Monday, 30 June 2008

On the home front ...

There is nothing like an impending visit from friends to bring about a sense of extreme panic in me and become uber critical of my habitat..
With the knowledge that others will be seeing my home for the first time I have started a home improvement exercise in the same vein as a military manoeuvre... Well I am trying to gather my troops but they have all gone A.W.O.L and so this task has been left mostly to me to complete.
It involves vast amounts of rubbish removal and a lot of tweaking and re-arranging..

There are areas of my home that I love.. probably not what you would consider the best features but just little corners that speak to me in some way .. ..I have had my fair share of homes having moved 5 times in the last ten years due to some of life's unforeseen upheavals but now I feel I have settled ... for the time at least.. I don't think I will ever cease to fantasise about life in a cottage on Dartmoor or a rural idyll tucked away in the darkest depths of the countryside.. I still avidly scan the glossy pages of our local magazine 'Bath Life' looking for that perfect home, at a perfect price, in a perfect location, with a perfect interior and preferably a lottery win to accompany it!
When we moved to our house two years ago it was a decision that was made in the first two minutes of walking through the door despite the acres of cork tiled floors that greeted us and the double glazed windows.. I am a bit of a traditionalist and love old sash windows.. but having lived with force 9 gales whistling through the rickety window panes of previous houses ..it is actually a godsend to have a draught proof house.. forget the aesthetics of wooden sash windows. I can take some comfort that our house is the only house in a terrace of 42 Victorian houses that is not draughty!

In the Beginning
We spent the first six months in our new home taking shelter in any corner of the house that wasn't being ripped apart.. floorboards were taken up for the total rewiring.. something that the building survey had failed to mention despite the rather dodgy wiring that looked like a map of the London underground.. oh and the Bakelite plug sockets.. circa 1950's...
During

After


Not only did we decide to dive in head first with our hands tied behind our backs.. by having the kitchen knocked through into a study and the old fire place opened up.. having masochistic tendencies.. we had the garden landscaped at the same time.. So nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.. madness. Expensive insanity!
The daily cuisine of microwaved meals soon took their toll and the constant dust cloud did wonders for my hair and complexion.. more Catweezle (without the beard and tash) with every passing day.
I think that I can say our home is almost finished but when will it ever be finished.. as thanks to my constant neurosis about finding perfection.. I want to take up the paint brush and start all over again.
It's all your fault you see.. If I hadn't started blogging I would be content with my lot..ignorance is bliss and all that.. but seeing your beautifully styled and serenely painted interiors I know that some things HAVE to change and our living room will be the first to go under the brush..It is more like an Indian restaurant circa 1970's than a haven of pastel good taste..
I would love your tips please on where to begin..

28 comments:

Cathy said...

Your house looks so lovely - very calm and serene. I can only hope that you have swept piles of clutter and mess to one side and they are just behind you when you take the photos! I am always grateful to visitors because it is the only time I do a thorough clean of the house. The rest of the time it is a quick lick and a promise!
Cathy X

Ragged Roses said...

Dear Mrs custard
No need to begin anywhere, your home is just lovely! Each room is lovely and has so much character, It's no wonder you fell in love with the house it is such a beautiful building and you have made it such a beautiful home. Please promise you're going to stop whizzing around!! I'm sure your visitors will be extremely happy
Mxxx

Ragged Roses said...

SSSh, did you hear that? Very loud and sharp intake of breath from Big Sister when she saw your photos, she's in love and pointed out that our bedrooms are very similar.
Big Sister says: It's soooo nice!!! Everything is so very lovely and serene, I love your staircase!! And your grandfather clock!! WOW!! x x
However, one small point, I really don't like Worzel Gummidge as I have a massive fear of scarecrows, but apart from that gorgeous!!
x x x x C x x x x

LiLi M. said...

This could be my story too Michèle. Not yet totally finished and thinking: if I could do this all over again then...The other day I mentioned to visitors that our curtains (which were very very expensive due to the high ceilings in this house and the fact that I had chosen expensive English fabric) were not entirely my style anymore (after 5 -6 years). My husband reacted as if he was stung by a bee...so I'll finish what I have to finish here and then...try again! Wishing you luck!! LiLi

Garden girl said...

Please can I move in?
We have the same fridge-only mine is red. We have similiar front doors-red also. Unfortunately I do not have a beautiful roll top bath or immaculate bedroom though. And your lounge does not resemble an indian restaurent! It looks very cosy-love the fireplace.
I can just picture your kitchen table piled high with card making paraphernalia-it looks like just the sort of place I would want to work in as well.x

Katherines Dream said...

Hi Michele, you have a lovely home....home being the key word!
You have worked hard to get to this point and I am sure you must be on the home leg now...I would love to re-design your sitting room....but I must confess that I would have to go for similar colours as your bedroom which is so very elegent. You have a good eye for colour....seen all your frames and they are perfect.
I love your house.......
Carol xxx

Chelle said...

I think your house looks incredible. I think its funny how we aren't content with our own homes after seeing those of others. My mother is so unhappy with her kitchen, so I keep telling her to come take a look at mine and she will appreciate hers so much more. I guess as humans we have the need for constant change.

