When did my obsession with the colour white start? I can specifically date this back to the first time I watched John Lennon at his white piano in the ‘video’ – a word not used much these days – to promote Imagine. Amazing words, amazing melody but those white walls! – The white walls! The white floor! The white floor to ceiling shutters! Wow! I think the song was released before I was born but I first saw this amazing white vision of a room as a child. It was so calm, serene and as I young girl I thought… that’s what I want!
In 1998 after buying my first house, I had my chance but I still had the need in me to experiment. Boy oh boy, did I experiment! Every room was a different colour; a sunny yellow dining room, a warm and moody, dark red living room, a cheery orange kitchen and so it goes on until my bedroom and that was the bit that didn’t need any experiment – I know it had to be white or cream, I didn’t mind a combination of both but this was my place, my sanctuary and I knew how I wanted it to be. Of course, in those days we didn’t have Insta or Pintrest or Google images… You were on your own and just to make life even more difficult, I had absolutely no money and the nearest Ikea was just over an hours drive away! Thankfully these days the nearest store is less than a 10 minute drive and I have a smart phone in my hand 16 hours a day. Life is certainly much easier in 2019… though not quite as space aged as I had expected it to be when I was 8!
Anyway, back to 1998…. I had that room with the white piano in my mind. There was absolutely no way I could afford window shutters so it was a light wood venetian blind for the window with a matching pole and long white curtains. The walls were easy – I opted for antique cream, it was the perfect off white, almost putty colour – as for the bedding, that had to be white and Ikea obliged. Thankfully the ceiling light was directly above the middle of the bed so I treated myself (after some saving) and headed to Habitat for the biggest paper ball shade they sold. Even though it was folded flat, it was still a bit of a nightmare to get home on the train – the wind kept catching it. I guess little wonder as it was easily 3 feet in diameter. I raced home from the station as fast as the wind would allow and fitted it to the ceiling pendant. It was magnificent! Not only was it 3 feet wide, it was at least 3 feet tall and the very bottom probably only sat about 3 feet above the duvet. Yes, it made making the bed a tiny bit more challenging but it was my pride and joy AND my first ever Habitat purchase. I truly felt like a grown up!
Thankfully I had a little saved for a bed but my budget was strictly Argos. I opted for a very traditional black wrought iron bed and it was the perfect contrast. It punctuated the room perfectly. It was the full stop at the end of a white, cream, pale putty and pale wood conversation.
I must be feeling brave this evening as, just for you, I found this photo. It was taken in 1998, in my bedroom of that first adventure into property ownership. As you can see, I was still lacking a bedside table and nice lamp but the bedding, the bed and, most importantly if you look at the top right corner, a glimpse of that magnificent first ever Habitat purchase! As for me, I’m 25, very skinny and studying for my Solicitors Accounts Final (the last exam I ever sat and I’m not planning to do any more) and given the roll of toilet paper next to me, I think it was hayfever season! As this house was always a meeting place for friends (I was the first one in my gang to buy a house), I was clearly upstairs escaping some chaos while they all carried on elsewhere. For the record, I loved that house! In 2002 when it was time to move on, one of my friends bought this house from me and it was always nice (if not a touch weird) to return. In another little twist, the black iron bed now lives in a friend’s house as her spare and I occasionally sleep on it!
Today, life is different but more or less the same. I recently returned to my signature pixie cut and 20 (gulp!) years on, I am delighted to say that apart from being a little bit wider around the middle, I look much the same. Of course, my obsession with all things white continues. Every room in this house is painted white with the exception of the kitchen which is stone white – purely because it’s really bright in here on a sunny day and brilliant white might be blinding! I know many people think white is cold but please trust me, in lamp light it’s actually very cosy. These days, I can afford window shutters and we have them in almost every room and, of course, they are white. If you’ ve read my other blogs, you will know my love affair with Ikea continues. As I said, all sort of different but very much the same 20 years on from those first days with a paint sample in hand and only my own imagination to guide me.
Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog. If you have a similar experience or want to get in touch, please leave a comment below or find me on Instagram @ceinioghome