I've written a fair bit about our home and the work thats gone into it. When we first bought the place it needed a lot (lot!) of work and as such we were able to buy it at a pretty bargain price in an upcoming area. Now almost five years down the line we are really starting to be proud of what we have achieved. Granted it is almost always messy, running a shop from my home and having a small child isn't ideal for keeping things neat and on top of that neither Tom or I possess a 'tidy' gene but we're getting there.
When I was pregnant with Wilf we had only been in our home for under a year and whilst we were trying to do things slowly and as cheaply as possible we realised we really needed to get some major work out the way before we became parents. Thankfully we the help of a good friend we (or rather Tom and our friend) were able to rip out our barely workable kitchen when I was 8 months pregnant and fit a new one on a very small budget. Wilf was actually born three weeks later at 39 weeks so we managed it only in the nick of time.
I'm not sure if it's being pregnant again but we are on a mission to get some major work done on our home again before the new arrival. We have decided to partition our really large living space back into two rooms. Although we initially liked having such a wide open space it often makes it hard to feel 'cosy' and so we'd like an actually living room and separate dinning room. This also means that I'm able to use the dinning room as my shop storage (which I already do but means our living space is also part shop which isn't ideal!). We've also decided to turn our back windows into french doors onto our garden as it will be nice to be able to see the kids play outside whilst doing whatever inside rather than having to go through our tiny kitchen and utility room to get outside.
When we first moved into our home we were both working different jobs to what we currently do and myself in particular wasn't feeling very fulfilled. Tom had taken over a temporary management job that was causing him a lot of stress and when I fell pregnant we realised that quality of life was much more important than money so Tom decided not to continue with the role and take a pay cut whilst I and decided not to return to work after having Wilf. It was quite a hard time financially and not without its stresses as I know Tom felt pressure from being the sole earner for us all. Now we are four years down the line we are in a much better position work/life balance wise and I feel so proud to be able to be the one who is able to earn from my own business and afford to make these changes on our home. It certainly feels more of a home now too.
I'm working with Legal and General on this post who have put together an article on taking measures to protect your home. You can read their tips and advice here. I've grown up moving home countless times (I think it was around the sixteenth mark by the time I had left for university) and although part of me loved the adventure of a new home, a new area to explore I also craved that stability of having one place to call your base. I think that's why it's so important to me to have our home now, with our growing family and all the memories this house holds (giving birth to Wilf on our living room floor being one of the best ones). We have genuine friendships with our neighbours and have seen them start to grow their own families too, we chat to our baker and grocer and know we'll bump into our friends at the local park something I'd never really had before and is why I feel so strongly about our home I think.
in association with Legal and General