housing ideas

housing ideas

Hello house, we've come a long way ;)

This blog tells the story of my renovation and extension of a London terraced house. It's told through inspiration, ambitions, frustrations, and occasionally progress too.

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to hear me chat 'day job'.

Decisions related to soft furnishings are NOT my forte.  Help?

You can see which is the current front runner by the fact that i’ve photoshopped ACTUAL CUSHIONS into the image.  Nice.  This is what I studied architecture for 4 years to be able to do. Yes it is.

Public opinion is currently favouring the dark palm trees, however, and since I have two actual palm trees in my garden, it does seem in context.

All fabrics from here, all linen, all very sexy.

This richly textured place (I want to go).

This richly textured place (I want to go).

Am a bit obsessed with these three things, and this lovely brand in general.  Well done them.

Tagged: #things i want
The coming together of my dining room. Bit sparse on chairs so getting a couple more (8’s a good number for dinner eh).  Also I have a rather fabulous map to be framed that’ll fill that there wall.
INCOMING!  Follow my instagrams for this sort of action.
For your copycat purchasing skillz:
bludot: Chairs
Unto This Last: Table
fortstandard: Fruit Bowl
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The coming together of my dining room. Bit sparse on chairs so getting a couple more (8’s a good number for dinner eh).  Also I have a rather fabulous map to be framed that’ll fill that there wall.

INCOMING!  Follow my instagrams for this sort of action.

For your copycat purchasing skillz:

  1. bludot: Chairs
  2. Unto This Last: Table
  3. fortstandardFruit Bowl

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The garden of espaliered fruit trees

I like a project (lest that had slipped you by), and when it comes to my garden I’m quite keen on the notion of eating it, as well as breathing it in on spring mornings and gazing wistfully at it through the window on winter Sundays. 

And so I have begun with some veg, herbs, roses, and plenty of fruit trees - the latter of which I’m attempting to espalier (#noob here).  To espalier, I have a pear, a fig, a wisteria, and a plum - yum (right?).

Here’s an apple I considered, before choosing a pear and progressing from nursery to my garden.

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I’ve had a helping hand with two years of trained growth at the nursery, so it isn’t a huge challenge…

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Before you ask, yes, I  bought one of those pads you kneel on; I am 50.

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And here it is in situ flanked by its armed guard of two rose trees.  

Next up, the bed into which my wisteria and plum have gone… a little before for you:

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 And the Wisteria before:

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and after in situ -  well grown… easy innit.

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This is a little climbing thing - though think I went a bit overboard with the training wires. It’s a bit naff in retrospect I think.

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This is the dark bed -  no direct sunlight and a rather unfortunately positioned manhole (unavoidable unfortunately), decently covered with a huge terracotta pot from my parent’s old house. Plan… find something that will grow here and cover up that manhole.

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And the result, so far…

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I’ve had to pluck out one plant that didn’t take, and have moved it to a sunnier spot.  Mum’s advising on what ‘will’ take to this spot.  Want to cover up the wall with lush greenery.

And so here’s the more general before:

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And after:

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That big bushy plant in the middle is some potatoes I planted after they sprouted in my cupboard. May need to thin them out a tad soon - they’re gobbling all the light and water from the other plants.

I’ll leave you with two of my favourite things

1. Soon-to-be Wild Strawberries:

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2. Rosemary in a Victorian drainpipe hopper I found in the garden when I moved in, next to my soon to be epic automatic leaky hose watering system. Amazing.

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Thank you Mum for the driving and all the advice!  :)

Pippa Murray is working some magic in elm for my bedroom.  It’s a bit of a joy commissioning a talented friend to make a big piece like this.  Read her blog or watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean.

Slowly, purposefully, piecing things together.

Pippa Murray is working some magic in elm for my bedroom.  It’s a bit of a joy commissioning a talented friend to make a big piece like this.  Read her blog or watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean.

Slowly, purposefully, piecing things together.

How long does it take to choose a good chopping board?

How long is a piece of string again?

I want 2 or 3 lovely matchy timber chopping boards that have some sort of hanging solution integrated (so that I can free up the drawer they’re currently occupying).

Other than that, my only requisite is that they’re not bulky and heavy - I’ve never been a fan of butchers block style ones that tend to bend your wrist off when you want to pour your neatly chopped goodies into the pan.

