Our New House: Home Haul

Buying a house can be a costly endeavour, not to mention a stressful time. Whilst the process is a bit like piece of string, you never know quite how long it will take you from accepted offer to keys in hand, trying to plan a good time for it is near impossible. From our own experience, I can entirely recommend the big crescendo of packing boxes and removal van hire in December, a few weeks before Christmas. And, to top it off, insisting that we host (read: show off) our new home at Christmas. Well… it probably wasn’t our best idea but it sure does fast-track you to getting your house ship-shape and shiny for the masses to descend. Who am I kidding? I definitely had my mother-in-low painting furniture and the husband putting pictures up on Christmas Eve. 
Now the memory of Christmas has started to fade, the decorations are collecting dust in their residence in the loft, our house is now very much feeling like a home. But I wanted to share some fun we’ve had shopping for new items.

But first, a note on upcycling…
We were incredibly lucky to be offered some furniture from a relative who was down-sizing which was perfect timing as we were upsizing from a one-bedroom flat to a three-bedroom house. Loaded onto the truck on the first stop on Moving Day was a matching chest of drawers and dressing table and a sideboard. Drawers have never made me so happy! Before the gins had been poured, my Mother-in-Law (let’s just call her Angel Upcycle) had purchased some sanding paper and pots of paint. The finished articles are better than new and perfectly match our colour scheme! Check out your nearest British Heart Foundation furniture stores for pre-loved items, Freecycle and Facebook marketplace for absolute steals.

Gadgets…
We have not one, not two, but three Amazon Alexa’s. Yes I’m aware it’s quite insane but my husband is on a mission to make our house “smart”, starting with the lights. We set each other a Christmas present brief: ‘house-related’ and ‘under £50’. Well, really I have myself to blamewhy on Christmas Day I’ve open a box of… strip lighting. Sexy. I think it was a case of being gifted a gift that my husband actually wanted for himself! 

But actually it’s much cooler than I first thought and I now have the kitchen low-lighting I always wanted! Subsequent Boxing Day purchases later, Philips Hue lighting has now taken over the entire house. We can now operate our lights remotely by App or voice-activated with Alexa. We can also, if we so wish, change the colour of our lighting to one of any 16 million colours. So far, I’ve dabbled most with green and pink… I’m avoiding red for obvious reasons, I don’t want the neighbours to get the wrong idea! My favourite feature is that you can ask for lighting based on mood or task, such as ‘energising’, ‘reading’, ‘focus’ or ‘relax’. It takes laziness up a notch and somewhat ties us to our phones all the more but the novelty hasn’t worn off yet! Shop Philips Hue at John Lewis

All the fragranced stuff…
Our house had been previously uninhabited for a few months and when I first stepped inside the house on a cold December evening, it had a hint of empty, old house about it. Cue an immediate trolley-dash of Sainsburys to find plug-ins and diffusers to dot around the home. My stash of fragranced candles were boxed up and who knew when I would uncover them! Enter Ambi Pur 3Volution Plug In (£3) and Air Freshener Diffuser (£5) - available in Cotton Fresh and Blossom and Breeze, Vanilla Blossom, Lavender. Remember hearing that your nose gets used to new smells after a short period? The trick with these is that the 3 scents alternate every 45 minutes so you always notice them, and more importantly, your house always smells delightful. I love these little things and have one in my hallway, kitchen and landing. 

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