Monday, 13 April 2015

Back Home


I was curious to see how it would feel when we pulled into the drive after our break in Durham, if it would feel like coming home or just back to a house we are currently living in, like when you return to a holiday rental after a day out. Home but not home. This was the first time we'd been away and when we returned it did feel like coming home, but better, due to the added frisson of letting ourselves into the house and being bowled over by the newness of it all. I'm sure this wear off with time but I'm enjoying the novelty while it lasts.

The weather continues to be gorgeous. This afternoon my sister and I sat outside in the garden in deckchairs while we drank tea and chatted. In April! Lovely. My main observation in all this good weather is that I think the house is going to be an absolute oven in the summer. All those big windows, the chalet style roof, the south-west frontage - it will be warm. Luckily the air is cool now (and still cold at night) so open windows keep everything comfortable, and the kids' rooms are at the north-east facing rear of the house so hopefully they'll sleep comfortably when it's hot. If it gets hot. I realise I am already doing that typically British thing of running away with myself after a sunny spell, planning barbecues and imagining the beautiful spring and summer ahead....

I am in love with our bedroom, especially the window. I sat there the other day, cross legged on the floor, hemming the curtains, and the sun was pouring in and a gentle breeze was wafting around me and it was bliss.



The room has a door and window which open onto a balcony which runs along the front of the house. It's so retro, I love it. It's more a feature of when the house was built than a place I'd sit, but I like to go out there and look up and down the road.

To my left, the suburbs are becoming greener by the day. 


And to my right, down the hill to the dead end at the bottom of the road, to the cemetery beyond, it's all trees and sunsets. I like to just go out there and look around. 



We fixed two picture rails to the wall, joined together to make one long display space. I really love how this looks and enjoyed taking all our pictures out of bubble wrap to choose some to go here. I love how a picture or print can look so different depending on where you position it and what you put it next to.



I finally got round to painting over the plaster on the chimney breast. As predicted, it took longer to carefully cover the mantel, hearth and stove to protect them from splashes as it did to paint it all. 


It looks great now it's painted and I will take photos soon. I am struggling with how to decorate the mantel, what to put on it. It's massive, both in width and in the height to the ceiling. A jug of tulips looks lost on it. It's needs something big and sculptural, like maybe some blossom or pussy willow in a really tall, thin vase. And hanging pictures is tricky due to the asymmetrical chimney breast. Nothing looks straight or centred. I think a group of pictures or some propped on the wooden mantel will be the way to go. Anyway, it's a nice problem to have. 

We still have another week to go of the Easter holidays. The kids are doing well, happy and rested. Having good weather and the option of playing outside makes everything easier. Or course the tablets still come in very handy after a hard afternoon's partying.


I've been really busy crafting away lately, mainly crocheted things for the house. Two stool covers, a small wall hanging. I finally taught myself the crocodile (or scale) stitch, and I'm really pleased with how that came out. Bella's blanket is underway. I'm not sure about the colours but she chose them so I guess I just have to go with it. Anyway, lots to show you all soon. 





43 comments:

Jennifer said...

I've often said that after living in our current house, I don't think I could go back to a house where my bedroom didn't have a door that opened to the outdoors. I don't have a balcony, since my house is only one story, but we have a door that opens to brick steps that go down a patio in the backyard. I love to have the door open all day and into the evening because it gets nice and cool back there and makes the room comfortable for sleeping. I really like how everything is looking at your house, it's all coming together nicely.

ellen said...

Your house is just so lovely and I am sure that it will be the home that makes all of you happy. We have lived in many places, but here we have been for over thirty some years. Last summer we finally had the money to have some painting done, more book shelves made and old wall paper removed. Every day I try to look at it with new eyes and appreciation for what has been done, and to feel blessed that this place has held a family together with love for many years. With all of it's mess and imperfections, this house is a home.
Best to you, Ellen.

Gracie Saylor said...

Thanks for letting us follow your process of settling into your new home, Gillian. You are in a lovely neighborhood and how great that you can see the glory of the sun setting. Our house is kind of down in a hollow and surrounded by so many trees we imagine the sun setting rather than seeing it set :) After stitching some baby hats I just knit a quick tried and true dishcloth. I look forward to seeing what you are stitching. xx

Susan Smith said...

It's all coming together beautifully and I'm enjoying your progress. You sound very happy and still being young is a big advantage with all the work involved. Take care.

Librarian said...

It all sounds and looks great! If it were my balcony, I'd definitely sit out there, unless the road below was a very busy one. I have no balcony and often sit on my windowsill instead, having a cup of coffee in the afternoon when I am working from home, or on weekends.

Anonymous said...

It's all looking perfect. No doubt you'll be tweeking things for a while yet. I think the colour in your bedroom is great. X

SaraJ said...

Life is looking good. :) I hope the sun continues to shine this week for you all. x

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

It's all sounding rather lovely. Looking it too! The house is looking good too, it has your touch already which I love. It's so nice to be able to enjoy some sun too isn't it? We even had a barbecue the other day!

S x

VeggieMummy said...

Your house is looking fantastic. I'd definitely go and sit on that balcony - the views are lovely. We too have an asymmetrical chimney breast and, it's true, whichever way you position things can look slightly odd. I'll be interested to see what you come up with. Enjoy the last week of the Easter holidays. xx

Lilian L said...

Looks so homey! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Penny said...