After a not insignificant browse, I’m currently perusing the below…

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Sagaform - £22

(32.5 cm diam)

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Walnut by Malle W. Trousseau - £62

(43 x 24cm)

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Garden Trading co - £37.50

(40 x 30cm)

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Maple Cutting Board 1.4 - $88

(43 x 20cm)

And Ferm living Cutting Board: £24-£53

Hmm…. thinking Sagaform…

Home office is pretty much there. I need a decent desk chair (all in time jem, all in time), and some more pics on the wall… maybe a shelf or two, et voila.
But for now.. it’s a lovely space to work, and I just treated myself to some #Bang computer speakers (I passed a certain annual threshold today).  :)
For reference, here’s how it looked a month ago.

Home office is pretty much there. I need a decent desk chair (all in time jem, all in time), and some more pics on the wall… maybe a shelf or two, et voila.

But for now.. it’s a lovely space to work, and I just treated myself to some #Bang computer speakers (I passed a certain annual threshold today).  :)

For reference, here’s how it looked a month ago.

Let there be light! (And a place to sit).
[Quickie iPhone photos only - proper ones in due.]

When the extension was done, I managed to squeeze a single light and socket onto the plans for the garden, but once winter rolled in I realised that single bulb was not going to suffice.  And since midnight games of pingpong require an even and reliable source of light, something just had to be done.

Introducing Jules (who I met in a warehouse party - amazing!), and who rocked up just before Christmas and installed wicked festoon-style lighting around my garden.  Easy peasy.  I sourced the hardware from essential supplies, and she wired it up at custom lengths to fit neatly around the garden (normally you buy festoon lighting with all the bulb-holders already wired up to the cable - plug and play style). 

For the very final win of the year - I used some leftover ply from the kitchen fit, and two chair frames that I found rusting in the backlands, to create two chairs that now complete my garden-dining setup.  I screwed the final piece in at 8pm on New Years Eve before heading out to celebrate 2013’s many happy happenings (namely, the starting of my very own business, This Here).

And so all that’s left is for spring to roll around (so I can plant up the garden), and summer to bring all the wins.

Oh sighs of yes.

Oh sighs of yes.

I’ve made the beginnings of a great home office - awesomely top lit with glass window as big as the room itself (designed to bring light into the middle of the house).

However, it needs storage, badly (the whole house does), so I’m pondering ways to build shelves around 2 or 3 sides, that will let light and views through both ways, but give the room a more enclosed feel.  Am thinking glass shelves where the light needs to flow, but up against that white brick wall some intermittently closed off shelving to hide a bit of mess).  

We shall see. :)

The lighting is being sorted out next week… updates after.

This happened.  :)It’s hard to overstate my happy glow of leather laden copper reflecting ply resting concrete padding cat DREAM-THINGS.Genuine cave woman moment.
[blu dot real good chair meets tapered ply unto this last meets hopper]

This happened.  :)

It’s hard to overstate my happy glow of leather laden copper reflecting ply resting concrete padding cat DREAM-THINGS.

Genuine cave woman moment.

[blu dot real good chair meets tapered ply unto this last meets hopper]

Obsessively tracking my dining room chairs from Florida to London.  Come on DHL… you’re a mere couple of miles from my home!

Obsessively tracking my dining room chairs from Florida to London.  Come on DHL… you’re a mere couple of miles from my home!

Two things happened today.

  1. My garden table was built by the fair hands of Ben of Cercis Gardens. Yay.
  2. The neighbouring school put up a fence against the back of my garden so that none of the local residents can enjoy the disused wild land out back (a children’s heaven, with swings, play things - a great little hidden community gem looked after and enjoyed for decades by residents).  They’ll eventually do something brilliant with the land for the school to use, but until then (which will involve years of fundraising first), it’ll be a little haven out of anyone’s reach.  Sad.

You win some, you lose some. 

Do you like my table?  I found the wheels in an unusual place - some fancy fishing get up.  Do the trick perfectly, and means I can wheel the bench around to other parts of the garden. The table on the other hand weighs a tonne, literally. No moving that - Oak Sleepers are not feather weight.

I just need to clad the chair frames I found in the wild land, and I have myself a brilliant 8 seater table. Winter BBQs ahoy. :)

p.s Here’s a link to photos of garden looked from a couple of years ago.

And here it is today :)