Blog story posts, Uncategorized

Come dine

Autumn is coming and we crave a space to read and think and dream

Only…….. That might take a little lateral thinking! In a dining room which has been a storage corridor since we moved in.

Although not everything in the house is ancient,

We had feeling that there was a pretty nice slate floor under the years of carpet goo and dirt.

Our lovely tiler Tom worked his way through several types of solvent, patiently scraping, pouring and scouring

Eventually using a solution of very hot water and steam to bring out the patina of the stone. These old quarry tiles are a beautifully random jigsaw puzzle and form the oldest floor in the house.

And finally, our neighbour helped bring some furniture in enabling our garage to start to breathe a sigh of relief!

Some pleasures are so simple!

Oh bowls how I’ve missed you!

It felt amazing to finally see the space as a room at last, with no boxes to trip over

What was once an old kitchen or maybe an entrance hall suddenly started to look like a dining room.

Initially furniture needed to settle, to see how the room would be used. It was felt that the amount of dark furniture overwhelmed the space and two huge leather reading chairs, unfortunately didn’t quite fit in the nook.

Old and new Autumn colours and Textures

Although in the evening, dark spaces can be cosy and warm, we needed more light in the room.

Permission to paint!

Some lighter furniture bounces the light in the space now.

Our little Book nook

The oldest books have found their ideal bookshelves .

Now, just to find a moment to read them all … ❤️


Bedroom and Study

Once there was a tired old bedroom…

Stuck in it’s ways

With nasty fitted cupboards and a bright pink coat

Fairly quickly it was carpeted and the very long awaited bed from storage was put together; not only blessing us with a proper rest after a lot of temporary and always too small, sleeping places, but best of all there was…..


The first stage of the bedroom’s transformation was to get rid of the harsh pink colour and the tatty paper. The walls were painted in country living duck egg blue and we began to jiggle furniture into the space. A previously decoupaged trunk sits in the foreground.

In a house where there was ongoing damp-proofing and builders trudging through, leaking pipes and avalanches of toppling boxes downstairs; this room was a gently forming soft, plump, memory filled haven.

It felt wonderful to re-unite old treasures and favourite pieces

Whilst searching out funky new ones.

This palette of woodland greys, greens and soft pale aquas feels very calming . Easy to change different bedding, blankets and a never ending supply of velvet cushions!

As boxes and antique fairs offer up new possibilities, a parade of possible keepsakes will stay a while, maybe shuffle, maybe get swapped about. Plants find their spot, books get their day, corners get their moment in the light.

The window waiting to frame each morning’s view, our little piece of Devon.

The biggest storage issue was always going to be my clothes! A lifetime of rummaging in vintage shops, charity shops, and occasional treats from a few favourites like Seasalt, Laura Ashley, Kath Kidston and TK Maxx. Rough colour chunking helps me find a specific garment!

Antique looking Venetian wallpaper behind the bed at the back of the wall.

Quiet place in a new velvet chair from ebay by the window. Ikea sage green velvet curtain


The original Laura Ashley wallpaper in the small bedroom. Interesting, and very retro, but a tad overwhelming.

After a LOT of layers of paint on walls which had to for now, retain the wallpaper underneath, to keep them in tact, The study could begin to take shape.

The temporary space at one end of the study was set up to start organising products. A big undertaking.

The other side caters for someone else’s career and interests!

Neatened up and a little more sorted, the room began to feel less cluttered and we could even picture a spare bed for guests.

Because there’s no place like home

We all have our favourite place to chill

The window alcove currently retains a little of the old paper, a backdrop for a tiny boat collection and paintings by my friend Ruth.

As you can see, my patience ran out. Making somewhere for guests felt important. Despite not having large areas of the downstairs complete, at least we can now provide a little sanctuary. Books were gathered, tables shuffled, zed bed pulled out and an instant cat sofa created!! All beautifully covered by a quilt made by another of my fabulous friends Ruth in the borders.

