Tuesday, 15 May 2012

home dilemmas

Did you see the photo of our house in Country Living magazine this month? It is always an honour to have something in CL - but it got me thinking, about how much our house has matured and how slowly, slowly it has become our family home (we were only going to be here for three years.......8 years ago!) The photo in Country Living was taken about 5 years ago and now the apple trees and hedges are really mature and settled, and the house looks softer.

Sometimes, probably because you live with something every day that it becomes ordinary to your eyes,  you can't really judge the way it  looks. You become accustomed and maybe overlook both the good and the bad bits. 

This is the problem I have with my own house - often I yearn to change everything around, paint the rooms, buy new furniture, build an extension, find new artworks etc etc. But inertia overrules me and I find it bothersome to settle on the 'perfect' transformation. Which means nothing changes very dramatically from one year to the next. 

I find that taking a photo of the space in question helps me view it more objectively so while it has been sunny I snapped a few of the spaces that I want to work on - to see if I could squeeze some inspiration out of the iphone. 

This is the 'sitting end' of our kitchen.
The things I like about the space are:
It is very sunny
The oak frame (just enough exposed wood, but not overwhelming)
The windows
The lights and the photos under the lights
The chesterfield sofa (more of that later)

The bits I don't like are:
The rug
The old armchair (hidden behind a white throw -but uncomfortable and needs constant plumping)
The wasted corners (either side of the chesterfield) which really would suit a cupboard of some description
The dangly TV wires
The cushions
The Chesterfield sofa (which I love in isolation and it is wonderfully made in a gorgeous matt velvet fabric, but it just doesn't work here as only one person can sit on it and yet it takes up a lot of space)

So I need to find the perfect rug, the perfect corner sofa, perfect cupboard and the perfect cushions (oh, and some way to hide the wires) - it sounds so easy but I just can't find what I am looking for........and lord knows I have looked!

Here is the hallway - the other room that I want to work on.
The problem here is easier to solve - I need to find a cupboard/storage to replace the temporary Ikea thing (which is already falling apart!) but it needs to hold about a million pairs of shoes and a range of other gubbins that have nowhere else to live (photos, spare b'day cards, random fabric swatches etc).

I would like something either really old and battered, or something modern and streamlined. Either way it needs to be a bit unusual, not too wide or too tall and not ridiculously expensive (I can find lots of mega money items, effortlessly - so frustrating)
We also need a new rug here too - rugs are very tricky to find in my opinion.

 Oh, here is the pic of our house......

And being reminded of how our house has matured over the years I thought you might like these two Border Oak buildings that have been part of our adventures recently. The weatherboarded building is an overnight suite for a posh restaurant in Ludlow - you can walk across the weir just under the building which has really settled into the Conservation Area setting.

And the second house is a cottage Border Oak built in 2000 - using a more ochre render than usual at the clients request. The house belongs to the grandparents of my god daughter (the parents of an old school pal - are you keeping up?) 
You wouldn't know that the house was 'new' at all. The garden is so established and the house so perfect for its location that it really is quite humbling to think that it will be there for hundreds of years with endless families living and enjoying it - just like Gabriel and my godson, Arlo are here.

And so I will ponder the changes I want to make to our home, but will aim not to rush anything for a quick fix - after all these houses really do, like George Clooney and David Beckham, get better with age. 
Maybe we would be better admitting that the house is just perfect as it is and getting our 'fix' by building a new house..............does anyone want to buy a gorgeous eco house that has featured in Country Living I wonder?


  1. I would buy your house in a heartbeat if I could afford it, there s a house near us which has been extended in oak, and it looks fabulous.

  2. Oh I just love Border Oak homes, if only I won the lottery, I'd get one made and delivered to Ireland, so if I do win I will be in contact with you :)

    All things nice...

  3. I have the same problem with a chesterfield sofa but worse still, my husband insisted that we had a chair in same series though I KNEW it would be a bad idea. Years on I look at the HUGE space this wretched chair takes up to deliver only 1 seat and fume inwardly! Can I ask a quick question about Tolomeo light I have seen you use in room sets: I want to order one but am unsure of shade size to go for, do recall what size you use? Thank you

  4. Hi
    I don't remember the actual size, but recall that it was the large shade for the floor lamp and the standard size for the desk lamps. Hope this helps.
    ps. we could sell all our husbands choices on ebay perhaps?!