Thursday, 27 August 2015

A walk in our countryside

by Bex

Back in June...


Monday, 24 August 2015

Light and dark

by Bex

Sometimes you just happen to get the light at a time they are happy, the place is relatively tidy and there's a red ball and you have your camera charged and with space on the card.  And then you just have to edit them asap.

Yesterday morning, before I cried into the Weetabix for reasons I will explain soon.  (Knackered is an understatement this week!  It's been hard.)  Pics edited at midnight just before bed.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Dining Room - Before & After

by Bex

I think the dining room is my new favourite in the house after the Nursery and Playroom.  I love the bright olive green wall, the black & white frames, the gorgeous grey dresser and our stunning light which looks like a sprig of cow parsley.

Here's the before to remind you of the plain room (with carpet - eeek, that came up on the first day to reveal the solid oak floor!):


I can't take one from exactly the same angle since the door is now blocked up and the new entrance is from the kitchen.  We also had the wall lights on the right moved further apart to allow space for the wide dresser I wanted.

The papyrus paintings on either side of the dresser were bought on Nik and my first holiday together in Egypt.  We took a day trip to Cairo and each bought one of these (yes, it did cross my mind at the time that they might go well together one day!).

The dresser itself came from a family business run by John, Farmhouse Furnishings.  I highly recommend them for not only their quality woodwork but friendly service and delivery by the family themselves.  We chose design N29 but they can make them in many variations of size and style.  With or without doors, all shelves, all cupboards... and they'll paint it in any Farrow & Ball colour of your choice included in the price.  (This isn't a sponsored post, I just love their furniture!)

It gives me the perfect place to display some of my favourite cake stands, jugs and glasses.  It houses all of my platters and large serving dishes as well as our 'posh' glasses, napkins, candles and 'fancy' cutlery.  It is also the home of our drinks cupboard.

As I said in my post about the kitchen, having the opening between the kitchen and dining room is fantastic and much better than the previous layout with them as completely separate rooms.  I doubt we would have used the dining room much at all, not to mention the patio doors out into the garden.

The wine rack in the corner was a purchase from an antique shop nearby and we had planned to paint it grey, we just haven't managed that yet!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


by Bex

I've recently managed to do a spot of photography other than of my babies!  Shock horror!  When out for walks (with Mum to keep the babies happy in the buggy), I took a few photos of some flowers and bugs near our house.  I was pretty pleased with some of the macro shots so I wanted to share a few here.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Bex's Kitchen - Before & After

by Bex

I've finally managed to take some photos of our kitchen as it is now.  I would say now it's finished but there's still a bit of work we would like done to make it perfect (or as perfect as can be without a whole new kitchen!).  The main thing is, now the wall has been opened up into the dining room we have a lot more light coming in via the patio doors and the space is much more user friendly and family oriented.  The only thing I'd like now is a bit more storage for all of my baking goodies!  I was spoiled in our kitchen in Glasgow with such a huge space and LOADS of cupboards so I still have one box left to unpack in here.

Anyway, as I posted before, we've added a bookcase to the end of the units for all of our cookery books which finishes off the new opening a bit better than just the side of the tall cupboard.  This bookcase was intended as a temporary option until we can get something nicer built in (this is a bargain £17 job from Ikea).  It was the only one we could find shallow enough not to stick out too far but does stick out just a few millimetres by the cupboard and it's not the prettiest.

Here's a reminder of the before:

As we removed the wall next to that tall cupboard, our fridge freezer had to go against the wall by the window.  Luckily it doesn't overlap much of the window itself and we found a great sticky roll of blackboard to go on one side.

What we'd like to do is add two units to the end of the unit above, sticking into the room a little, similar to the 'peninsula' we had in Glasgow.  This would give me some more storage as well as a fantastic large extra surface, ideal for baking with the twins when they get older.

The day after I took these photos, I managed to cause a huge crack in the ceramic hob top when a glass spice bottle fell out of that cupboard to the left while I was making chilli!  We're hoping it can be repaired but if we have to replace it, I'd like to change it if possible.  As lush as the Smeg cooker looks (it came with the house), I hate the electric hob!  It's so tricky to get the right temperature and takes forever to heat up and cool down.  Unfortunately we don't have gas here (we have an oil fired boiler) so I can't have a gas hob anyway but I think an induction hob might be easier to control from what I've heard.

Our Dualit coffee machine (a previous Christmas pressie for Nik) blew up not long after we moved in last year!  We replaced it with this less attractive but cheaper and more practical 'bean to cup' machine from DeLonghi.  I already posted about our new kettle from Asda but I still love the copper finish!

You may also notice our prolific basil!  Apparently it's easier to grow things here even indoors!  We always managed to kill our basil plants in Glasgow, they never lasted long and usually looked weedy.  This one looks better than when we bought it and has been going strong for months now!  We also have a chilli plant I was given as a seedling from someone at the village pop-in, it's also doing well on the windowsill with 5 little chillies starting to grow!

As for the colour of the kitchen, we painted over the pasty 'Churlish Green' with the nice zesty 'Manzanilla Olive' to match the colour I chose for the dining room wall.  (You can see the dining room soon as I took those pictures the same day!)  We kept the other walls off white.



We have our bins at the side of the fridge (they recycle SO many things here, it's great!) and our new cordless Dyson hoover (A fab Christmas pressie from my in-laws) down the other side as it has to be plugged in to charge.

To keep our kitchen sides relatively clear we have our microwave and food processor in the utility room.  I had thought this might be annoying but it's actually fine.  Also, I LOVE having a tumble dryer!  You can see we also keep the (currently redundant) sterilising equipment and bottles, etc in here out of the way.

It's great having a utility room (you'd think I have enough storage with these cupboards but sadly not!!) to store all of the duplicate bottles of softener etc. that Nik buys on offer!  And boxes of cereal, ditto.

The only things we really have on the sides are the toaster, bread boards, kettle, tea caddies, coffee machine, tub of wooden spoons, oil bottles, kitchen roll and the Kitchen Aid.  It sounds like a lot but it fairly uncluttered.  Nik hates clutter!  When we extend the units, he has said we can finally get a slow cooker!  I'm so exited, I really am so old these days!!

It's great being able to keep an eye on the twins in the garden from the kitchen too.  I love being in a house as opposed to a flat, we couldn't have done this living two floors up!

I love the new, more open layout, it's so much easier keeping an eye on the twins in their high chairs while I prepare their dinners too and will be even more so once I have my new peninsula area!  :)

God, I love our sideboard!  More on that soon in the dining room before & after post!!

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