Wednesday, 6 January 2010

How Did I Get This Way?

Growing up, I’ve always lived in a nice environment. I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful house to grow up in, and parents who have had very good taste. It came as no surprise then that when I moved to university, my parents took one look at my student digs and said they wouldn’t leave until they made it look presentable.

We didn’t do lots to change the place – just improved the major areas. New curtains, a rug to hide the awful carpet, and large sheets of paper to cover the notice board and turn it into a feature rather than a huge brown rectangle on the wall.

I think this was the beginning for my needing to live somewhere that looked pretty.

When I moved into my own flat in my second year, I did a similar thing. I hung artsy posters in frames rather than sticking them onto the walls with blue tac, and decided on a colour theme for each room. I bought tile stickers on ebay in an attempt to hide the hideous colours in the kitchen, and brought in colour with retro cute fridge magnets. Again, I changed the bright yellow and stained curtains for a more favourable pale green and moved all the furniture in the bedroom so I could fit in the wardrobe that was standing out-of-place in the hallway.

When people came to visit, they looked at the place in awe. How had I done this? Why did my flat look not at all ‘studenty’ and how on earth did I afford to do it? Well, I had moved stuff about, gone the extra mile to make it feel like a ‘home’, and didn’t actually spend a lot of money. In fact, I got all my bits and bobs from Au Naturale (which sadly there aren’t a lot of anymore) and generally when you get to the till, the total is a lot less than you expected!

The feeling I got from the positive comments made me think this was a worthwhile thing to do. I gave off the impression that I had a lot more money than everyone else when I had exactly the same. And this has stuck with me right until this very day – to give off the impression that I have more than I actually do – constantly budgeting, without feeling as though it’s affecting the quality of my life.

This is what I hope to bring to you.

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