests – and still allows you to have a good sized desk to work at.
We found a lovely small double sofa bed from Made. Pop on a mattress topper and some snuggly bedding, and you’re all set.
Choose floors that are easy to maintain
Kids and clean floors just don’t mix do they? Floors really can transform a house though, so it’s important to choose wisely.
While soft carpet in a hallway feels nice underfoot, it’s completely impractical in terms of keeping clean. Hard floors make a lot more sense in a hallway and look great when they flow through to other rooms too.
Vinyl has a come a long way and there are so many different colours and effects available now. Solid wood is stunning of course but does require special care and attention.
Engineered wood flooring (seen above – not our hallway by the way!) is a good option if you love the look of solid wood but want a floor that is easier to maintain. Engineered wood is still real wood so it looks beautiful but is made up of layers of timber underneath which gives it more stability and durability. It’s also moisture resistant, so is perhaps more child and pet-friendly than solid wood.
Make the most of smaller spaces with fitted furniture
We’d never really considered having a fitted wardrobe before but if your bedroom is not the biggest, it makes sense to maximise the space you have – especially if you have higher ceilings. And a big bonus of fitted wardrobes is that you never have to try and dust the top of them!
In smaller rooms, you may think sliding doors are the best choice however you need to be aware that they require a lot more depth because of the runners and bigger frame, so you do lose more floor space. Hinged doors might actually make more sense – as long as you have the space to open them of course!
We chose hinged doors and we are really pleased with how the wardrobe looks – it just feels like it’s always been part of the room.
Don’t forget your outside space
Lockdown has certainly made us realise how important having a garden, or at least some outside space, is. As a new build home, our nearly square garden came with a small patio and turf – and that was it.
We have now extended the patio so that we can fit furniture on it – you can see it in the photo above. We chose Indian Sandstone in grey which is a beautiful but affordable natural stone.
It’s a good idea to divide the garden into different zones so that it works for all the family. We have a blank slate really so we’re busy watching The Rich Brothers on Garden Rescue for inspiration – but it’s definitely a long term project.
We already have our new project on the go, which is changing part of the garage into a games room. We have a projector and screen set up already with speakers, and hubby is currently working on getting the floor down. It’ll look amazing when it’s finished and I’ll keep you posted on its progress here.
Share your thoughts
Do you have any home projects on the go? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Flooring365. All words and opinions are my own.