Smitten Kitchen

Five of six months building work down and the house is starting to become a home again. I wasn’t sure which new room I was most excited for, but seeing the kitchen today – and the loud ‘Oh my gods’ that ensued – answered the question.

I adore cooking so it was always going to be a strong contender. The old layout lacked light (the staged shot taken by the estate agents was very cleverly lit!) and the edges were just getting a bit tatty.

But the new one is anything but.

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New Magnet kitchen going in, with space for American Fridge Freezer and cooker

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Antiques hunting in North Norfolk

I’ve been going to North Norfolk since I was a child and one of the things I’ve always enjoyed – along with pub lunches and long walks on the beach – is rummaging in all the small independent shops and finding unusual treasures that you just don’t easily come across in London. So with a week up there over Christmas, and inspired by Liberty London Girls’s blog post on antiques shopping in Wells, I decided to venture further afield than my default shopping in Burnham Market and set off for a day’s antique hunting, starting in Holt.

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Happy Christmas, from your local Planning Department

So in terms of a 2015 New Year’s commitment to blog about building my dream house, I think the fact that my last post was 21st February is pretty solid evidence that I failed miserably! In my defence, no-one ever really keeps their New Year’s resolutions, and its fair to say that 2015 has been a more eventful and busy year than I was expecting, including not one but two new jobs. As a result overall progress on the house has been slower than I originally planned.

That aside, it has been an incredible first 9 months in my little home, not least thanks to the arrival of two new housemates Freya and Loki, my beautiful tabby maincoon crossed kittens. So despite still having an entire room full of boxes and not even one fully finished room, I’ve settled in oh so happily, especially in my front living room, where the curtains might not reach the floor, but when I walk in I know that I am home.

But… despite all of that, I cannot WAIT to get starting on the works I want done. And following a visit from the local council, a week of waiting and then a slightly hairy moment involving a sash window which my lovely architect Jo kindly kept from me and resolved unaided, I now have my planning permission, delivered just in time for Christmas!

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Interior Design School Inspiration Day

Firstly I should begin my explaining my till now unexplained absence for the past couple of weeks, which was down to very nearly loosing my dream house. The good news is that at 4.49pm on Monday 9 February we finally exchanged. I won’t go into all the boring details, or emotional turmoil, other than to say my buyer turned out to be more than a bit of a headache, but needless to say whilst that was going on the last thing I wanted to do was blog.

But now I’m back! We’re scheduled to complete in just under two weeks, on Friday 27 February. I cannot wait to get in and get my hands on the place. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I spent some of my holiday thinking about things I wanted to do. Sewing was one of them, as was learning about interior design. So just like with cushion making, I scoured Google to find a short course on home interior design for beginners. It was actually harder than it looked. There’s a lot of online only classes, but I have always preferred to learn in a classroom, and many of the classroom based ones were more intensive/longer than I was after. But then I found The Interior Design School in Queens Park, London, which offered a one day ‘Inspiration Day’ course. To be honest, unlike with Saturday Sewing Session I didn’t jump right in and book straight away. Firstly, you can’t avoid the fact that its on the pricey side at £145. Secondly, there isn’t a great deal of information about what exactly it is you’ll do on the day. That said, the overall reviews were good, I liked the look of it, and besides I’d just ordered a slightly obscene number of interiors books on Amazon and was feeling a bit trigger happy.

Taught by professional interior designers, this is a stimulating and practical day that introduces the process of creating a design for an interior – whether you’re interested in designing your own home or thinking about a future career as an interior designer.

So off I went up to Queens Park on Saturday 31 January and found tucked away down an 18th century mews, a fabulously light, airy and modern interior design school.

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