Sometimes Mark and I enjoy a good battle of wills because of style. If you remember, we had a long running battle over a sofa; a hideous piece of seventies beige with a tartan pattern. My revulsion for the sofa was somewhat relieved by keeping a sheet over it because of our animals, but I knew what lurked beneath the covers.

The kettle we did not get. I still want it!
The kettle we did not get. I still want it!

Mark prefers a more rustic and Edwardian style of home. The old Etonian in him wants Chesterfield and precious woods and clutter. Bookshelves should be laden. Tables should be filled with trinkets. Photographs in silver frames should stand back to back on the free surfaces.

I, however, seek to turn our domicile into a sleek and modern home with sensible storage. The Nordic in me see function over form, and seek efficiency and order. I want plastic boxes to hide the clutter, and I want to have as much as possible stored away out of sight but still nearby for easy retrieval.

The result is a mix and match, like our kitchen, which is a clash of these differing ideals – or a compromise of them. So, today, when we went down to the town to find a replacement kettle – our old one developed an electrical fault – our different tastes came to the front.

He wanted a hideous piece of porcelain with curly cues and a floral pattern. Of course it was not electrical. I wanted a Chrome electrical one made by a Danish company called Bodum. In the end we compromised on a piece that neither of us thinks is particularly nice.

Our kitchen is turning into a battle ground of will, with meh-like solutions because both of us are stubborn as oxen. When Auntie came over, she rolled her eyes at us when we told her. Her suggestion was that we should get a huge house with two kitchens, two bathrooms, two bedrooms, two of every kind of room. Then we could divide the house and decorate it as we want. Sometimes, we are so typically stereotypical.

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