Monday, 27 February 2012

We got the keys to our new house today!

Our next job is to get all the floor plans drawn out. We need to know which walls to keep and which are false walls that can be removed. The house is divided into dingy bedsits right now and we want a simple home with bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen. Simple is our goal. We need and want to do as little as possible. One of the very favourite apartments we rented was one in Copenhagen. It had a first floor sitting room knocked through with the kitchen and dining area. It was filled with warm sunshine all day. Although it was small and nothing special had been done to it, it felt so homely, snug and bright. Instead of wasting this gorgeous sunshine on a bedroom we will only go into at night, we want our kitchen and sitting room to have this cosy warm golden light. Our first idea.

We have been pinning on Pinterest and imagining how it might look. We are so lucky to have some lovely big windows, we hope that with some white paint and a simple white kitchen, the sunshine will do the rest.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Montpelier Row, Twickenham

Today we went for a stroll around our current neighbourhood for inspiration from similar Georgian terraced houses and thanked our lucky stars that we didn't have pay the crazy local prices to match.

Montpelier Row in Twickenham is a long brick Georgian Terrace with some prettily individual doorways. Number 15 was built in about 1721. Alfred Tennyson and his family rented it in 1851, albeit only for a couple of years. We loved the way the number was painted on the gate post. So beautifully styled. Simple and elegant. It would be easy enough to recreate by enlarging the shape and tracing it.

Here are some more Georgian terraced houses in London and their doorways.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Last week we bought a house.
We have spent the past five years travelling, renting and even towing our home behind us around the cities and countryside of Europe. Our children are now fourteen and sixteen. They have had a rich few years of an ever-changing landscape in which to learn and play. Now we want them to have a few happy years in one place, creating memories in a happy home that they can retreat to in spirit and in real life.

The house isn't a home yet. It was divided up into six scarily-tiny-looking bedsits by the council at some sad point in its history, then we bought it. We bought it at an auction. It took five minutes.

No one wanted it.

It might have been the six sad flimsy little kitchens. It might have been those too-tiny shower rooms and the odd smell. Perhaps it was the oppressive false ceilings. But it was this outstanding staircase that made them actually gasp with horror as they stepped through the promising, relatively smart Georgian black door.

That red! Those black 'treds'. What is that linoleum stuff and where did every school/hospital buy it?! But wait. It is rather bright at least. And someone was inspired enough to put in a rather unimpressive but effective skylight.

But we knew it was in one of our favourite streets in one of our favourite cities. It was cheap so we had some money left over to tidy it up. The roof is in good order; the windows need some paint but are sound and even the cellar is essentially dry. How hard can this be? How could we resist having a go? How could we say no to the promise of these beautiful windows.

This blog might be an unveiling story of horror, one where you can barely peek through your fingers, but hopefully it will be an adventure story of the making of a home.