Laura Aikman: Good food, lots of laughter, maybe a good box-set

“I spend a lot of time pretending to be other people so home is a place where you can go and not worry about what anyone thinks of you.”

The #LoveHome Project is all about finding out what makes a house a home. Actress Laura Aikman has starred in a host of Britain’s most beloved television shows including Casualty, Waterloo Road, Bluestone 42 and has just completed filming on the third series of The Job Lot. When she’s not travelling all over the country filming, she lives in Kilburn with her boyfriend Matt. #LoveHome spoke to Laura about what makes her home a happy home.

When you think of home what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Bed. Because of the job I do, home has to be in quite a lot of different places. Wherever there is a bed I can call “mine” at that time, that’s what I think of as home.

What does home mean to you?

The place where I feel comfortable and I can be myself. I spend a lot of time pretending to be other people so home is a place where you can go and not worry about what anyone thinks of you.

What are your abiding memories of your childhood home?

My dad was a stunt man and in order to be official he had to do all these exams. To make money he had bouncy castles, helter-skelter and trampolines that he would rent out. So we had a summer at home where we basically had a circus set-up in our back garden. We had the most amazing playground.

What is your favourite room and why?

The living room, closely followed by the kitchen. I spend a lot of time in the living room with my boyfriend watching TV and catching up at the end of the day. I like cooking, I’m a bit of a feeder, and I love baking. Everyone wants a bit of cake right? I have to be a bit careful when I’m not working though because I spend all day making cakes and it would be very easy to just eat them all.

How would you improve your home if money was no object?

Move. We want a garden and a bigger kitchen. At the moment we’ve got a small balcony but it’s really grim; it over-looks some wheelie bins and if you go out there you feel depressed immediately.

Is there a smell that is evocative of home?

On a good day it’s the smell of bleach. I really like cleaning, and I like the house to almost smell offensively clean, like a chemical. I’m not obsessive, I don’t think, although in the past when I’ve lived with other people I’ve felt maybe I have a problem or they have a problem because in my mind they’re disgusting.

How do you relax at home?

When the house is clean! I’m making myself sound very neurotic. If the house is clean and everyone is fed that’s a good time. I’m a job-ticker, if I feel like if I’ve earned it then I can really relax.

“I like cooking, I’m a bit of a feeder, and I love baking.”

How do you give your home a distinct character?

Having things in it that are memories. Things that you’ve got from a certain place or remind you of a certain thing. I don’t like houses where everything is brand new, it feels like anyone could live there. All the smells of your stuff make it your home as well. So in my case; bleach.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone looking to brighten up their home?

Always a fresh coat of paint. It makes a massive difference. Even if it’s the same paint you already have.

What epitomises a happy home to you?

Good food, lots of laughter, maybe a good box-set. Invite people round. I think hosting is great because once everyone’s there and you’ve had a few drinks that’s a good time.

You are away from home a lot, how do take a piece of home with you?

I always take a picture of me and Matt which is in the most disgusting, horrible frame you’ve ever seen. We look about five-years-old in the picture because I put it in a frame for a job I got when we were first together. I feel like it would give me some weird voodoo if I changed it now.

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Photo Credits: By Paul Lambert