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

What a beautiful home!!!!! I love your kitchen!!!


M ^..^

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Hi Michele, what have you got to worry about? you home is fab, living in a cottage, I often long for lovely light rooms with tall ceilings, mmmm, maybe one day.......
Did a rather big e-mail to you a couple of days ago, lost the b***** thing!lost heart, but shall try again, we have a swap to discuss, I hope? Take Care and enjoy this lovely day, love Annie x

April said...

What a beautiful home you have - I love your kitchen

We have lived in our home for 5 years and it is still very much a "work in progress"

April xx

callmemadam said...

It's lovely and how I wish that you, and not the estate agent, had taken the photos of my house before it went on the market!

Alchamillamolly said...

Your house is beautiful and the lounge IS NOT 70's Indian Restaurant!! I think it is perfect and lived in and cosy. I don't like it when people slavishly follow trends of the moment. The room is you and your family and it will have evolved into your space over time. Its nice to keep it fresh and you always feel better after a coat of paint but I think itsl lovely.

LOUISE said...

Your friends are coming to see you Michele, not to pick holes in your decor. My suggestion is give them a glass of wine or two and they will be too tipsy to notice any little imperfections. Your home is just lovely, so sit back and relax. That nasty bug will come back if you don't. x

OhSoVintage said...

Looks, to me, like you have the perfect place already, Michele! It's lovely!! I especially like your bedroom, I just love white and I like your stained glass door and I like your front door (ours is horrible plastic which just HAS to go)and your staircase... oh just all of it!!
Changing the subject, did you say you remembered Babs Edwards (mother of Jackie and Tina) who had the garage in Coverack? She died last week aged 96, I know as my mother spoke at her funeral. Thought you might be interested.
Ruth x

Emma Herian said...

Can I come and stay too!
You would not want to see my house, EEK! I need a stylist, decorator and that lottery win. I could see myself cooking over that Aga, relaxing in your bath and having the best night sleep in your comfy looking bed!...... Beautiful.

prettyshabby said...

I agree with everyone else, your house is beautiful, and your garden too for that matter. I love victorian houses and would love to own one again, I do know what you mean though, about wanting to decorate again after seeing photos on blogs..I think I need about three houses to decorate so I can have all the different styles I like!

Linda and Laura Lilly Cottage said...

Your house looks lovely, warm and inviting and I love that bird window sash..too cute. I love it when we have people come to visit because it is the only time that I can sweep my husband up in my cleaning re-arranging frenzy. If we didn't have a deadline to do it by it would never get done. You are a brave woman living with renovations and look you survived sanity intact and a gorgeous home to show!!! Unless of course you are still wandering around in Cat weaselesq robes and a big stick!! Have a wonderful day and thanks for sharing, kiss noises Linda Lilly Cottage.

Dana Jones said...

Michele, I think your home is so wonderful and full of light! I know you will make your living room every bit as lovely and welcoming. I noticed you have a lot of sentimental items on your mantle and I wonder of it is possible to build in shelves with similar wood trim as your lovely antique mantel? I see that it might be appropriate in the corner where you have the secretary now? I have posted new pics of my bedroom at Calico Cat today. Come see what I have done and see if it meets with your approval!

amy said...

your bathroom and bedroom are wonderful! so peaceful!

Rosie said...

Your home looks absolutley gorgeous. I would be very happy living there and far from giving you tips I think you could give me some.

Simone said...

Your house is lovely! What is wrong with the living room even if it is as you suggest like an Indian restaurant! Why don't you paint a giant mural of an Indian scene on that pale wall! Only joking of course!

Sal said...

Well..I have a (good?)idea;-)
Take your photo of the lounge and try and mess about with it in Paint Shop Pro (if you have it.. or similar)...i.e change the wall colour for starters...etc etc.

We originally had those sort of colours in our lounge and we've slowly changed it.So I can understand what you mean.

I love your kitchen and bathroom!
;-)

Artsy-Craftsy Merchant said...

Loved peeking into your lovely home! Thank you!

Linen & Roses said...

Michele your house looks absolutely lovely already. I love the calm look of your bedroom. Something I'm aspiring to with ours which at the moment if far too boyish for my liking.(Think navy curtains, navy and green tartan duvet..... need I say more?) I know what you mean though about how reading blogs makes you look at your home in a different way. I know its bad to be envious but there really are some lovely bloggers homes out there. Yours is definitely one of them!

thevintagemagpie said...

Michele, your house is beautiful. When Asti and I visited we both agreed it was beautiful, and had such a lovely feel about it, we both went home very jealous. So don't change a thing.. its perfect x

Country Cottage Chic said...

After my first visit today I can only say that your house is lovely - cosy, welcoming & friendly!

:-)
Jayne

mbuttefudge said...

Your home looks so lovely, a dream home.

I am very new to blogging and love discovering new ones...tonight I found yours and it sums up all that is wonderful.

Thank you for sharing, all the best, ClareX

Classics and Country said...

How charming. This is definitely Home Sweet Home!
You have done such a great job!