Nothing. Yup, not a thing. Definitely not.
He did, indirectly and unintentionally however, turn me into the house proud neat freak I am today. He was here visiting from the UK last week and it got me thinking how our attitudes to home and how we live are shaped by how we are brought up as children. Don’t you think so?
I grew up in a single parent family: my dad, my younger sister and I. As the eldest of two, I couldn’t help, once I became a teenager, but take on the female role of housewife, being neither wife nor adult.
I suggested home improvements to my dad, I tidied up after him and my younger sister, I bought flowers and arranged them. The problem was, neither him or my sister cared what the house looked like. It was often a tip. In hindsight, my dad worked full-time as a pilot and my sister was a kid, so it’s no surprise. And my dad, like many middle-aged men, had just about zero interest in colour schemes and the latest furniture trends.
I however, did. So when my dad didn’t agree to implement my ideas, I went ahead and implemented them myself. Could I paint well as a teenage girl? Um, no. But I thought I could. And one night when Dad was taking one of his two-hour baths I started painting the living room. When he came downstairs to find me halfway done, it was a case of too late!
I think he decided to let me loose on a complete overhaul of my own bedroom to confine my efforts to less communal areas! I very clearly remember how much I loved that room: matching curtains and cushions (cringe!) in navy fabric with gold stars, a brand spanking new blue carpet (shudder), yellow pine furniture (say no more), a director’s chair at my new desk and plenty of sun and moon-inspired accessories. I loved that nineties room.
Fast forward to 2012 and here I am writing an interior design blog. I am obsessed with all things interiors and always have been, ever since I got my own place at 18 and had control over how it looked. I am absolutely CONVINCED I am the neat freak I am because I grew up in a family home so messy I was often embarrassed for people to come round. Now I LOVE having people over but I am uber house proud and would hate if someone popped by unannounced and found my place a mess.
Plenty of my girlfriends tell me they are affected by their mothers’ attitudes to housework. One folds all her washed linen just so because that’s what her mum did. Another is messy because her family were always messy and it doesn’t bother her. So, how was your home growing up and do you think it influenced how you keep your own house as a grown up?
PS. Yes, I am missing my Dad and any excuse to blog about him…. and yes, I still LOVE navy.
Hi Jen, what a cute post! I definitely think how I grew up has influenced how I am in my own house now. My mum is quite fussy with her house, and I am to a degree. I can’t stand mess, but with two small children, and a husband that can stand mess, I have to just tolerate mess! And it’s bloody hard. I love interiors too, but have made quite a few blunders along the way, but that’s ok, parts of my house I just absolutely love and others I cringe at. All in all, I do love my little house. Thanks for your great blog, I am keen reader and follow you on FB and instagram as well. Keep doing what you love x Happy Sunday
Thanks for the kind words, Jasmine! I think we either become like our parents or rebel and do the opposite! You have eXACTLY the right attitude to home, keep it up 🙂
my folks both worked down stairs in their own biz, a pub. I was up stairs, in the laundry. I would set up the dryer with a cloth, little vase of flowers – I don’t know why, but I just needed it to be nice for when I worked. Our home was often messy, my folks worked very hard, we did have cleaning ladies, but in between visits it was a tip. I would re-arrange furniture, and do things my house proud Nanna would do. Everything was just so. Now I’m always working, and the house is a tip, except after the cleaning lady has been. Totally turned into my mother, eek! A very sweet post, thanks so much for sharing x
Love it, Louisa! Makes me feel like I wasn’t the only strange houseproud child 😉
David Wang says
That’s a really sweet post Jen. Glad that you have such a great relationship with your dad and thanks for sharing a little glimpse into your personal life. I would never have guessed you’re into navy, since you’re always using pink on your blog 😛
Navy and pink go very well together, you know! Now you’re giving me ideas…
Corinna Musgrave says
I really enjoyed this warm and engaging article and could identify with quite a few elements. Cringe!
I absolutely thought yellow and blue combos were the absolute height of sophistication in the early nineties 🙂
Thanks Corinna, glad you enjoyed it!
Hahaha! Love your post. I too was allowed to to “makeover” my own room at 14. Blue walls, light blue trim and the absolute kicker? Yellow ceiling. My poor parents still have that room just as I did (matching yellow curtains and blue light fitting included.) I think that while they detest the colours (and keep reminding me about it!) a they’re just a little sentimental about that room. Plus they can tease me mercilessly about it whenever we do more “tasteful” renos to our current home!
As a fellow pom I know how hard it is to say bye! Just think of all the quality time you had and keep blogging about him it’s lovely to hear! Sounded like you had a fab time x