I find I need constant encouragement to do the housework. I'm sure I'm not alone in that I love a nice, clean, tidy house, but when it comes to it, how much fun is pushing around a heavy vacuum cleaner and cleaning the bathroom, or lugging a mattress to change the sheets? And I'm too thrifty and private to want to hire a cleaner. Besides, once I get going I do actually enjoy being my own cleaner.
Last week I used a method I think I heard about from Alexandra Stoddard. She said people asked her why homes in magazines always looked so much better than their own. The reasons I remember her giving were:
- These homes have been cleaned within an inch of their lives, and
- Cords and plugs are hidden out of the way. They could be pushed along the edge of the carpet and skirting or taped to a table leg, and finally,
- Superfluous items are taken out of a room to give an open, breezy look.
She also said it is very useful to take photos of your rooms and study them. Things which stand out as unattractive in a photo, your eye will be accustomed to seeing as you see them every day. But a photo shines a bright light on them.
I added to this my love of makeovers, whether it’s clothing, hair-and-makeup or peoples homes. I took my own Before photos last week, just of the main areas, and then set about sprucing everything up as I cleaned.
I must say I had a very productive day, and at the end of it I took my After photos. At the top is our living room, featuring our new sofas which we saved for, ordered and waited, and finally received late last year. They were handmade right here in the city where I live by a company that has been around for many decades.
We went into their showroom looking for 'plain' sofas, and came out with these. We had in our mind that we wanted the sofa from the Frasier tv programme, which is apparently based on Coco Chanel’s sofa in her Ritz Paris apartment (but hers was made of suede, not fabric. Can you imagine?). But when I saw this Chesterfield style but in fabric, I fell in love with it.
Then, the fabric we chose ended up being made in France. We had to wait longer for it as the fabric mill was closed for the month of August. Being a Francophile I know that almost the entire country closes down for the main summer month of August.
It was quite fun to be ‘involved’ in a French tradition, but it didn’t make waiting for our sofas any easier!
The other photos are of our bedroom and ensuite, just the Afters though. The Befores aren't nearly as pleasing to look at.