Looking so cosy and comfortable, cheerful and homey! How wonderful to have a wide, deep mantel over your stove. It will look fab when you find suitably proportioned things for it X

Ali Whale said...

I don't think you can beat a house that lets in a lot of light. Yes, it might get warm, but do an Elbow and "throw those curtains wide"!! It is looking beautiful and stylish.... x

Anonymous said...

I love what you've done to the place, the display shelf in the bedroom is a great feature and the fireplace is gorgeous, so cosy. We also have doors from our bedroom opening out to a veranda and its lovely to get the cool breezes in the evening. Enjoy planning your mantel.

andamento said...

Your new home is looking lovely. You've inspired me to tidy our house!

andamento said...

PS I like how the colours of the first picture match those of your bedroom. We've had some lovely weather too but it's away now :(

Amy at love made my home said...

Everything looks lovely! I am so pleased for you that you are pleased to be home to your home! xx

CJ said...

Your new home has such a wonderful feel to it, you've got such a talent for creating a beautiful space. I'm glad it feels like "home" as well. I'm a fan of big windows and lots of light. Even if it's a bit warm on occasion, it's worth it to have all that natural light all the time. I shall look forward to seeing all that you have made. CJ xx

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

A lovely post. It's lovely that it feels like 'Home' x

Lyn said...

It is lovely being away but sometimes nice to be home. The house is looking lovely and you look settled in. x

Anne Schueler said...

What a wonderful place! And so much light! :-)

I am sure the crochet blanket which is in the background in one of the later photos will also help the "at home" feeling! Home is where is yarn and crochet hook is!

Take care
Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Oh Gillian, it's lovely to hear how you are settling into your new home. When we returned from Florence I was so excited to see our home again, when you find the right spot to call home I don't think you every stop feeling this way :) xxx

Gillian said...

It's lovely to feel you're really home. Hope your good weather is continuing - ours isn't!

Bronwyn said...

You're looking so settled in your house. Once the art starts going up, home really feels like home. I think it is important that you are sitting in each room and really getting to know it. These spaces will hold so many memories for you in the coming years!
www.queenbcreativeme.blogspot.com

Jo said...

Glad it feels like home see I told you to keep going and you would get there! Jo x

Chickpea said...

It all looks great! Books and photos always make a house look like a home

Sally A said...

It's lovely to see you all settling into your new home. How exciting to start again and make it yours.

Hannah said...

I always feel so peaceful and happy after reading your posts, I just love them. Thank you.

Swissrose said...

Really enjoying seeing your new house and how you are taking it over as a family!

I had to laugh - great balcony and I'd probably go all Swiss and air my bedding on it every fine morning… LOL

Julia said...

Everything is coming together so nicely, Gillian. Your home already looks so cozy! I'm glad to hear that it feels like home to you.

Attic24 said...

I can't tell you how happy I am to see you settling so beautifully into your new home. It looks soooo like you were meant to live there, the style of it all seems to suit your taste perfectly.
We had lived in our house for four months before we left it to go on holiday, I can still very clearly remember The Return Test just as you described, it's a wonderful feeling indeed to know that you've made your house into a Home. Sending lots of love for continued good times
Lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jan Doling said...

How lovely that your house felt like home when you returned from holiday. Everything is looking lovely and it must be fun arranging all your belongings again. I love the idea of your picture rail, it looks great. Looking forward to seeing your crochet - your throw on the settee is stunning. xx

Carla said...

Gillian

Your new house is lovely. I was wondering what brand and colour of paint you used. i am planning to lighten my walls. Carla

love those cupcakes said...

Good job, it all looks wonderful (I'm going to have to walk round here with my eyes closed now!). Love how you've displayed your pictures.

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I'm glad that when you stepped through the front door it felt like home. I'm still envious of the wood burner of yours. I like the view from your balcony too. It looks like a lovely street.
Leanne xx

Jacqueline said...

It's great that you returned after your holiday and felt not only that you were back in your new house but you were home. Doesnt that word sound so comforting!

Mereknits said...

Your house is looking so fantastic, so glad it feels like home.
Hugs,
Meredith

KirstenLN said...

Your new home looks SO lovely! Glad to hear that it also feels like home :-)

Liz J said...

It looks lovely-so glad that you are settling in well and I hope you enjoy the rest of the holidays x

Annie Cholewa said...

I could have sworn I already left a comment here, all admiring of all that light and of what you've done with the place. I'm rather envious truth be told ... I'm more than ready for a move after twenty years here. It's exciting isn't it, getting to know a a new home. I feel absolutely convinced you are all going to be very happy there :)

cassie said...

Ah, your house is coming together so nicely! I love your bookshelves. We have two small ones for the whole house, so naturally we still have books in boxes. I am also still swooning over your wood stove, so much that I've pretty much told my husband that we need to get one for next fall. I'm pretty sure your house is already more put together than ours and we've lived here for about seven months! It's time for me to sew some curtains I think...

Angel Jem said...

It is so lovely to come home and feel like you are home. The house is looking good, and getting me inspired!

Opie said...

Hai..greeting from Indonesia..! I realy adore your home. ..

Gillian said...

Hi Carla. Sorry it took me so long to reply. In the living room we used New York Winter by Valspar, which is really a kind of very pale creamy grey. And in all the bedrooms and dining room we used Heathcliff's Castle by Crown. I really like both brands and the Crown especially gave excellent coverage. I was after a pale neutral that was warm but not peachy, and was really happy with how these came out.

Hope that helps! Gillian x