Growing up, I took a lot of things for granted.
One of those things is the fact that I did not stay in a House, but a Home. A warm, happy cosy home and a clean bed that I knew I would be safe and sound in, no matter how bad my day had been.
A Home – walking through the door to the smell of my Grandma’s Chicken Masala, a hug from my Mum, a wet kiss from one of my baby brothers. I was never lonely – and I think I was one of those few teenagers who actually wanted to go home first thing every day when school was out.
Afternoons spent digging the gardens for weeds in exchange for extra pocket money, hosing down the cars on a hot day (and hosing ourselves down as well), waving to my Grandma on her swing and my Grandpa on his bicycle as I returned home from work or school, baking with my sister in the kitchen, I led a pretty idyllic life (once we came back to Singapore from Shanghai) and it has shaped the way I view family, and the place I live in, forever.
For one, I have always known that I want a cosy, and not a designer, home. I can’t do minimalistic, I can’t do industrial chic stripped wooden benches and I definitely can’t do stark white marble counter tops meant for seeing and not using. 🙂 With all these in mind I started my own home, and my own family.
Our tiny apartment is often a mess. We have a white bookshelf heaving under the weight of my books, vintage photo frames and knick knacks from our travels – our crazily stacked spice rack takes pride of place in my kitchen. Sophie’s Nursery may have been Pinterest-worthy when we first set it up but now..
My couches are overflowing with cushions and the colors are all warm – lilac white on the walls, pale blonde wood laminate on the floors, tiffany blue curtains, deep chocolate decals. It will never appear in any magazine or be a style inspiration, but it is all us. 🙂
And if we are still staying here when Sophie is a little girl, I want her to feel that she can come home every day to an embrace – the embrace of a happy, noisy, comfortable home and a literal one, from me, her Papa, and a lick from Benjy. I see her in my mind’s eye sitting at our dining table, short plump legs swinging happily as I give her an afternoon snack and ask her about her day. I see our living room floor strewn with toys and the two of us lying in the middle of it, using our imaginations to tell our own stories, her head cushioned on Benjy’s warm belly (his tummy makes the best pillow ever)
Recently I embarked on a little project for our living room. We’d outgrown the two-seater sofa gifted to us by K’s mum, so as a replacement, we decided to go for a sofa bed (inspired by Chloe) – something large enough to do anything on – working on a laptop with a iced cappucino and Tim Tams on one of my absurdly dainty Wedgewood plates, singing to Sophie (and also folding her clothes / changing her diaper), sneaking in an afternoon nap.
Most of all it most definitely had to be roomy enough for all four of us to fit on those Sunday mornings when we’re thinking about whether we even want to leave this Home of ours.
So out came our assortment of cushions, collected over the years – some from IKEA, some from Franc Franc, some from Spotlight – a mismatched, motely, but extremely comfortable collection. 🙂
Up went the perfect bunting I have been hunting for for months ( you seldom find pastel bunting and they come in a patchwork of textures and colors)
And here’s the result !
I love, love love our new sofa bed. When I’m out and tired, I look at this photo and I can already feel myself sinking into its depths and possibly never emerging.
And to christen it, of course, the first bum to grace it had to belong to Her Highness Princess Sophie ( who has a total of three subjects serving her at any given time)
My daughter the Aristocrat. She’s already perfected that disapproving little rosebud pout and slightly accusatory expression.
I’m kidding – this was taken after we unceremoniously stripped off her sweat-soaked onesie and put her into just a singlet and her buttercup Charlie Banana diaper. She must have felt very affronted at her new clothing (or lack thereof) and decided to make known (very clearly indeed) her intense unhappiness at her mother’s (me) sartorial sense.
A Baby After My Own Heart !