Lighting up the Night…

Since we decorated out master bedroom, finishing the decor has kind of fallen by the wayside in favour of, you know… the rest of the house and having a baby. After all it’s nice, but the lack of detail has been bugging me. I already have a new dressing table on order – mirrored again to match the chest of drawers and with several more drawers so hopefully it will hide way more of my stuff that currently resides in baskets under the existing dressing table. That should take care of some of the clutter.


(Bedding: Secret Linen Store // Pink velvet cushions & Gold sequin cushion: H&M Home // Geo cushion: Conran for M&S // Wall colour: Cornforth White – F&B)

However a more pressing practical consideration has been bed side lights. We had a small lamp on my dressing table but it was really awkward to reach round (as the bed was slightly forward of the dressing table as it is against the chimney breast,) and turn off, and meant the only light was on my side. It’s a small thing to turn it off but it drove me crazy that it had to be me to do it every. single. night! The other issue was that the wall above the bed was really a blank canvas waiting to be used. I didn’t want a simple print or canvas up there and started to think some wall lights would be great. One big ‘but’ stood in the way and that was the fact that our bedroom walls have been lined as well as painted, so having something wired in would have been a massive cosmetic issue and hard to patch up, so whatever I chose had to be plug in.

After looking at lots of different options we chose these Ogilvy swing arm wall lamps from Made.com. They were a budget friendly £50 each and despite my dislike for black, actually work really well in here because of the black accents on the mirrored furniture and of course the black iron bed frame. I had considered the white but think it would have looked very wrong in retrospect. Initially we were looking for more industrial bare bulbs but it didn’t fit with the room at all and I’m glad we didn’t force it.

Look out for a post later in the week on some other options I found for plug in wall lamps. I hope you like the result here!

Rebecca xo

Art Amateur…

I love art. Despite that, many of the walls in our home are still blank, simply out of my inability to pull the plug and purchase something to decorate them with. I hope in future we will have some spare cash to invest in beautiful limited editions or even some original prints and that stops me spending money on lovely prints now sometimes, despite there being so many out there.


‘You are my Happiness’ – Yvonne Coomber

When we renovated the lounge we really had a mind-block about what to put on the walls. It’s not a casual room, although the curtains keep it a bit less formal, (as do the constantly scattered toys on the floor nowadays!) so my usual choice of fun prints wasn’t quite right and my go to for simpler rooms of photographic prints or black and white prints wasn’t right in a room with so much colour.

For my birthday Pete bought me this Yvonne Coomber Limited edition print and it’s absolutely perfect for the space. We discovered her work at the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall on our first anniversary and have many a time considered splashing out on an original. The prices have doubled since we started looking at them and realistically we’re not yet at the stage we should spend the money on one anyway, so I was thrilled with this. For all the reasons above, I never would have bought it myself, but it’s made me realise we should have done it sooner!

It made me wonder, have you ever spent a bit more on a piece of special art? Or if you haven’t is there something you always wish you had bought or would like to in future?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Bedroom updates

A few months back, before I even started thinking about the spare bedroom makeover, I revamped our bedroom. We re-decorated in there about 3 years ago now and chose some white striped wallpaper, keeping the existing high gloss Ikea wardrobes, Ikea bedsides and our iron Feather & Black bed. I wanted it all very soft a soothing so chose White Company bedding in white with a grey and white silk throw and mink and grey cushions using texture to provide contrast.

Typically, it wasn’t long before I tired of the monotone look and decided to add to the single shot of colour in the lamp shades with some small additions and it’s amazing what a difference they have made.

The inspiration for the change around was the new picture above the bed. I blogged it and bought it not long after – I love how bright and cheerful it is.

I also changed the drawer handles on the bedsides for coral ceramic ones from Anthropologie.

We already had these butterfly pictures up but had different colour combinations (We had had a large white one above the bed too,) as they come in a pack of 6 (see similar here). To pick out the lamp shades we had had two yellowy butterflies there previously, but as the large white one was now gone from above the bed we used the smaller one and a blue one, simply switching them from the hall where the rest are going up our stairs. In fact it worked well as the yellows work beautifully with the yellow Cow Parsley wallpaper we have in the hall.

