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Finding Joy in Your Imperfect Home


Building a home takes time, there will always be a project that needs to be finished, so finding the joy in the journey will help you to be happy in your home right now, not some distant day months, maybe years away.

In our old house, I went without cupboard handles on my kitchen cabinets for two years, so I could find exactly the right ones. I made do without an oven for a year so we could save up to buy the one we really wanted, getting by with a microwave and a portable BBQ instead.

Our new house has many beautiful features, but the bathroom is in desperate need of replacement. There's black mould, dated tiles, a cracked bath panel and a poor layout.

You might need to hold out for that Victorian waxed pine chest of drawers that fits your alcove exactly or save up before you can rip off that wallpaper and crack open the tin of F&B.

You might be a busy mum desperate for stylish toy storage so you can retreat to a calm, adult space in the evening.

You might need to live with the ugly bathroom for a couple of years or think of cheap ways to update a tired kitchen.

 

How would it feel to accept your home's warm, comforting embrace and love its rough edges?

Hygge homes are a bit ramshackle - they're eclectic, evolve over time, slightly chaotic and informal. They're the interiors equivalent of your favourite pair of battered boyfriend jeans, faded and worn in all the right places. 


Marilyn Monroe once said "If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." I think the same can be said for homes.

 

Here are some things to try if you're renting and you're restricted to what you can do, you want to move but it's not the right time or maybe you've bought a renovation project and can only see the never-ending list of jobs to do.

Shine your sink

In a kitchen, the simple act of cleaning your sink until it shines is the one thing that makes a big difference to the appearance of the whole room.

You can use this approach for any room though. What is the one thing in the room that will make a massive difference with a bit of elbow grease?

It could be scrubbing the grout between the tiles you hate, giving the Bisto brown window frames a lick of white paint or deep cleaning a bedroom carpet.

The message here is this: take care of what you have, even if it's ugly.

 

alt="daffodils in a kilner jar with rangemaster elan and gorenje fridge in background. Image available at Bramble and Fox UK hygge home blog"

Organise it anyway

It's easy to get into a downward spiral of disorganisation when you're in a space that doesn't look the way you'd like it to.

 

You put off decluttering, organising or adding storage because you want to change the space soon anyway. Then one month turns into six months and the disorder feels more and more overwhelming as time goes on.

 

File the paperwork, put up the shelves, get the storage containers, organise it and you'll feel calmer and less frustrated with the situation.

Live with it

Compared to my previous tip, this may sound counter-intuitive, but what I mean is this:

Understand your space before making big, expensive decisions.

Resist the temptation if you can to rip out walls, kitchens and bathrooms until you totally understand what doesn't work and what the impact of any changes will be.

You don't want to drop thousands on a new kitchen to find the things that drive you insane are still there, making your eye twitch every day.

Living with a space for a sustained period of time will help you to understand how to transform it.

alt="ariel view of chandelier with cream dresser in background. Image available at Bramble and Fox UK hygge home blog"

Jiggle things about

It's surprising how a furniture switcheroo can instantly lift the way a room looks, and best of all, it's free!

My Nan used to change the layout of the room as the seasons changed, often replacing lighter curtains and cushions for darker ones as Autumn drew in.

Look at how you can make your living area more sociable and cosy by arranging seating differently or using pieces of furniture strategically to zone or divide up space.

Consider a different layout to accommodate a Christmas tree in Winter or how you might rearrange your space to give you a clearer boundary between work and home.

 

alt="Emma Bridgewater mugs and blackboard wall. How to Find Joy in Your Imperfect Home on Bramble and Fox UK hygge lifestyle blog"

Down tools when you need to

Filling up every weekend with DIY projects is a recipe for house burnout. Mix short, achievable tasks like adding cup hooks in the kitchen or hanging new curtains with longer jobs to give you some sense of accomplishment.

Make one space or even one corner pretty, to give you a sense of control over your environment and so it can be a a haven away from it all.

Make sure you fill up some of your weekends with fun outside of your home. Living in a project can be overwhelming and you need time away from the clutter and chaos of building work.

 

alt="tablescape of pumpkin tea cosy with Nigel Slater book and Emma Bridgewater plate. From Bramble and Fox UK hygge home blog"

Make it Cosy

Cover a tired sofa with drop cloth and new linen cushion covers, add houseplants and pictures, soft cosy throws and baskets for easy storage.

Buy fluffy white towels for the ugly bathroom, beautiful handmade pottery for the dated kitchen and scented candles for the bedroom you can't redecorate just yet.

Cosy homewares become part of the fabric of your life and little comforts like this bring a bit of your future home into today.


Finally, a perfect home doesn't exist, but nothing says 'cosy home' more than cake, a cuppa and loved ones to visit.

 

I recently watched Lisa at Farmhouse on Boone's YouTube video on this topic and was inspired to write this blog post. If you love my content, I'm sure you'll love her too. 

 

I'd love to carry on the conversation over on Instagram @brambleandfoxshopuk. What bugs you about your home? Which tips are you going to try out? 

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