All posts filed under: House & Home

Interiors and Ideas

My Autumn Bookshelf

Do you read different books in different seasons? I know I do. When the temperature dips, I like to lose myself in a cosy, welcoming read. Something that’ll still make my brain tick, but that’ll also soothe me when I need it. Here are some of my ‘Instagram’ favs from my book shelf, you can’t beat a book and a perfect cup of tea, can you? #frenchlottie Our current book club read is The Thread by Victoria Hislop, another of her books set in Greece. She is a great storyteller. It’s just like a tapestry, when each thread is sewn into place, so emerges the layers and history of relationships past and present. I’m new to her books but quite enjoying the plot linking Thessaloniki in 1917 and 2007. A bit like a blind date! #welcometomyshelf The next one is on my shelf and I’m looking forward to picking up and reading before I see the film. This came recommended by my sons girlfriend, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman who is a Swedish …

In a nutshell: August

August, well it just sort of went! It went in having my little house painted internally at the beginning of August and the finale was having new flooring laid in my hall and lounge at the end of the month. And as we know, that doesn’t just happen by itself. All that prepping and cleaning up!! So many choices, so many decisions. Making decisions for yourself is the hardest, right?! I struggle to take photos of my little house in its entirety. Because of that, I’m not always the best interiors blogger. However, I do love my home and I like to share what I’ve been up to and what’s on my interiors radar. It’s my little bit of imperfect perfection. The fun bits have been gradually filling my newly painted hall with new pictures, and reframing my old favourites. I’m lucky to have an artistic daughter, and my home is filled with her work. The middle of August brought us a family staycation, back to the area where I grew up, Cartmel. It is …

Little House Redecoration

The redecoration of my little house was never going to be a quick process, who ever said retirement was boring, it’s a case of doing as much as I can, when, and if I can. A new build house has the benefits of being low maintenance for at least ten years, but four years in, the ‘almond white’ walls are needing a refresh with paint! My bedroom had a refresh a couple of years ago, and I’m liking Dulux ‘chiffon white’ with a flat matt finish. A small house needs light and white to create a sense of space to make it appear bigger than it really is. I’m keeping my blue and white theme with a touch of grey maintaining a Scandi feel…. I do so like cool and calm and neutral. In my lounge I’m keeping my sofa bed for welcome visitors and l will bring in some new pictures for the walls.   I have found a Swedish company – Desenio, whose products are so reasonably priced to start with, means you …

Its Chelsea Week

So it’s the end of May already and before you know it we’ll be luxuriating in fresh new Summer growth so today’s post is all about my garden as I’m preparing for Chelsea. General Maintenance General maintenance is as good a place to start if any. Assuming like myself that you’re not starting a garden from scratch, you’ll want to make sure that you get kitted up for the season ahead. If there are three gardening tools I can’t live without then they have to be a hand trowel, a small fork and some garden gloves. Both the hand trowel and fork are incredibly useful when it comes to planting, weeding and moving soil. I’m also a sucker for traditionalism and like the wooden handle for aesthetic reasons. And whilst I don’t mind getting my hands dirty I find keeping a pair of gardening gloves to hand incredibly useful when it comes to pruning plants that are especially prickly – I’m looking at you roses! I now have a patio that almost sparkles after it recently had its annual clean with a …

Three Things I’m Loving This Week

My new book…. I have my ‘book club’ book on the go but couldn’t resist getting hold of this book as I’m being a bit of a nature lover just now, ‘Wonderland – A Year of Britain’s Wildlife Day by Day’. Just love the book cover, so pretty. It’s by two guides to natures wonderland, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss and takes you through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. I’m getting into a routine of having a cuppa in bed in the morning and reading the entry of the day. Today, 27 April, Stephen Moss wrote about ‘Sea’ Swallows flying up the Bristol Channel as global voyagers. A real swallow that just happens to be flying across the sea! These short paragraphs are just long enough to give me more daily insight into Britain’s wildlife. And now back to the book club read, ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown!! Boroughbridge….. A lovely North Yorkshire town I’ve discovered this week. …

