Thursday, 18 August 2011
We’ve been in our house for nearly nine years. We expected perhaps three – it was too small for us when we moved in, but it was all we could afford. We’ve been here so long that when the market crashed, we’d still make a fab profit if it sold. Which, of course, it didn’t when we put it up for sale last year (we had a baby on the way and she wouldn’t fit under my writing desk no matter how many times I tried to visualise it).
‘Oh, nice,’ said the buyers when they were here. The words in their expressions said, ‘Holy CR*P, when was the last time this was redecorated?’
‘Nine years,’ was my wordless expression. One man even patted me on the back after I told him – ‘Well done.’ As if living in the same home for more than a season was warrant to some medal of honour. Well, we had outstayed three sets of neighbours on each side of us.
For those who’ve been kind enough to read my previous entries, you’ll know that we didn’t move in the end – we built a conservatory (now my writing room, café, and library; aka, the junk room, albeit a lovely junk room). But that still leaves lemon coloured walls on the landing and entry hall – we didn’t paint it, but inherited the overly cheerful colour which is now looking a bit worn and marked. Not to mention the bathroom (groan) and kitchen (not too bad if you ignore the blue painted doors and stars and moon motif – one of the things which endeared me to the house when we moved in was that it reminded me of a beach hut).
We need to address these problems. My writing income over the past few months has been more than a little sad. Even with suite101 still paying me royalties for the articles I stopped writing over a year ago – the bestseller has still yet to find an agent. Jewellery making is all well and good, but the Christmas Faire still has many months to wait before I can sell my wares at it. Not that we’re hurting, but the yellow walls are starting to hurt my eyes and the bathroom… well, let’s not talk about what needs doing there.
I’ve been scrolling through B&Q bathroom suites to get some ideas – and cringing. It all looks so cheap – even the posh websites. Made to last until the next resident want to ‘do it over’. The house that my mum uses as her art studio in California has the same fittings from when it was built (or re-built after it was knocked to bits during ‘the big quake’). Things from the Arts and Crafts Movement were really meant to last and in my opinion, never go out of style. No disposable income or lifestyle back then!
Which begs the question: now that people are hard hit with recession belt tightening, will rubbish disposable kitchens and bathrooms be a thing of the past? Probably not as it involves a real investment of money. ‘Put in rubbish and let the next tenant deal with it when it breaks’ seems to be the motto of home renovation. But I’m itching to put real wood cabinets up in the kitchen (rather than particle/chipboard that soaks up moisture, sags and grows mould) and a roll top bath in the bathroom.
Maybe when the book reaches the six figure contract. One can dream…