In fact, since taking these, the bedroom has changed again, as we finally found a chest of drawers to add to our lack of storage in there. I also realised I didn’t take any of the other end of the room so maybe I’ll share another update soon.

Hope you like it readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Room Revamp: Before

I’m sure many of you think that I live in a pristine house, tastefully decorated throughout. Although I’m very proud of my living/dinging area and bedroom, other rooms either lack that finishing touch to make them look pulled together and stylish, or are too messy to ever look good. Our spare room fits both categories.

When we moved into this house we did a few minor cosmetic jobs that cost little and then got distracted by our engagement and wedding. After that the house came second to travelling and now we’re at that stage where we’ll be moving in the not too distant future so any updates need to be budget friendly. The spare room gained from one of the early updates and we decorated with one of my favourite patterns at the time, Laura Ashley’s Oriental Garden wallpaper in Duck egg blue. The bed was donated to us by my Mum and we picked out a country style chest of drawers and wardrobe from good old IKEA. With the addition of toning bedding, a small duck egg lampshade and a wool throw, it seemed pretty good at the time.

My tastes have evolved dramatically since then, now the blue on cream on blue seems far too matchy match for my taste, there isn’t enough colour and It looks a bit neglected and unfinished to my eye. Add to that the fact that it is most often used by either our cats as an all-day snooze spot or us as a laundry room and general dumping ground and it is seriously lacking in some love.

Here comes the challenge. I’ll admit it, I am terrible when it comes to making the best of what I have, preferring to ditch it all and start again. However that is what I’m going to have to do here, to stay in budget and just avoid waste in general. It’s not going to be a true budget make-over, but I’m hoping to keep costs down, if only by waiting for the sales for some items. We are hosting my sister come August as she relocates to Manchester while she looks for a place of her own so it’s a great prompt for a massive clear out and kick up the behind to truly finish off the room. I thought it would make a great couple of posts, not only to show you what I have done but show you what I think could be improved in the existing decor.

So what am I planning to do?

  1. The room has never had curtains that I’m happy with. These ones were discounted Laura Ashley fabric and a vain attempt to bring a different colour palette into the room that totally failed. In an effort to save money I skimped on length when the room would have looked way more luxurious and ‘done’ had they been full length.
  2. We have already bought over head lamps for behind the bed, something we had planned to do for years. Because of the wardrobe position a side table is unfortunately unable to fit so at least this will provide directional light that can be controlled from the bed rather than having to get up and switch off the main light.
  3. I’m toying with the idea of covering the wicker bedhead and footer panels. I’ve never loved the wicker and think it would look softer, plus a longer panel at the foot of the bed would hide the multitude of things stuffed under the bed.
  4. We have never bought cushions for the bed as it seemed a waste when money was tighter but I think it contributes to the room appearing unfinished and un-lived in, so they are on the list.
  5. This is one of the few rooms that we haven’t re-carpeted as it gets little use, and that wont be something we’ll change but I may add to it with a patterned rug to brighten the space.
  6. The wall running alongside the bed really needs something. I just don’t know what. I’m leaning towards a gallery wall-esque arrangement of pictures, but I need to avoid anything that can be knocked off the wall by a sudden sit-up-in-bed manoeuvre by any visitors.
  7. The chair currently in situ was rescued from a skip and painted by me but never upholstered. Turns out it should have stayed in the skip as no amount of fixing can make it sturdy and anyone who sits on it takes their life in their hands. I’m debating the need for a small dressing table/desk and chair in here but they would have to be seriously thrifty finds.
So, have you got any ideas?
Come back this afternoon and I’ll share both of the moodboards I have put together for my propsed make-over and I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Renovations: Bedroom Update

Hello readers! This afternoon, Jess is back to share the progress of her house with a huge update. I’ve been watching this room come together for the best part of a year now and I cannot tell you how big the change has been – I think the pictures tell the story best however, so let’s get on with the show…

After last months dilemmas about my bedroom, I thought today I would update you all with the progress so far.

