Chez l'abeille

Culture. Travel. Writing. My world in words and pictures

In which I go in search of an ideal home.

In 10 days time I will have lived in my little house for exactly 20 years. I was pondering on this fact the other day whilst also considering what to do for phase 3 of my repair and update programme. Long time readers may recall the building work I had to put up with a while ago and the idea of going another round with the destructive forces of Victorian dust has made me prevaricate in a major fashion.

I have always thought that there are some people who have grown up homes and then there are those that have, well, not grown up homes I suppose. I’m not sure what actually constitutes a grown up home but I guess it consists of one where:

  • There are no areas that are referred to as “the student zone”
  • Curtains actually hang on proper curtain rails rather than a spectacularly Heath Robinson affair using old blind rods, requiring a metre stick to open and close them
  • Soft furnishings all go together in an organised and clearly thought out colour scheme
  • Dust is invisible

Now that may, or may not be the definitive list of things that make for a grown up house but they are certainly things that would make me feel that I was on the right track. Albeit 20 years late.

So, with this in mind I have begun to gird my loins for “Return of the Builders part 3: The Home Owner Fights Back”. This time I am determined that I will be clear about my plans and decisive in how I want the remaining spaces to look, as I stumble my way towards grown up home status. The trouble is I have only vague notions and rather sketchy plans. Hurrah then for the freebie ticket to the Ideal Home Show 2016 at Olympia that fell into my inbox. Surely this will give me the inspiration and clarity that I need to create my own ideal home of true grown upness?

It is somewhat surprising to me that despite living in London for over 30 years I have never been to the Ideal Home Show. I think the usual timings have always been in school term time, which may explain why not but with the ridiculously early Easter holidays this year I found I was a) free to go on a weekday,  b) in possession of said freebie ticket and c) able to get to Olympia via the Overground on two easily connecting trains.

So what to say about my first foray into the world of ideal homes?

Here are a few of my favourite things!

What I hadn’t expected was the sheer size of the show – it’s immense! Area after area offering food, household products, windows, gardens, gizmos and gadgets fill Olympia to the rafters. I didn’t really have a plan so wandered the zones in a rather unfocused way, doing that looking but not really looking thing in order to avoid pushy salespeople. I  caught Laurence Llewlyn Bowen talking about colour schemes and being bold. Purple is apparently bold, as is patterned wallpaper. I’m not sure either would feature in my grown up house but I have decided I am certainly not in the beige camp. This, I have learnt is a good thing according to LLB, wearer of purple suits and purveyor of bold wall paper designs.

The show homes were the best bit and well worth the short queue time. Although they were a lot smaller than I imagined, I did come away with a few more ideas on how I might achieve grown up home status. See those wall hanging shelf like boxes…they look definitely non student zone to me. I might even reconsider blinds instead of curtains if those colours are anything to go by. A Mondrian SMEG fridge would be a wonderful thing but probably wouldn’t fit in my kitchen. A SMEG mixer on the other hand would definitely take cake making to a whole new level.

Hello new ideas! Goodbye woodchip!! Defeating the everlasting dust, however might just take a bit longer.

©Chez l’abeille  2016


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