dining room

Intentional home: Shelfie, and why I'm making do


These cheap white Ikea bookcases have moved house with us at least twice. They reside in our dining room and for the first 6 months that we lived here (and in each previous house) they were a dumping ground for The Things With No Home. They were also, not coincidentally, one of the first spaces to be tackled as we started to declutter and try to enjoy the space in which we live, around a year ago.

These four skinny white bookcases epitomise the compromise and making the best of what’s available right now which embodies so much of this early stage of our intentional living journey. Yes, I would love to replace the bookcases with a couple of beautiful wooden open shelves, or maybe a midcentury sideboard, and I’d like to replace the lego and the nasty cheap Egyptian ornaments (Eqypt-obsessed 9yo boy) with one or two carefully selected and beautiful design accents. But the reality is that, in this most used room in the house, this is what we have available and I have to work with the storage options afforded to me and make the space function for all five members of our family.

We are currently saving for an extension, making any expensive interiors work right now both unaffordable and a bit daft, since the whole shape of the house will change. Within the next two years (finances depending - I know we're not 'meant' to talk money on an aesthetics/lifestyle blog, but I may post more about  how our finances relate to our intentional living plans at some stage) this room will be knocked through into the kitchen next door and extended to create a large kitchen/dining/living space which we can all enjoy as a family.

Browsing instagram and Pinterest, it’s hard to imagine that anyone has to wait to achieve the perfect home - they all only seem to post photos of enormous airy rooms, all beautifully decorated. For us it’s a longer process than that, and an honest one along the way. I can’t show you photos of the perfect home because I don’t currently have it, but I am more than pleased and proud to share photos of us making the best of what we have, and of our plans to make it even better. This site has never been about showing you the perfect version of my life. It’s about showing you how I work with what I have to create a life that maximises joy and intention right now, and I think these shelves are a perfect example of that.

But meanwhile joy, insofar as it applies to these shelves, means neat, tidy, functional and pleasant to look at, if not entirely awe inspiring.