Quiet weekend:gardening

With the daffodils dying back and my trees bursting with blossom, clematis cascading, and the tulips almost there, Spring is definitely in full bloom. I’ve been spending more time outside pottering this weekend. I know I have a small courtyard garden but it comes with a bit of maintenance and revamping now and again. I’ve been seeking inspiration recently as the summer season approaches so I’ve started to follow more green-fingered Instagram accounts, particularly as I’d like to fill my raised beds with some new planting schemes over the next few years. I’ve had a quiet weekend at home with some outdoor time as well as getting to grips with Instagram! One peek at these accounts will hopefully make you want to dust off your trowel and get your wellies on. Founded by the former Head Gardener at Sarah Raven’s Sussex farm, Perch Hill, the Botanika Floral feed oozes all the florals you want to find in your cutting garden. The epic sea of tulips was snapped by floral stylist Charlie McCormick in the garden of The Land Gardeners. Goals …

It’s Spring

Oh the weather has SO changed has it not? Can’t wait to share some gorgeous pics of the best of our countryside with you, photography course coming up!! I’m trying to mix up my posts a little (I know – living on the edge!) with ‘what I’m loving this week’ and Sundays’ will be more of a feature post. Time restraints, life, reinventing myself, and delights of being a Granny are all responsible so we’re just going with the flow! So, where do I start? Today I’m indulging in a post about loving this Spring sunshine with a flavour of March in my garden. Handsome Helleborus Really loving this new Yorkshire Flowerpot planted up with garlic from The Garlic Farm. Just wait for an update on my garlic pot! Greygoose is smiling and enjoying the first of this years sunshine in her garden! ∼♥∼

Hello Harlow Carr

February can feel gloomy, but it’s surprising how a visit to RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate can lift the spirits, by taking a few photos of the oh so early spring bulbs and an ideal place to enjoy being a Granny still in training for pram pushing. So this February Sunday afternoon was perfect to practice my new skill along previously undiscovered paths, some quite hilly and then freewheel down to Bettys outdoor café to refuel with a hot chocolate. Then a stroll up the gentle slope past rhubarb to the surprisingly large book and gift shop. This is the kind of place to take your time, to wander…to take in your surroundings. Harlow Carr is a must-see if you are ever in the Harrogate vicinity.  There is an entrance fee but I’m glad I took the annual RHS membership. I can take a family member, and Grandson as often as I want. That’s the way to go! I look forward to returning in the next few weeks and photograph the seasonal changing of the …

Reinvention: Sewing corner

Years and years of sewing in the dining room or at the kitchen table, getting everything out, then having to put it all away (even when the project wasn’t finished yet) — never having a sewing room of my own, finally changed recently when I had an oak work surface and cupboards fitted creating a sewing corner. I am still having fun deciding on knobs for the cupboards. And as it is a dark corner, loving this lamp. It’s upstairs in my office and now filled with fabric, my sewing machine, sewing baskets, the scissors I never use for anything but fabric, my pin cushions, everything in one place. I can get out my projects now and just leave them out until they’re done! When I was young, all of my “creative ways” went into sewing. I remember being perched on an armchair, next to my mum who showed me how to knit; or how to sew, on the old black Singer that was always up in the corner of our kitchen; how to crochet, …

Winter Garden

Do you even have a ‘winter garden’ as such? I find that the garden becomes a bit of a dumping ground between November and February. But sometimes the light catches the bark of a silver birch, or the frost outlines dying seed heads. It is so poignantly beautiful that I realise how much winter has to offer gardens. Gardens used to be able to snooze through winter, but today’s glass kitchen extensions, massive glass sliding doors and huge picture windows mean a garden is on show all year round. The snowdrops are beginning to emerge from the ground, scented shrubs are beginning to flourish and Hellebores begin to show their faces in the shadiest patches of the garden. For me, January is a time to dream about the gardening season ahead and get my hands dirty too! It’s also nice to get out on the sunny days, visit friends and family and pop along to see what’s happening at RHS Garden Harlow Carr for even more garden ideas.  So, one ‘dream’ plan is to grow …