I remember the first Christmas that I had when I moved out of home distinctly. I was in a janky share house in the suburbs of Perth. I’d moved in with a friend of mine from university, and we were in a house that’s best described as the worst house on the best street. I had an inkling that my housemate owned the place. There were rumours that his parents had bought it for him, but then again there were also rumours that he’d won a substantial amount playing lotto and had bought it himself. The guy himself talked in riddles and half lies to amuse himself, so I could never be sure what the real story was.
Either way, I was thrilled to be out of my parent’s place and in a real house, with the ability to live life however I wanted. Did I want to eat ice cream for breakfast washed down with a glass of sangria over summer? You bet I did!
Our house was filled with the usual uni student furniture, touches, and accommodations. My bed base was made from pallets. My bookshelf from cinder blocks and planks of wood. The lounge room couches were from the Salvos and roadside pickup, draped in sarongs. It wasn’t fancy be it was comfy, cosy, and we were never afraid to get things damaged.
We threw a lot of parties that summer. And as Christmas started approaching I gleefully clapped my hands and started chatting a million miles a minute to my housemate about decorating the house for the impending day. With a bemused look on his face, he said to go right ahead. And so I started plotting, planning, about how our house could transform into this Christmas beauty.
Of course, then I started to think about my bank balance. I couldn’t really afford to buy us any furniture. I probably couldn’t even afford a Christmas tree – much as I wanted one.
So – I made do. A big haul from the two dollar shop of tinsel, baubles, and decorations. I dug out sarongs in Christmas colours to put on our couches. I drew a big Christmas tree design that took me hours that I stuck up on the wall in the corner of the lounge and put carefully wrapped presents under for him and the dog. It wasn’t fancy, but it was Christmas, and it was home.
Ten years later, I’m still as excited about Christmas as I was back then. After completing my degree and being in (and moving up in!) the workforce for some years now, I’m able to really decorate to my heart’s content. These days, my lounge room is looking a lot more fab than primary school – especially come Christmas time.
Last year, in the lead up to Christmas, I purchased myself a gorgeous new leather lounge, which now takes pride of place in the living room. I have an amazing (fake) Christmas tree – and I get to go out hunting for beautiful and unique baubles for it every year. My friends even give my them because they know how much I love Christmas! This year I’m planning on getting a new coffee table to update my old Ikea one – because I deserve it.
I’m always on the lookout for little decorative touches to place around my home. And I think that it’s a great time of year to do room updates – even if it’s just a new piece of furniture instead of going the whole hog. One year I even painted the dining room walls in the lead up to Christmas as I thought “this just won’t do” for my Christmastime entertaining space. There’s no reason not to get caught up in the feeling of the season and let it eek over into how you’d like your home to be all year round.
If you’re thinking about updating your lounge room for summer and you’re on a tight budget, then just pick out one new piece that you’d like to get. If it’s expensive, then there are often interest-free payment plans that you can get from furniture providers so you can pay off your piece over an extended period instead of all at once. If you go with one of these payment plans, you might even find that you can afford more pieces at once, if you’re paying them off on a weekly basis.
So go forth, be merry, and let Christmas be your inspiration for changing up your home – like me!