I’m not known for being overly house-proud. Despite – or maybe as a rebellion to – a strict upbringing and rigorous officer training in the Army, I find keeping my space in good order a daily battle. On bootcamp in Morocco with a particularly OCD friend, we resorted to maintaining an imaginary line down the middle of the room: so long as I contained my mess to my side, she could sleep at night. That said, the shared en suite did present its own challenges (I never even knew there were so many ways to squeeze a tube of toothpaste, and how wrong my way was).
It’s not that I enjoy living in mess. In fact, I find it quite stressful. But there is some sort of brain fog that eclipses me any time I go to think about tidying up let alone making home improvements. So I decided to start from scratch with a homewear haul from HEMA.
If you don’t know them, HEMA is a Dutch lifestyle retailer known for putting a design-y spin on basic, affordable items. And the brand is totally 360 – by which I mean that it has every aspect of life covered, from sports kit to cushions. It’s all designed and quality-tested in-house at HEMA HQ in Amsterdam, which is comforting to know in our current climate of fast fashion and clamouring for instant gratification.
What I love about HEMA is the variety. There are literally thousands of products to choose from, which proves that basics really don’t have to be basic.
So, with my home improvements in mind, I began my browsing. For the week leading up to my dedicated allocation of time for decorating, I’d been Pintrest-ing bedroom editorials so knew roughly what I was looking for: mis-matched photo frames, anything copper or rose gold, a snuggly throw, and some sort of whiteboard for organising my to-do list. Or doodling. Whichever.
I was astonished by how much I managed to squeeze into my virtual shopping cart without going over my £50 budget. Probably my most lavish purge was the soft, mint green throw – but it was still insanely affordable.
As I write this, I am in a happy state of zen, surrounded by my new homewear goodies. The pieces I chose have dual purpose. Firstly, they look mega (don’t you think?). But secondly – and arguably most importantly – they have immediate practical benefits, and are my first step on the road to better organising my thoughts, space, and life. My £50 lifestyle haul has brought with it an unexpected sense of clarity and optimism.
Here’s to being house-proud!