Those of you that read my blog regularly will know that we’ve recently moved into a new home – our first proper house! I’m therefore full to the brim with ideas and inspiration of all the things that I want to do to make it perfect and special and wow.
So I’m going to introduce a series of blog posts called House and Home, focussing on our plans and development of our new home over the coming months. There will be before and after shots, design inspirations and general thoughts and tips on how to get through it all. After all, it’s quite a daunting prospect and unless you have bottomless pockets, you want to get it right! For most of us, our house is the biggest purchase and investment of our lives, so we have to ensure the right amount of planning goes into our projects.
So welcome to my House and Home series – Part 1…
We only moved in just under a month ago, so we’re still getting to know the house. I think it’s important to live in a place for a while before you make any major changes, as you really need to understand how you feel in a house, how you move around and interact with the different rooms and what becomes the focus or use of certain spaces.
We have a pretty bog-standard Victorian 3-bed mid-terraced house. Bog standard in the sense that it has 3 rooms downstairs (lounge, dining room, kitchen) and 4 rooms upstairs (3 beds and bathroom). The exciting thing about our house is that there is a cellar and also potential to extend into the attic. So our dream is to slowly turn our home into a 4-storey house. This will be much further along the line (unless we win the lottery of course), so for now we’re concentrating on the the 2 floors that we will currently live in and utilise most. Oh I forgot to mention that we also have a small front garden and a small back-yard, which needs a bit of thought and tlc to make the most of it. We’ll probably focus on these areas in the Spring when the days are longer.
So onto How to get Home Inspiration…
I love interior design and nosing at other people’s houses, so this is truly an enjoyable task for me. Aside from watching all the programmes on telly (Grand Design, Location Location Location etc), I have been buying magazines such as ‘Homes and Gardens’ too as I like having something physical to flick through. It means you can also rip out anything you like so you don’t forget them and even start a scrap-book if you like that sort of thing.
But the things that are giving me the most home inspiration at the moment and the things I seem to be spending my entire evenings looking at, are my iPad apps! I’ve got a bit pin-happy on my new house Pinterest board and I’ve discovered this awesome app called Houzz (there’s also a website). These are such great ways to access a wealth of interior inspirations, images and discussions, instantly and in the comfort of your own home. It’s a great way to discover ideas that you would never have thought of yourself or dreamt would be possible in your home. I highly recommend using them and again, you can tag, pin or save your favourite images to refer back to when you’re out shopping or talking to a designer.
Here’s a few of my recent images I’ve pinned:
Image sourced online from wealdentimes.co.uk
Image sourced online from Bloesem Living
Image sourced on Pinterest
I’d also suggest getting out there into the real world too. There’s of course bathroom and kitchen show-rooms and Furniture warehouses and these are a great way of seeing things in situ, trying them out and having a good play around. However, the show-rooms (with the exception of perhaps Ikea) are generally like shots out of a catalogue and often pretty generic and poorly lit. You don’t always get the most inspiration from visiting these places and you don’t necessarily see items in their best light or to their full potential, as they’d be in situ. An example…We’ve started looking at our bathroom suite (more on that later on in the series) and would like something that gives a nod to the Victorian era. We went to a show-room and looked at their ‘Victoriana Range’ and it did nothing for us. It looked lifeless in the starkly-lit warehouse with no natural light, furnishing or colour surrounding it. So initially we discounted the range and thought it was nothing special. I then searched for bathrooms on my Houzz app and saw a photo of someone’s bathroom with the exact same suite, but in context! And you know what, it shone and we could see how it would work and now want it!
That’s just one small example to make the point. Although show-rooms are great and certainly show you what you need to look at, you sometimes find inspiration in other places that give you more context. Then you can go back to the show-room to buy it if you need to. Next time you’re in your favourite pub or restaurant, have a look around and see what you like about it. Look at the furniture you’re sitting on and the light fittings or rugs. Even the bathrooms in places these days are luxurious and unique. You generally hang out in places because you like the look and feel of them (or at least that’s one element of it), so chances are you can gain some inspiration for your own home next time you’re there. Grab your phone or camera and take some pics so you can store them for future reference.
The most important thing is to keep your eyes open! You never know where you might find home inspiration and when you might stumble across something cool. Just the other day I saw a gorgeous radiator that I thought would be perfect in our bathroom and it was in a pub! So I took a photo on my phone and saved it on my laptop 🙂
These are just a few methods I use to get my home inspiration at the moment and I hope they help you too. Let me know if you have any tips as I’m always open to new ideas.
You can buy the ‘FEELINGS’ neon lights in the title photo from 47 Park Avenue online. I love it!