Over the course of two housing visits to England during our relocation process, my husband or I walked through at least a dozen or so properties. We quickly learned that there are some major differences between American and British homes (beyond average square footage, which won’t surprise anyone who has watched House Hunters International). But I’ve learned to love a lot about my home here (and I’ll share what I loathe in my next post!)
What’s a conservatory, you ask? It’s a popular way to add on to a home here. Basically, it’s a porch area enclosed by glass walls and a glass ceiling. Making it usable year-round, although it does get a bit warm during the hot days we’ve experienced this summer. For our family, we’ve made our conservatory a playroom for our two boys, ages 1 and 4. It means they get to play in an area with a lot of natural light flooding in, and the tile floor means I don’t have to worry about spills and messy play. And while it does take away some space from our garden, given the unpredictable weather here, I have no doubt we’ll make better use of this space throughout the year.
What Americans would call a yard. It’s almost standard that gardens here are completely enclosed. This was unlike my yard in the U.S. Now my sons are free to play outside as often as they wish, without needing my constant supervision to ensure they don’t run out into the street. Our garden here has high walls on each side, which provides a lot of privacy. While I do miss the friendly banter I’d have with neighbors in the U.S. on nice weekends when we’d all be out grilling, it’s nice to know my family has some space that is completely our own.
What a silly thing to love, right? But I had grown so frustrated with my U.S. dishwasher, which often spit out dishes that hardly looked clean and were covered in a white dust. Here, my dishes come out absolutely spotless and shiny, even when I don’t rinse as well as I should. I have no idea what the difference is, perhaps the detergent that’s used? Whatever it is, I love it.
Have any questions about British homes? Send me a message at arrowssentforth at gmail dot com and I’ll do my best to answer them directly or in a future post.