Now it may not seem all that exciting to some people, but let me tell you, after living for over a year with just a couple of hanging rails and an old chest of drawers, this week saw some real progress with the arrival of the wardrobes, which is just about the best thing I have spent money on so far for the house. We deliberated for quite some time over what kind of wardrobes to go for, either freestanding or fitted. Initially I was looking at freestanding wardrobes because I like the look of them and there is so much more choice. Dan was dragged around a few furniture stores but we quickly realised that we would struggle to use the full height of our room as most wardrobes wouldn’t even reach the picture rail, let alone go the foot and half above that up to the ceiling. I wanted to be able to hide away all my bags and shoes etc, and really wanted enough storage space so that I wouldn’t have to have things on top of the wardrobes.

We then came across a very pushy saleswoman from a company that sold fitted wardrobes and were cleverly led in to a ‘free design visit’. Now, although there was no way in the world that we would buy off this company (you know the type- ‘buy it now, we’ve got a special sale on that ends tomorrow’, or ‘if you make a decision today we will give you an extra 10% off’), we did let them draw up some fancy images on their computers which gave us a good idea of what we would be able to do if we went with the fitted wardrobe option. And so, after a bit more research, we decided that fitted was the way forward for us and set about looking for a smaller local company that could make what we wanted, and quote us the ‘real’ price at the first time of asking. We found a company we trusted and put in our order…


The bedroom walls were in a pretty poor state due to some dodgy DIY over the years, and the chimney breast has been widened at some point, presumably to fit a double bed across it. We also had some damage to the plaster in the bay due to a leaky window. So before ordering the wardrobes, the chimney breast was knocked back to its original width and the whole room was re-plastered. I had no idea just what a messy job this would be, and would really think hard about doing it to any other rooms unless absolutely necessary. I think the picture explains better than I can! The carpet was ruined, there was a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards. But, the end result was good and gave Dan some lovely smooth walls to paint!

We had to wait several weeks for the custom built units to be made and that process couldn’t be started until all the plastering had been done. So despite the fact that I had been up all night at work and normally would have gone straight to bed, the arrival of the wardrobes this Monday morning was something I was prepared to stay awake and sacrifice my sleep for. Before the afternoon was over the wardrobes were in! I’d seen a similar design with the wardrobes fitted around a chimney breast when we were looking at houses so had an good idea of how it would look when all done, but the result was better that I had expected.

I decided to use my own choice of door knob rather than those supplied with the wardrobes to give the room an extra detail. Zara Home is a fairly recent discovery for me and has been a complete revelation; it didn’t let me down when I found the ceramic flower ‘Julie’ knobs that even Dan managed to describe as ‘nice’. I’d say thats a positive reaction from him, so you can expect to see a lot more of Zara Home products cropping up in my home from now on. It’s just a shame (or maybe a blessing given that we are also trying to save up for a wedding,) that there isn’t a store in Manchester!

The new carpet was put down the next day, and the ‘Bourbon’ bedside tables from Made.com have arrived too. So now I get to enjoy moving my clothes to their new home (I doubt it will stay looking quite so orderly), and when the windows have some kind of covering (the venetian blinds are on order) Dan and I can move in to our new bedroom at last, I cannot wait!…

Love,
Jess x

Real Renovations: Is White Alright?

Good afternoon readers! Jess has got a brilliant post for us all this afternoon with another update to her house renovation – this time she needs your help. Do leave a comment and share your thoughts on her selections and tell us what your bedroom is like…

The renovation of our bedroom was not at the top of our priority list when we first moved house. But, after over a year now of living with lumpy walls, old carpet, and perhaps most frustratingly no wardrobes, we have now taken it on as our latest project. The room has two alcoves either side of a chimney breast, although unfortunately the original fireplace has been removed by a past owner. There is also a big bay window, and the obligatory picture rail to add to the rooms features. It is a big room, yet it has been the room that I have struggled to find a vision for more than any other we have done. I don’t know if its because of the size of the room, or because its the bedroom and I want to get the mood and feel of it just right. I have found it hard to picture the end result in my mind, which makes making any decisions, from wardrobes to paint colour to soft furnishings, a very long and drawn out process!

