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Home improvements

Long time readers will know that I have a rather annoying habit that presents itself every time I go away on holiday.  The habit is that I get a renewed sense of enthusiasm for doing things in the house.  As you can imagine, Tom loves being away on holiday and discussing DIY and home improvements.  I kid you not, one night at dinner in Slovakia Tom had his iPad connected to the hotel WiFi as we looked up the prices of shower rails.

Since we moved into our house in March 2010 we have done an enormous amount.  No rooms any longer have traces of textured wallpaper and gone are the various pink or green carpets.  We turned the spare room from a horrid old junk room into a lovely bedroom, turned our bedroom from plain walls into something a bit more coordinated, and we renovated the conservatory, from another junk room into a beach-hut-esque room full of sunshine and nautical details.  And then there is the garden, which doesn't look quite as perfect as the day we unveiled it any longer, but is much better than before.  With the light streaming into the living room and bedrooms on Sunday I must admit I did wander into those rooms feeling proud of what we've created.

My house My house My house My house

I do feel really lucky that we are able to have some rooms in the house finished, and areas where I can sit and relax without looking at all of the things that need doing.  But there are so many little irritations around the house - cupboard handles that come off into your hand, drawer fronts that have been off for over a year and so things tumble out of them, holes in walls, paint on skirting boards and so on.  The kitchen and bathroom really need a complete refit and I've never really felt that it feels like a normal 'home'.  You know when you walk into someone's house and they have the corner sofa, the table lamp, the fireplace, and it all looks like you imagine a living room would, like something from the Next catalogue? I long for one of those functional, homely homes that feel welcoming and finished. Ours just feels like a mish-mash of furniture from my old flat, horrendous attempts at DIY from the previous owners and ingrained dirt from 40 years of various owners and renters.  I'm forever envious of people with new homes that look shiny and gleaming after a quick surface clean, or who have the skills (and the budget) to tackle renovations that give a room a new lease of life.

My first task when I returned from holiday last weekend was to have a bit of a war on clutter.  Much to Tom's annoyance I collected all of the items on various surfaces in the lounge, hallway and kitchen and piled them up on the dining table.  My Saturday project was to either find them a home, bin them or put them to a charity shop.  It took a few hours but it was so worth it, it makes me feel much calmer now walking into a room without various small items, books, DVDs and bits of paper piled up everywhere.

With saving for the wedding we really don't have any money to spend on the kitchen or the bathroom at the moment (we're going to have to save up over two months for that £50 shower rail we need, true story) but I can still dream about what they might eventually look like.  I'd love a 'country bathroom' feel - rustic floorboards, a roll-top bath and old apothecary bottles filled with lotions and potions.  I love this rustic style flooring, the 'chateau' laminate looks like old French fruit crates and would be perfect for bringing a bit of 'country vintage' to a room.  And I'd love an Ikea kitchen!

img credit: housetohome.co.uk
img credit: nenaghal.blogspot.co.uk
I know that most home improvement projects are a marathon rather than a sprint, and that 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. I definitely need to focus on the things we have done rather than the things we haven't, and remember back to the green carpets, bright blue walls and fitted furniture as it was when we moved in.  I do dream of a day when it's all finished though, and people walk through the door and say "Oooh your home is lovely". One day!

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25 comments

  1. Your home always looks so homely and inviting Rosie! I absolutely can't wait for the day I can own my own home and do some renovations and decorating - it's horrible renting because of the limits we have! I love the idea of just collecting up the clutter and bits and pieces that find their way on to every surface - I'll definitely have to do that this weekend because my flat is looking super messy right now xxx

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  2. I'm so impatient too. When we moved into our house I tried to paint the whole lot from top to bottom in the first weekend. And we live on 3 storeys! Your house, from what I've seen, is wonderful. I love the nautical touches and how light and airy it is. Just try to pace yourself and do the odd jobs every now and then :) x

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  3. Gorgeous! I love that your home is styled but lived in. Perfect! x

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  4. Exactly like our house then! We're sort of finished but there's the naggy things left: the edges of the laminate need sticking back down after the cat breaks them off and skids about at 3am with them, the bath panel needs screwing back in instead of careering out at your ankles when you're trying to have a peaceful wee and none of our internal doors close properly. Ahh, the joys of being a homeowner!

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  5. We just moved and it's been a marathon indeed. A lot of things to do - the list never ends. Good luck to you. Seems like you've got a running start.
    Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog - Girlie Blog Seattle | Cheap Makeup Reviews

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  6. Your home looks absolutely beautiful, full of soul!

    Georgina at itotallypaused.com

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  7. PS you probably already know but MAC do a blush called 'rosy outlook' - you NEED to own it ha!

    Georgina at itotallypaused.com

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yes! Someone tweeted me this earlier this week, it's a really nice shade too, going to have to get it! :) xo

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  8. I love your living room Rosie! I work abroad and have moved from house to house in the last ten years, buying and then later selling or giving away my stuff. I dream of a lovely house to decorate and call my own!! Jealous haha :)

    Rachel ramblingrock.blogspot.com

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  9. I've always thought your house looks really lovely and homely, with just enough quirky thrown in. It's your living area I especially like!

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  10. I love all the cute little details in your house, it really does make a house a home! I'm obsessed with interiors, and you can never spend toooo much time browsing new bath fixtures on pinterest, right? The country style bathroom looks such a lovely idea! x

    The Little Things

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  11. Omg all these are gorgeous! :)

    www.faithfullymarissa.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. Rosie, me and Liam have just fawned over your front room, it looks so cosy and happy! You're lucky you can put your own stamp on the place - we're renting a flat so aren't even meant to put photos up! Love your nautical touches, though I'd be surprised if there weren't any :) xxx Claire at Jazzpad

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  13. Your house look so beautiful! I see love inside :D
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  14. Breath taking! Saving this photos for room inspiration when I want to remake my room. ❇♥ Blog written by two friends: http://teenagewastelandbyhd.blogspot.com/ ♥❇

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  15. Love your home, its so homely and original. I know what you mean, it can be so frustrating having to put home improvements on hold...we had only been living together 9 months before we had to start saving for our wedding and then we were excited on our honeymoon discussing all the projects we could finish now that the wedding was over...! You'll get there, but in the meantime enjoy all the exciting things to come- the lead up to the big day is by far the best time!

    Katie x
    http://www.missenchanting.co.uk/

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  16. What a cozy looking home, love it!

    http://chelsealeighbeauty.blogspot.ca/

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  17. Wow! As a fairly new reader to your blog, it's nice to look back at what you've already done with your place!

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  18. Your house looks so bright and airy, much needed refreshment in this miserable weather!

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  19. Rosiekins, your home is absolutely gorgeous. A next catalogue living room wouldnt reflect you and tom, how you met, what you love etc. and defintiely wouldnt be as interesting to look at (trust me!). Try to remember with your bathroom all those fancy pants pinterest pipctures are in bathrooms 20 times bigger than a normal human being needs!xo

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  20. I have such house envy right now! Your house is beautiful :) x

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  21. You've made beautiful changes so far! Having to save can be hard work when you want everything right at once!

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  22. Hi Rosie I know exactly what you mean about saving up. Don't worry you're doing a great job with what you have available and it looks very nice :)

    http://fairytaleprettypicture.co.uk

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  23. I love the look of your home, helps that I am oh so nosey and that we are currently house hunting ourselves. The value of putting your own stamp into each room is infinite, at the moment I am looking at houses and saying but I don't think I can make that more me. It is so important! I absolutely love your art wall in your living room, I would love to do something like that eventually when we get a house :) xx

    www.thelibrarian,co.uk

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.