Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Summer Inspiration - The Beach

Finally! A post! I've not blogged for a while; I've been busy with work, and my Dad had a stay in hospital, followed by a big move to a nursing home - he has Alzheimers, and although we know it's the best thing for him (he's receiving exceptional care; the food is amazing, and he spends his days in a sunny conservatory overlooking the huge garden. They also subscribe to the thinking that animals are beneficial to elderly people with mental health issues, and since he's been there they've had two doggy visits, and an afternoon with birds of prey. How cool is that?!), it's been a really difficult time. But things are starting to settle down now, so I've finally found the time to edit some photos and write a post - about our adventures last summer!

It was a long winter; it feels like a lifetime ago that we were spending days and nights on the beach, gathering around fires and leaping around in the dunes, building dens in the woods and picking veg out back in the garden. But the weather this week has been beautiful, the garden is flourishing and the long holidays are just seven weeks away - so I thought this would be a good time to start posting about last summer. Maybe think of it as an inspiration post?!

We spent a LOT of time at the beach; long, sticky days and balmy evenings spent building sandcastles, foraging for treasure (read: shells) and toasting marshmallows on sandy campfires. I like the beach in the winter, but I LOVE it in the summer; the roar of the ocean, the sand between your toes and that delicious feeling of being wrapped in a warm blanket when the sun appears from behind a cloud.

Seven weeks to go. I cannot WAIT.


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Grand Entrance

One of the worst things about living in a rental house is that there are real restrictions on what you can and can't do, decor-wise. We're really lucky with our landlords, in that they're pretty flexible, and let us make as many changes as we like - as long as we pay for it, and we don't, for example, paint the whole house black and knock any walls down.

We've done major things in the kitchen; we've retiled, and replaced worktops, changed flooring and ripped out cupboards in favour of open shelving. We've painted every room white, and plastered (Ali learned how to plaster from YouTube videos, and he's actually really good at it!) over horrendous artrex, ripped up old carpets and resealed the bath. The only thing we've not done anything to so far, is the front door - until now. The one we have is brown, has really big cracks in it, and just looks really old and tired; at the moment, we're trying to decide between painting it and replacing it.

Colour vs Neutrals

I used to be absolutely desperate for a yellow front door - mustard, to be exact - and came pretty close to just running down to B&Q and buying the cheapest exterior paint I could get my hands on. But as time has gone by, I've also hankered after one in teal, one in red and one in crisp white, so I'm pretty glad this is something I've never gotten round to! I mentioned in my lounge makeover post that my tastes have simplified, and I'm more drawn to calm neutrals and soft colours these days, so I think if we do reach for the paint, it will be a beautifully stony grey colour; think something Farrow-and-Ball-esque, but a bit more budget friendly.

Safety and Security 
I never thought there would be a day when I'd choose practicality over style, but apparently, it's here. Our current door has three bolts, a manual lock and a chain - but to be honest, the rest of it is so flimsy they're pretty pointless. If we owned the house, we'd probably invest in a more modern, hi-tech door, like the Spitfire doors from Team Frames Trade; fully customisable, they come in a wide range of colours and styles, and offer brilliant add-ons, such as spy-hole camera, built-in lighting and even fingerprint recognition. I'm a bit of a nervous nelly when I'm at home alone in the evenings, so the idea of having a front door that combines unbeatable security with style is one that appeals to me massively!

Plants and Greenery

Anyone who has been reading a while, or follows me on Instagram, will know that I've got a bit of a thing for plants. When we first moved into our house, I wanted a trellis with climbing roses, clematis and wisteria, window boxes, shrubs and hanging baskets. Our front garden is the size of a postage stamp, and after five years I've finally come to terms with the fact that it's never going to look like something from Country Living - so I'm opting for filling our little porch with little pots of greenery. Simple, effective, year-round colour!

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