One interior trend I really like at the moment is the military or ‘campaign’ furniture. I like the mix of wood, leather and metal (sounds a bit kinky but thats not what I mean!), with an antique kind of look, that reminds me of a romantic bye-gone era where people travelled on steam trains or ships, with huge trunks of luggage (before you had to pay excess baggage charges no doubt!). I’m just not sure if I can translate that style into my own bedroom.


LV luggage side table // Pale blue campaign desk/dressing table

Another look I like in bedrooms is the ‘Americana’ or typical Ralph Lauren style bedroom with lots of rich blues and navy, multiple stripes, tartans and mismatched layers of fabrics. Its quite a masculine look, but there is something about those big wooden sleigh beds covered in duvets and throws that make me want one myself! 


Blue paisley bedding // Navy and stripe bedding // Sleigh bed

The bedroom style that I have deliberated over most is the all white look, with lots of different textures; wools and chunky knits alongside cottons and silks but with a very limited colour palette. My only worry with this look is will it look too sterile? Can I soften it enough to make it relaxing and luxurious, rather than reming me of the operating theatre in which I work every day. Or maybe that’s why I like white? Dr Freud would probably have something to say about that…




White with grey headboard // White and neutrals // White cosy room

We have just had the walls re-plastered, and so more out of indecision than any great vision we have repainted them… white. I mean white white. Not a fancy named slightly grey or slightly beige or cream-white. White. Brilliant white. Matt white. White. I’m nervous about it, can you tell?!?! Its a big room, and very white. But, I have ordered some bedside tables in a muted turquoise/blue color that I hope will be the statement of colour that the room will need. I’ll share the final result with you all when the room is finished. Because at the moment, with no furniture and only freshly painted walls to look at, it is just a very daunting shade of… white.

Jess x

Real Renovations: If eyes are the windows to our soul…

This afternoon Jessica is back with more from her Real Renovation. Having grown up in period houses I think I have somewhat taken for granted the beautiful large windows that come with older properties and so it has been a revelation for me to see the care which Jess has poured into returning the ones in her home to their former glory. Looking at the images here, they’re also such a focal point for a room, so I hope this is both a useful and inspiring post for those renovators amongst you!

Well, I can tell you that the windows at the front of our house were in need of laser correction and serious cosmetic surgery! Part of what attracted us to the house were the original big sash windows. And unusually, many of our neighbours also had their original windows, making what I think is quite uniform and attractive street, (there is an edge of OCD in all of us!) So despite the structural survey recommending a window overhaul, we weren’t put off buying it. We moved house in July, which I think might have affected our judgement somewhat. It was quite warm, no frost, reasonable amounts of sunshine, and we spent quite a lot of time outdoors. But as the days shortened and temperatures dropped, we realised just what a problem the windows were going to be.

The first problem was their lack of insulating properties. The three box sashes in the bays take up most of the wall which is a big surface area from which we were losing a lot of heat (and money). The next problem was the lack of sound insulation, which after moving from a modern flat was particularly noticeable. Anyone walking past the house whilst talking sounded like they were in the living room with us and I can only presume the opposite was also true! Another big problem was the safety and security issue, because glass making over a hundred years ago was not up to modern standards and our paper thin glass would smash with just the slightest of knocks. Add to that the horrible condensation that would build up every day and even drip down the walls causing damp patches, it really was something we needed to fix.


Image Credit: Sofa.com

Our options were ranging from a bit of light titivation, maybe the Botox equivalent for windows, to a simple eye lift, right through to the full facelift option. We had three realistic options. The first was to renovate the existing boxes and sashes, sanding the paint work and repainting, adding some beading strips to help insulate but keeping the original glass. This was an appealing option because it was the cheapest and would give a good cosmetic result. But it wouldn’t address the issue of the thin original glass and lack of sound and heat insulation.

Our second option was to keep and restore the original boxes and replace the sashes with new hardwood double glazed sash panels. This would keep the appearance of the windows and help to insulate the house, but would never be quite as good at insulating as modern uPVC windows. The downside of this option is that it was the most expensive, and wooden windows require more maintenance than uPVC. And so the third option was to completely replace the windows with modern uPVC windows, which can be made to look very similar to original sash windows although many open outwards rather than slide up to open. This would provide the best insulation with some compromise on aesthetics.