Cataloging this lot has been a mammoth task and details will follow soon of how to see and purchase prints and cards.

Happily the space can still be made useful to package up an order.

For now the rooms have an identity and are being made good use of. We await carpets and tilers and all kinds of shuffling about. So who knows where they will all be in a month or two. My tolerant other half may wake to new wallpaper tomorrow..


Homes and Gardens

I believe if you are supposed to be/do/get somewhere.. you will.. if you put in the effort and get out of your own way. ..Sometimes things are worth waiting for..

Somehow the more we stare at something directly, the less likely it is to move.. or boil or in fact perform.. Life is what happens in the margins of your essay.. pay closer attention to your doodles..

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And sometimes you have to make, remake and make something over and over again. You thought it was done and it breaks, or you have to walk away or it burns down ( a friend had this happen recently… a terrible ordeal, but she has told me a little re- modelling isn’t a bad thing, or your dream disappears, or it gets given to a passing traveller ( yes my first caravan literally was sold without my knowing for £100 with all my grandparent’s stuff inside) … ( wierdly as I have written this.. twice I’ve lost all the content and had to re- write…. )

But you start again. …

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I could write an entire blog on the patience needed to create this one… Ten years of trying, multiple broken dreams along the way.. But she has existed now in her own special way for nearly ten years now!! A to B to create the perfect family home is often a circuitous route through the rest of the alphabet…………


I made this home twenty years ago. For the family I thought I was making. I was fit, hopeful and full of dreams. I also taught high school full time.


It was meant to be the big chapter, the one where it all comes together. But there is only so much fairy dust can do.. and after it not turning out quite as planned,  when we left it, mini and I left with a carrier bag. Hope, trust in a support service and a hotel with a big bed and an extremely  lockable door…. it was the scariest day of my life. My friends told me to leave…. It was just a house.

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But,  a few months on, we created this house. …

And for five years it was our hug house. It built us back up and we evolved together, getting to meet some amazing people on the way. .. Again, personal issues followed us , and the stairs too were also getting tricky on crutches, … so after it was clear we needed to jump again, we decided a dream life by the sea was the only sensible choice.

The house sold in a week of being on the market and we had to find our dream home

( and the cash to buy ) it in twelve weeks..Image result for people in a box

…………we wanted something like this

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And I wrote an awful lot of affirmations….. Kept believing it would be ok and kept an absolute focus on what it would be like…

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But you can give them the occasional kick up the bum…….

We stumbled on this little number last February after driving around the area for a week…. And we saw its heart and potential…….


2b-8BrierydeanLounge      3g-8BrierydeanBedOne      2g-8BrierydeanKitPri    5b-8BrierydeanBathro


The estate agent rang the next day, after we had only seen it for ten minutes. I heard myself saying I would buy it….


A year on;  This is our house now.. There are many days I hurt too much to move my hands or, in the winter, most of my limbs.. so when there is some energy, I go for it. Paint, rest stop, paint, plant, rest , stop, paint , put washing on, feed someone, paint, stop, etc ….

Lately as the weather has been kinder to limbs and there has been no school or  homework for small person.. I have mostly been out here… making this kind of thing… We have loved being outside creating,  painting  and planting , from early in the morning to a chorus of chirruping Starlings.. It hurts, but it hurts whether you keep going or whether you give in. Armed with voltarol and pain patches….

And for the beach Hut obsessed of us…

In a few weeks, the exterior makeover should be completed by a local painter too, with a few extra bits I have been painting.  When we moved here, a neighbour asked me why I was doing so much to this little house. It was quite simply meant to look like this. Our things have come home. As have we. And I don’t know when the good days will become less and less often. If you get poorly, better to have flowers to look at than gravel. And if you can’t change the world right now, at least you can paint a pattern on it..

Enjoy the home you make with each and every one of your senses and have a great Summer. Enjoy the sunshine, some things are worth waiting for. xx

Liz xx