How couples can create a versatile journal for a harmonious home
How to set up a harmonious home
LIKE MANY MODERN couples, when Harry and Meghan start their married life, they will not be moving into a new home, but returning to their current one – in this case, Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace. But they might still benefit from the lessons of a new book on setting up home by Joanna and Peter Ahlberg: a cross between an advice manual and a journal in which you can record the details of your own home life. Whether you are moving, redecorating or just want to live in a more organised fashion, the following tips might prove useful.
— When you move into a house, make a note of the basic details – the year it was built, its style and characteristics, and the history of the site. Also record the details that you might otherwise forget – friends who helped during the move, and your first meal, visitors and party.
— Make a detailed plan of each room, including not only the measurements of the walls and floor but also the height and width of the doors through which furniture will need to fit. Note who will use each room, what it will be used for, and details such as how much light it receives. This will help you choose decoration and furniture.
— Create a moodboard for each room you want to decorate within your journal, with details of things to keep, things to buy, and the colours, styles and materials you would like to use. Write down sources and attach swatches; that way you’ll have everything in one place. — Keep digital receipts of all of your bigticket items and file them together. — Make a paint record, with details of the colours and types of paint used in each room. This will prove invaluable when touch-ups are needed. — Have a project workbook of all jobs to be done, both small things such as fixing a cabinet door and long-term renovation plans. Note down budgets, contractors’ details and quotes, and keep a directory of all useful local contacts.
— Consider what’s outside: make a note of the animals and birds you see in your garden, and gather nearby plants and flowers to press and dry. These will inspire you to bring colours and natural themes into your home. Diary of Your Home, by Joanna and Peter Ahlberg (Rizzoli, £18.95), is out now