So after a lot of number crunching we decided to go with option two, the eye lift! We really wanted to keep the original windows, and we found a really enthusiastic team of carpenters who were as keen as we were to maintain as much original wood as possible. They came and measured our windows and after about 4 weeks they came back for just two days to restore the original boxes and insert the new double glazed sashes… and we were thrilled with the work they did. We are now much warmer, the house looks much smarter from both inside and out, and the condensation is gone. I am now looking forward to some warm summer days when I can happily slide the sashes open and be reminded of the great craftsmanship that went in to making the windows in the first place.



Image Credit and Credit.

With the windows looking good we now need to decide on some suitable window dressings, instead of the flimsy temporary solution we have at the moment, and I hope to bring you our progress on that in a future post. But for now, with new 21st century double glazed sashes sitting happily in 19th century hardwood boxes, we think we have done the right thing by our home, giving it back the good looks of its youth, and allowing it to see clearly again at last!

Jessica
x

Shades of Grey…

As you read this post, hopefully, somewhere warm and dry with your bum on a comfortable seat, I will be decorating. That is, I will be up a ladder, standing on a dust sheeted table, or wielding a paint roller with the dulcet tones of an electrician in the background, hacking a channel out of our plaster work to relocate a light switch. Because that’s what you do when you’re in search of perfection, no?!

If the paint roller had been the least of it, I would not be complaining – with a week off from work, we decided now would be the time to re-decorate. But in my infinite wisdom and as our lounge and dining room are open plan, it seemed only sensible to decorate both of them at once. I reasoned that if I did one or the other, the other would potentially get paint splattered or dusty anyway. What I didn’t consider was that I was basically unleashing chaos on the heart of our home. At the present time I have not put my bum on a seat, (including our sofa that I am practically having hallucinations about collapsing onto,) for five days. Five whole days of being stood up, climbing ladders, sanding (read: destroying my nails) painting, (read: getting paint in my hair) and now I’m fast approaching complete knackered-ness. All of our downstairs living area is in disarray – either covered in dust sheets, covered in plastic bin bags, (as are the fireplaces) or covered in piles of paint tins and wood offcuts.

Then there is the dust. The dreaded dust from sanding back Edwardian skirting boards and replacing the picture rails. We’ve also been finishing off the arch created when we knocked through from the front to the middle room 5 years ago. Yes, for 5 years it has been a bare rectangle of painted plaster which we were ‘going to finish off soon.’  And now I look at it finished I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

It’s been a slog through. As I write, my Mum and her partner Phil have just left. He’s a bit of a handy man with a saw and he and Pete saved us about £500 on employing a joiner, by installing the picture rail and architrave (decorative wood around a door frame) themselves. It’s taken the best part of 2 days but I’m so proud of them and grateful we had the help. Mum has been cleaning around us all like a demon, painting, hoovering up, keeping the troops fed and watered, and generally being fab. Thanks Mum!

So today’s post is dedicated to what we’re halfway through achieving, the perfect grey room. I wanted something contemporary but elegant and in keeping with the period features of our home. We already have a neutral sofa and blue/brown 2-tone arm chair, plus some hessian-look roman blinds with a blue/brown edge that I’m undecided whether to keep or not. I wanted a true grey, neither so pale as to be mistaken for off-white, nor so dark that it looked like cement. Chic but not cold looking and the existing colour (Dulux Egyptian Cotton) was a pale taupe that already looked grey in some lights, so it had to be different to that.

Let me tell you, it is seriously hard to find the right grey. We started off at Farrow and Ball, (which we considered still an economy as we tend to lean towards wallpaper usually, which would have cost much more) determined that spending money would yield the perfect shade. How wrong we were. For all its great press for fabulous neutrals, the greys were all slightly green, too beige, cool blues. Our preferred shades were splitting hairs when compared with the existing paint so F&B, however luxe and lovely, was out.


Top row, all Farrow and Ball, bottom row as labelled.

