Comfort at Home, Contentment in Family
It was time for a change. My husband and I decided that moving to a new home would be better for our next stage of family life. Although we had missed the ballot for a new estate, we chanced upon a sale of balance flats opportunity and collected the keys to our new home in early November 2019. God is good. In the spirit of change, we decided to forgo hiring an interior designer and made this a family project instead.
Project: New home
We agreed that everyone in the family would have a part to play in the renovation of our new home, from initial design concept to final selection of tiles, paints and patterns— even toilet fittings and electrical appliances for the kitchen. There was a multitude of things to discuss and agree on. Our family of three was kept busy this whole month, fuelled by the excitement of moving in before Christmas. In my heart, I wished for everyone to be happy with their choices and take a sense of ownership in the new family home, so that on moving in, we would be stronger as a family.
Step one: Style
The first thing we had to agree on was design style. If we were going to live in the house for the next twenty to thirty years, we had to be satisfied with the look and feel of it, so having a style in mind to guide our decisions was a good idea— and what better modern, minimal-maintenance style than the Scandinavian aesthetic? The Danes even have a word for it: ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hue-guh) means comfort, cosiness and contentment.
Step two: Sourcing
As we worked together, going out as a family to source for materials and pair colours, we found ourselves more involved in each others’ lives. My 17-year-old daughter voiced her opinion about having simple grey or beige woven window blinds, and I took the time to listen to her creative ideas and opinions. This helped us to be more open with one another.
Bumps in the road
Along the way, we did encounter some disagreements. My daughter wanted to place the piano in the dining room in place of a dining table, due to space constraints. I admit I wanted to please her but at the same time, I felt being able to eat together at the dining table is important to my family’s bonding time over meals. I reasoned with her, and she felt let down, but after a few conversations with her, she began to see some truth in that. In the end, we came to the agreement to position the piano in her bedroom, where she could play to her heart’s content in her own private space and we could eat together as a family at the dining table.
Step three: Satisfaction
We had a sense of satisfaction upon seeing the house come together, from planning with pen and paper to construction in real life. It was a work of art coming together stroke by stroke, our masterpiece came together tile by tile and panel by panel. The shared experience of working together towards a common goal, united us. We celebrate our marvellous journey with prayer and thanksgiving, for this would not have been possible without God. The next thing we will do is bring nature into the house with potted plants— more hygge for my family and our new home!
Marie in the midst of construction of the hygge modern wall feature in her new home kitchen
Manager, NOVA Learning Intervention Programme