Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Up & Down

by Bex

It's a weird feeling when you move home and feel like you've both upsized and downsized at the same time.  It sounds confusing but let me explain; we've clearly upsized in our new home to a house from a flat and with a bigger square footage, a garage, driveway and a garden of our own.  We absolutely love our new house and feel extremely lucky to be living here.  The feeling of downsizing just comes from the fact we have grown used to our very spacious rooms and lovely high ceilings in our old Glasgow tenement flat.  This means quite a few pieces from our old home just won't fit in our new one.

The first of these being our wardrobes.  I'd suspected without even seeing the new house that our very tall Ikea wardrobes might not fit as it's a relatively new build and they tend to have lower ceilings than older houses generally, never mind our super high ceilings!  In our flat, we could fit large suitcases on their sides on top of the tall wardrobes and still have space before the ceiling.  Luckily Nik was in touch with the owners of our new house and managed to find out (just in time) that actually no, they definitely wouldn't fit.  They were 6cm too tall and that's without even taking into account the coving.  We tried to sell them to our buyer as it would save her having to buy, transport (up 2 flights of stairs) and build her own wardrobes but she had already made other arrangements.  In the end, in desperation of how to get rid of these rather large (and in total quite expensive) wardrobes out of our flat we thought we'd have to list them on Freecycle for anyone who would come and dismantle them and take them away.

Nik then had the idea that maybe the ceiling in the garage might be higher than in the house so asked again for a measurement from the old owners.  Hoorah!  They'd fit in the garage.  We'd already asked all our removals companies to quote including dismantling and then rebuilding of the wardrobes at the other end as I am clearly not in a position to help with that at the moment!  It does mean we have some very swanky storage in our garage but there's still room for my car and we have other plans for the other half of the garage which I'll talk about in more detail in another post!  Obviously we also had to buy smaller wardrobes for the actual rooms in the new house which was a cost we didn't envisage (on top of replacing fixtures which were stripped from the house like toilet roll holders!)  - thank goodness for our new 19 month 0% interest cards!  We won't be going mad on them as we don't want to rack up lots of debt but it will help when there is so much essential baby and house stuff to buy all at once!  Plus 19 months gives us enough time for me to be back at work to help pay it off before any charges occur!

Having a smaller wardrobe has definitely made a difference to me as I'm having trouble unpacking and sorting all my clothes without spreading into other rooms for storage.  (I already kept my dresses in a wardrobe in the spare room where they are again now, the only difference being I organised them by colour - I'm so sad and I know it won't last!)  Losing the extra 35cm of height has made more of a difference than I expected and we're trying to have less furniture in the rooms in order to keep a spacious feel where possible.  Our bedroom has a built in cupboard which Mum & Nik did a fabulous job transforming the inside of so we didn't need another wardrobe for Nik's stuff (although I'm starting to think it has more space than my wardrobe so I may be angling for a swap!)  And before you ask, yes I did have a clearout before we moved but I think I may need to be more brutal!  It's hard without knowing what might fit me after pregnancy though!

So, the next two items from our old home which didn't fit in the new house are both lamps.  You may have seen pictures of our 'Arco' lamp (a bargainous £70 on ebay!) and huge paper lantern (massively reduced in the habitat sale years ago) both in the old living room.  We'd thought the big paper lamp which was almost floor to ceiling would certainly be put into storage until we one day might live in a house with taller ceilings again (I can't bear to part with it as I just love it so much) but we hadn't thought about our Arco lamp causing problems.  It was only when we tried to reassemble it at this end that we saw the top part of the arch touches the ceiling.  Bugger.  With the lampshade on it would hang down a bit lower but would just look silly in the room and make the whole place look small.  It has therefore also been relocated to the garage (again, more on this later but it may be coming clear that the garage will be used for more than just cars and storage!).

Our kitchen, too, feels a lot smaller.  Although the house is overall bigger than our flat, it's split into a lot more rooms meaning it sometimes feels less spacious than where we were before.  You all know how much I LOVE my old kitchen.  I always knew I would miss it as I've grown used to having so much space, storage and surface area for cooking, baking and entertaining.  Even when house hunting we knew we'd have trouble recreating a similar space down south.  There seems to be a much greater tendency to have a separate dining room down here meaning kitchens are much smaller.  (We were extremely lucky with our old one having been converted from a living room with bay window years before we moved in.)  Our new kitchen is certainly one of the bigger ones we'd seen but doesn't compare to our old one and definitely won't fit our table in it.  We have plans to knock down part of the wall between it and the dining room asap to open up the space, preferably before the babies arrive due to the noise and mess it will inevitably cause during the work.  We'll also need a dresser in the dining room to take the overflow from the kitchen cupboards.  (Yes, I do have an addiction to vases, platters and cake stands almost as much as shoes, necklaces and clothes in general!)

The only other thing which we're having trouble fitting in (that we've noticed so far) are some of our larger pieces of art.  The large square frame from above our old fireplace might only look reasonable hung above the stairs on the landing as in any other room it would take up more than half the wall height and be rather domineering.  My gallery of 9 safari prints from our honeymoon would similarly take over a whole wall in this house so we're thinking of hanging them along the landing upstairs in a row rather than a square format.  I'm not sure yet where my 1m wide canvas of Black Rock Cottage will fit in either but we'll find a home for that too.  Also, our living room has much less wall space than we're used to as it has 2 walls with windows and another 2 walls with double doors as well as lower ceilings.  A lot of my other photographs and our paintings should all find new homes more easily being more standard sizes but we're waiting until we've decorated to decide where everything will go as they're all getting re-jigged to fit in with my new decor ideas and the new layout.

None of these things take away from the fact we have a lot more space overall now and we compromised on location to enable us to afford that.  We've definitely lucked out in that regard too though as we're already loving the country lifestyle and have what seems like a great community around us!  The benefits and positives of this house FAR outweigh any of the little issues I've mentioned above, I don't want to seem like I'm moaning as I would definitely choose this house again and again.  Especially as the stairs at the old flat were already getting too much for me to climb while growing our twins, never mind with two external growing babies to humph up with me!!  I am LOVING having a driveway which guarantees I can park right outside my door and just step into the house when I'm knackered after a day out or shopping trip!

Have you ever had trouble fitting in your beloved home-wares after moving?  Have any of you moved from a period property to a new one and missed features such as high ceilings, cornicing and fireplaces?  I'm wondering what I'll do with my pumpkins and Christmas candle display this year ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Exciting update (though at least you had the foresight to anticipate some of these things!) Now I'm just racking my brain to work out what you could be using your garage for!

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