Disheartened, we headed to B&Q and bought them out of tester pots in everything resembling grey. I’ve never been a paint snob and true to form it was here we found our chosen shade. I wonder if you can guess which one?

So today, I’d like you all to make me feel a little better! Let’s hear if you’re decorating – have been wiped out by a project like this, or if you have got the perfect shade of grey paint in your home?

Oh, and ten Florence Finds points for any of you who can guess which shade I chose ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. Did I mention we have new carpets coming tomorrow? Eeeek! Which means we need to be finished by then. Double eeek!

PPS. Please excuse the rubbish iPhone pictures. I promise there will be a full, beautifully photographed before and after soon, but for now an iPhone is all I can muster!

Real Renovation… Sofa Deliberations

This afternoon, we’re back to Jessica’s Real Renovation and she’s sharing the dilemmas of one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. Jess and I have spent many an hour on my sofa, the two of us enjoying the super comfy cushions and a glass of vino, so I knew the hunt for her very own take on this essential would be epic…

When I’m buying clothes, I like to justify an expensive item with the old ‘cost-per-wear’ argument. So if budget allows, I think the same rationale can be applied to sofas. After all, you will sit on them nearly every day that you own them, so why shouldn’t you splash out?! Having said that, there are some great sofas that will fulfill all your interior design fantasies as well as being comfortable, without needing a fantasy sized bank account.

A sofa has to be a considered purchase and I think them so important even, that I have just bought new sofas yet still don’t have any wardrobes! I have lost count of how many sofas Dan and I sat on before we found the right one. If I had been doing an equivalent number of squats at the gym in a bums, legs and tums class I would’ve thrown in the towel long before I found my perfect perch!

We had one major specification and that was comfort. Having said that, as we now have a new fairly large living room we needed something that would suit an Edwardian house and its proportions, and of course look good. In the past we lived in a small, modern open plan flat and we had leather sofas which we really liked and so initially considered leather for the new house too. But, for the past few months we have been borrowing a friends leather sofa, and we soon realised that this was not a practical option in our cold and poorly insulated house! Fabric is the way forward for us…


*Chesterfield from Habitat, via Home Shopping Spy

So, if we are going to talk about sofas, we can no further without talking about the classic Chesterfield. Over the 200 or so years it has been around, it has been a staple of English design, often furnishing a traditional study or living room. Now it is having a huge revival, as its original shape with rounded arms and stud detailed back is combined with modern fabrics and sumptuous colours. It is now a key piece of furniture design that can look great in both period and modern homes. So if you feel like making a statement without compromising on comfort, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Chesterfield. Maybe go for a classic leather version (if you have a nice warm house!) and go all out Victoriana style, or as alternative maybe this luxe fabric version from John Lewis.


*Pale Blue Chesterfield – John Lewis

For the daring amongst you, this yellow sofa has curves in all the right places and will definitely make a statement any room. I was seriously tempted by this one but just couldn’t quite be brave enough.


*Arighi Bianchi Hepburn Sofa

Fashion has gone retro and so why shouldn’t your sofa? I love the simplicity of this green beauty from Couch Design which fits the bill perfectly, and Marks and Spencers new Conran range has some beautiful chairs and sofas that epitomise the smooth clean lines of the retro look. Personally I love with the teal velvet, its the fabric I think that makes this sofa so good. (Rebecca has already posted about the entire Conran for M&S collection if you want a peek at the rest of the range.) Although there are plenty of rooms that successfully combine retro shapes and period features, it just wasn’t right for our home.


*Retro Sofa, Not On the High Street


*Conran sofa for Marks and Spencers

So, by this point I had pretty well narrowed down the style of the sofa that I wanted, something quite traditional in shape, but with a modern fabric and super comfortable. Our living room is reasonably big, but just because it could fit two large sofas doesn’t mean it should. Too much furniture can make a big room feel smaller than it really is.

One of the things that attracted me to our house was the bay windows and a love seat seemed the ideal way to utilise the often difficult to use space. So, along with one large sofa we could have seating for at least 5 or 6 people (I can still feel a statement chair coming on though). I figured that many more people than that in the room and it becomes a standing up kind of a party anyway.


