14 April 2014

Blog Tour: A Place to Call Home by Carole Matthews

Welcome to my blog tour stop for Carole Matthews' A Place To Call Home blog tour! Carole's latest book looks like a brilliant read, I've thoroughly enjoyed many of her previous books so I can't wait to get stuck into this one. Carole's article for me is about the place that she calls home, and is a fab read, I hope you enjoy it!

My thanks go to Carole for taking the time to write this for my blog tour stop!

You can buy A Place To Call Home as a paperback or an eBook now.

The Place That I Call Home

I can pin point exactly when my desire for a tidy, minimalist home started and I can lay the blame squarely at the blue and yellow feet of IKEA. It doesn’t help that I now live approximately three minutes from my closest store - which is waaaay too handy.

When my partner, Lovely Kev, and I first moved to the Costa del Keynes we painted the house white from top to toe. All our furniture was cream or white, every appliance and accessory was stainless steel. They had all been bought from IKEA and were called PLOP, TWERP, FLANGE or similar. Our home was affectionately known as The Morgue.

I don’t like ornaments. Not really. Though I have tried. We’ve travelled the world and, once upon a time, I used to bring back souvenirs. Coloured batik wall hangings or ethnic prints. Invariably, I’d get them home to the Costa del Keynes and wonder what on earth I was going to do with them. What looks good hanging on a wall in deepest, darkest Peru, rarely translates to the Home Counties.

Now I buy nothing. Virtually, every ornament we posses - and there are very few of them - have been bought for us by someone else. The hand-carved goose called Kevin bought for us by my mother-in-law last Christmas is slowly but surely inching its way towards the charity box.

In our current home, Matthews’ Towers, it’s no different. It is still a shrine to all things Swedish and flat-packed. We also have the same wooden flooring throughout, the same colour of paint in every room - Dulux Almond White. I try to tell myself that it cuts down on those tricky colour scheme decisions.

I love going to other people’s homes who manage to blend patterns and colours, mixing and matching them so perfectly, yet it’s a skill I’ve never quite acquired. You really can’t go wrong when everything is pretty much cream or white. I also love bright colours - again in other people’s homes. When we moved into this house every room was a garish, migraine-inducing shade. Our bedroom was lime green, hand-painted with daisies the size of dinner plates in pink, orange and yellow. Even the previous owner admitted it had been an experiment too far. The spare room was lilac with sheep stencilled as a border. It took the decorator five coats of white paint to obliterate them.

Despite, my need for extreme tidiness, I like my home to be a welcoming place and I love to have friends over. Because we have a large conservatory, mine is generally the party house for our closest mates. I don’t actually care if my visitors are untidy or if they spill things. I just want them to be here.

What makes a home is not the colour you paint it or the stuff you fill it with but the fun and love inside. And you can’t buy that from IKEA.

Footnote: Carole Matthews is not sponsored by IKEA but, quite frankly, she really should be.

Thanks so much, Carole!

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