(Neither the cabinet on the floor nor the tree
will be here in the long term.)

A good thing about buying a house for the long term is that we can make odd choices. I intend to live here for the next 20 years or so at least, circumstances allowing. We don’t need to think about what the real estate market likes, what sells and what doesn’t. We can do our own thing.

Item one: colour on walls. White interiors are definitely the in thing. It’s almost a joke – any time a newspaper runs a story about someone’s home, the photos are all white. Any time a house is up for sale, the interior is white. (I wonder how many of them have painted the walls white just before the sale.)

We chose to go against that current. The two living rooms have colourful wallpaper: one in cream and red, one in green tones. The entry hall and the office have deep green walls. Now whenever I walk upstairs, where the walls all still have their original white colour, my spontaneous reaction is that the space feels raws and unfinished.

The bathroom has a spacious shower corner but no bathtub. The old bathroom had ample space, but we moved the bathroom to a new location to make space for other changes, and the new room is much smaller, perhaps about half the old one. We traded a bathtub for more living space.

For us this was no real loss. We never take baths; I think I may have taken a single bath since we moved here three years ago, and Eric may have taken a couple of baths as well. Ingrid likes to soak and play in a tub occasionally but we have a small portable tub for her.

Less controversially, we chose untreated pine floors. No hardwoods, no oak parquet, no varnish and no oil. We will be treating the floors with linseed oil soap.