*Sofa – Tamarisk Designs

The sofa style we chose was something fairly classic by Tamarisk Designs but we chose a deep grey/blue slate chenille fabric that really adds to the luxury feel I want to achieve. There is also an almost identical to this one from Baileys in a linen weave.


*Sofa – Baileys Home and Garden

Above all though, I think it is one of the most comfortable sofa I have ever sat on, and it was sheer luck that it was in just the style I had been looking for. Luckily for me this time, Dan needed no convincing that this was the right sofa for us. Unfortunately it was not the cheapest option but when they arrived last week it felt like Christmas! The rest of the room is still a work in progress (as you can see by the bare white walls and paint samples below), but at least I will be comfortable whilst researching my next purchase!

Thanks Jessica!

What a search – but I have to say, it’s a great choice :) I can’t wait to see the room finished…

Have you bought a new sofa? Are you desperate for one of the above? Or did you too have an epic sofa hunt?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

A Tale of Two Houses… Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of Jess’s Real Renovation and the tale of two houses. If you missed part one, make sure you go back and read that first as it’s a real cliffhanger and a great story. Plus it’s setting the scene for all of Jess’s posts to come – sharing the ups and downs of a house renovation, from pointing to painting and pretty.

My partner saw the look on my face and I think it was only then that he realised how much I wanted that house. It was probably only then that I realised how much I wanted it. It wasn’t rational, it wasn’t the sensible option to buy that house. We both have busy day jobs and aren’t very good at DIY, and it wasn’t the most financially sound option either, there was probably 15-20k of work to do on the house. But I had fallen for it, and now I had lost it.

The next week was fraught, as we tried to get the estate agent back on our side. We went back to our original offer. We were ready to sign contracts, so we put forward our best case for selling the house to us instead of the new buyers. But the vendor kept us hanging for days, so long in fact that the surveyors for the other buyers were phoning the estate agents to book a time to do their own survey of the house. This was crazy, to have another buyer pay for a survey if he wasn’t actually going to sell it to them. So the estate agent had to push the vendor to make a decision on who exactly he was going to sell to. In the end he re-accepted our offer, as I think he wanted to complete the sale as quickly as possible. If that were all a game (and I suppose in a way it is), I think we had just been out maneuvered at every turn. But did we win or did we lose? Well, we got the house…

I never thought buying a house would be so emotional, and when everyone told me it was one of the most stressful things I would ever do, I didn’t really understand what they meant. Unfortunately the buying process for us was anything but a smooth ride, and so I now know exactly what they were talking about. At times we thought we would have to walk away from the whole thing, and if we had, I am pretty sure the house hunting would’ve gone on hold for several months until we had recovered from the stress of it all. We were totally drained and utterly fed up if the whole thing.

When we finally got the keys to our house, it had been months since we had actually been inside it. In those months it was as if we had fallen out of love with it for putting us through all that. But crazy as it may sound, I knew it wasn’t the house itself that was to blame, and we couldn’t hold a grudge against it. So I don’t regret for one second our decision, and now, after just four months in our new (but over a century old) house, we are gradually putting back the character, the features, and hopefully the love that it deserves in order to make it a fabulous home.

I’m really excited about my new home and garden (hopefully more on the garden in future posts too), and over the coming months I hope to share with you some of the ideas and projects that we take on, and more importantly I hope you enjoy reading about them.

Oh and if you’re wondering what ever happened to the house across the road? Well, in the middle of all the turmoil with our house, a sold sign went up on that one too. A month or so ago we saw the removal vans outside and I’m sure the new owners are happily enjoying their evenings and weekends relaxing without builders, brick dust, cold drafts and rickety stairs! Good luck to them, they are obviously very sensible people!

Jessica
x

I saw Jess through every last phone call (or it felt like it at the time ;) ) of this purchase and I had my heart in my mouth reading this account of all the heartache. It’s such a stressful time buying a house and often the decisions we make aren’t that rational, heart wins over head, but I’m so happy she got the one they wanted!

I can’t wait to see what else Jess has in store for you all.

Have you had a similar experience to Jess? Do tell!

Love,
Rebecca.
xo