I didn’t see this house before we chose it. In retrospect that seems crazy, but at the time I was seven months pregnant with the girls, working full time and anaemic and exhausted. Even if I could have begged a precious morning out of the office after Kirsty decided that this house was ‘the one’, my energy reserves were so depleted by that point that I would probably have just used it to sleep! Not to mention that houses in this part of London tend to be snapped up very quickly and we didn’t want to hang around.
On the day that we moved in, I remember trudging up the hill at a snail’s pace and Kirsty laughing at me because I had no idea as to which road we were headed. I really had that little a clue and whilst I knew that I cared, that beneath the tiredness and the lack of iron there was a part of me that desperately wanted to love our new home, I could barely access that part of me. All that I could do was trust that Kirsty would have made the best choice.
And I remember pushing open our front door and smiling with delight because I loved it, I really loved it – the cream walls with so much potential to put our own stamp, the living room that was so light and airy, the kitchen overlooking the garden with its decking, upon which I swore that we would eat breakfast every morning. And we did, right through to that autumn, with the exception of the few days in which our daughters were arriving or newly born. We held hands as we sat out to watch the children play, or clutched steaming mugs of coffee or hot chocolate, letting the sunlight warm us slowly and feeling so glad and so grateful to be young mothers raising our babies in such a beautiful little house.
One of the most important things to me, in choosing a home, is the light. It’s not just that I’m a photographer, but good light plays an enormous part in my mood; I really do feel much happier when I have plenty of access to bright, natural light. Kirsty likes to tease me gently because I’m always commenting on it: the way that light and shadow dapple across the pavement outside on clear summer days, as the sun filters through the leaves, how I yearn to be outside at ‘golden hour’, just before the sun sets when the world is bathed in that glorious rosy haze. And just before a storm, when the skies take on that almost green hue? That is when I am frantically flinging wellie boots on to my boys and dragging them out of the house!
So it was important to me that our new home have plenty of windows; that we could watch the rain pattering down or the people passing by, or our children playing outside. And we got lucky in that, in the summer months, we have the most amazing sunsets outside of our kitchen window that overlooks our garden and Canary Wharf, and on the floor above, from our own bedroom. But it is the living room window that matters most: it is the room that we spend the most time in, as a family, and it is perfectly positioned to let in a ton of gorgeous natural light during the day. My sons love to sit on the windowsill and watch the older girls next door play out with their friends, and one of my favourite things about my own morning routine is that when I leave the house for the office, everybody stands in the window to wave me off. I love to look back from my front gate and see them there, and to wave at them from my seat on the bus as we pass.
Windows are important! Everybody deserves to love their home.
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How did you choose your house, and what is most important to you when making a house a home?
Posted in collaboration with Rose Collection.