Life isn’t an IKEA catalogue

Oh, but wouldn’t it be nice. The drawers, the natural light pouring in from large windows, house plants, the scattered cushions, the just-right level of mismatched-but-perfectly-quirky patterns and colours… No clutter, except for the photogenic kind. Adore it all as I do, I realise I will never have an IKEA catalogue home, and I’ve just become OK with it. I even recently used my collection of IKEA catalogues as stove fuel. I had around fifteen years of those on my bookshelf like they were precious yearbooks of design. Not anymore.

A friend “liked” a post on Facebook by a mum who nearly but didn’t send an apology to a friend for the state of her house before that friend was due over for a coffee. She realised that having the clutter, chaos, stains, yesterday’s makeup on, and a funky smelling house was part of life itself. She decided to be unapologetic for living. I find myself in the same boat at times, living in a too-small house, where two people with lots of stuff work and live.

Life at Penwarren is tricky. Our kitchen is a terrible design and difficult to keep clean on the best of days. We have no living room because it was sacrificed to become my studio. The office is a small, cluttered space of computers, a couple comfy chairs (in lieu of a sofa) facing gaming TVs, and a bunch of necessary hardware and toolboxes for Pete’s occupation as a tech wizard. The junk of life spills into every available space here like water through a cracked cup. And you know what?
It’s OK.

So next time someone comes over, I’m not apologising for the state of the house. It’s not a biohazard, it usually smells nice (we love incense), and I’ll clear a spot for coffee cups. This is a working environment and a living home. Life is not tidy, and I’d get nothing done if it was. Not to say I wouldn’t like a bigger house, but I’m grateful for what I have right now and all the creative thought it takes to work *with* my environment, not against it.

Who needs a sofa anyway.

2 thoughts on “Life isn’t an IKEA catalogue”

  1. I don’t trust people with overly tidy houses (aside from my mother). I worked with a guy for a few years whose house was immaculate yet he claimed to be a ‘creative’.

    As it turned out he spent his life ripping off other people’s work and screwing me financially at the same time.

    If my house was tidy I would never remember what I was working on!

  2. Creative and tidy are generally not compatible. And I would much rather have a lot going on, than nothing better to do but clean my house. (And I totally get the bit about remembering what you’re working on! Same.)

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