It’s easy to underestimate just how important where you lay your head is. Like many other things in life, we may take things for granted and you don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone (or damaged). So, apart from its pragmatic benefits (somewhere to sleep, cook and keep dry!), what makes a house a home?
Grace’s home in Sussex: Our home makes us feel safe and secure. Records don’t back far enough for us to know exactly how old it is – at least 400 years anyhow. It has, over the eleven years we have lived in it, withstood 90mph gales, heavy snow, and torrential unrelenting rain/floods – and never failed to keep us warm and dry. In truth, I have always yearned for the symmetry of a Georgian house (bet I’m not alone there!) and our old converted barn couldn’t be further from that – every window is a different size, floors slope, nothing is straight. But our wonky house has come to mean everything to me – it has a wonderful atmosphere and is brilliant for entertaining whatever time of year it is.
Ellie’s home in Cheltenham: Life can throw some pretty big stones at us from time to time (most days I find!) – illness, betrayal, family crisis, broken hearts etc. Our home is that special place where I can either regenerate after one or other disaster, or enjoy a quiet or rowdy moment with family and friends. In short, our “Hastle” is possibly my closest friend in all the world and if I could give her a big hug I would. She has seen it all but will never spill the beans!
Annabel’s home in Oxfordshire: When I moved from London to Henley on Thames, I did it with trepidation as we built our house! However it was an enjoyable and challenging project and we chose a contemporary open plan style which has proved very successful and homely. However the house is on an eyot (river island) and apart from the headaches of access over a small footbridge, we succeeded to build the home of our dreams and I now cannot imagine living anywhere else as it is so unique – it is like being on holiday all year round! Last year we experienced the challenges of flooding, however our ‘tanking’ worked and so whilst our garden became a lake, we were warm and dry inside.