Like many people across the world, our lives are centred around our home. It’s where we laugh and love together as a family. Our safe haven, where we can relax and be truly ourselves.

And yet contrary to this, buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. Just the words stamp duty, conveyancing fees and searches are sure to bring a wave of dread to the most hardened house buyer.

Mid thirties, I currently have a handful of friends that are house hunting for their dream family home. The list of requirements is normally long and finding a house that actually ticks all the boxes for both partners is pretty much like finding a needle in a haystack. The house has to work for the entire family, pleasing everyone and ultimately most people end up compromising on a few points. House hunting can take months, even years sometimes.

I thought I’d share with you the story of when we bought our dream house, what we were looking for and where we, ultimately had to compromise.

Buying our house

Rewinding the clock 2 years, we lived in my partners modern 4 bedroom house. It was a lovely house but personally I never quite felt at home there. I didn’t like the lack of character and feeling of space. On paper, we had enough space, everyone had a place to sleep, but the house proportions felt small, and the estate crammed. We started talking about moving to a house that was closer to our idea of our dream home. I don’t think at that point we actually thought we would find our dream house but rather “a stepping stone house”, on the way to “the one”.

I had a fixed list of wants, things that were non negotiable for me. The house needed 4 bedrooms, a big garden for the children to play in and enough space for us as a family. As a lover of architecture and design, it needed to work with my idea of an aesthetically pleasing house. I’d always loved period homes so ideally it would be an older house with some lovely period features. My other half had a different list of necessities he needed fulfilling. He needed a location that was practical for work and also the children’s schools as they grew. Preferring modern houses to period, he wanted minimal work and upkeep. He also required a garage to store his motorbike. (You can see our personalities right here can’t you, I’m all about the pretty and he’s about the practical).

We viewed a few houses, one the garden was too small and one didn’t have a garage. Both points were non negotiable on our lists, so we continued looking.

One day my partner sent me the details through of a house. It was old, beautiful but in a state of disrepair. I text him back confused “Babe, it’s old? And needs a ton of work? That sounds like your idea of hell surely?” He suggested we go and take a look anyway. I agreed, super excited to take a look at the property but fully prepared there was no way he would sign up for a renovation project.

As we were viewing the property I kept very quiet, as did my partner. Neither of us knew what the other one was thinking. Gazing around at the proportions of the house, there was a fabulous feeling of space both inside and outside. A tick. It had all the lovely period features I adored, high ceilings, fireplaces, old doors, stained glass, even a hidden tiled floor which we later discovered. Again a tick…

In fact the house ended up ticking all the boxes, it was spacious, had a large garden, 4 bedrooms, a garage. It was conveniently located for school and future high schools, for access to town and the journey to my partner’s work.

But, and it was a big but, there was no denying that the house was in a pretty bad state. It hadn’t been touched for more than 50 years. The garden was terribly overgrown, the house was dirty and the decor was extremely dated. Yet somehow we could see past all of that at the shining gem of a house. It just needed bringing back to life.

Renovating a large period house was a big job, one we perhaps, looking back now, even underestimated. Were we willing to compromise and take on the work required to make it our dream home?

Having kept quiet the whole viewing neither of us knew how the other one felt. Turning towards him as we pulled away from the house I said “So, what do you think?”. He threw it back to me ,”Well, what do you think?”. A huge smile crept across my face. I think it’s my dream home… and he smiled and said, I know, lovingly.

That was it. We had fallen in love with a house.

Luckily for us, the negotiations went pretty smoothly as a sale had just fallen through, so they sellers were keen to proceed quickly. Our offer of £20,000 less than the asking price was accepted immediately and we started the process of making the house our own.

Fast forward 2 years. We started with cleaning, lots of cleaning. Then there was stripping of carpets and curtains to reveal the bare carcass of the house which we could call our home. Since then we’ve rewired, re-rendered, replastered, ripped out, sanded floors, painted. We aren’t finished but we are well on our way.

I remember the first couple of mornings, waking up in the new house and being filled with joy and an indescribable feeling of being home. I can still conjure up that feeling, as I admire the blossom trees in our garden or get captivated by the light streaming through the stain glass on our front door. I’m home and it’s perfect. Tick.

This post is in collaboration with Slater Gordon, thank you for supporting Lish Concepts.

Moving into a house that needs a full renovation requires a whole lot of patience let me tell you. It feels like all we’ve been doing for the last year is either decorating, thinking of decorating, researching the decor or buying things to decorate with. That’s a whole lot of decorating and we still aren’t done.

The good thing about doing lots of DIY is that I now know a thing or two about it. Actually doing up my dream house in real life means I can write about my interior inspiration first hand. Hopefully some days you’ll discover an interesting tip or a new shop that you didn’t know existed and I’m happy to have been of service. Because one thing I have always loved to do is share beautiful, interesting, cool finds with my friends…. and it’s actually the reason I set up this blog in the first place. Back in the day, before blogging was a thing, I used to just love sharing gorgeous finds with my audience, just like I do with my friends.

In the spirit of getting back to me and the return of my blogging mojo I thought I’d let you into a little secret. We’ve tried a new paint brand called Hemsley and it’s lush.

Timeless yet super fresh

Hemsley paint is a Homebase original, designed as a premium luxury paint which dries with an ultra matt finish. The colour range is made up of 56 muted shades and each colour collection is made up of four coordinating tones designed to help you mix and match with ease.

After several days of deliberation we chose to paint my office in Montacute Sage. I knew I wanted a green colour but I could not decide what shade. Loving the darker shades of Pitcombe Pea and Garden, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be overwhelmed with too much green green. It was more the soothing embrace of an airy, pale green I was imagining.

A sanctuary of calm

Well the good news is I am delighted with the colour choice. We’ve been sleeping in this room while we decorate our actual bedroom so I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the walls and I absolutely LOVE it. Bad news is, I love it so much that I’m a little worried I won’t love my actual bedroom colour as much. This room is soft, fresh, bright and soothing. It’s as near to perfect a colour to soothe my soul as I could get. I find the room incredibly relaxing, which also seems to work for me on a work level too. The room isn’t laid out as my office yet as we are still in transition but I am very excited to start working and crafting in here. Visions of my own sanctuary are calling me!

The Hemsley paint has dried with the ultra matt finish it promised and it’s gorgeous. Interestingly the walls feel quite rough, I think it’s just the texture of the paint but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. You can’t see it and I don’t often stroke my walls, no matter how much I love the colour!

It’s not been painted for all that long, a few months perhaps so I can’t say much about the durability but it’s looking good so far. We have no nicks or scuffs. Painting with it was fine and I seem to remember it went quite far, according to the tin it will do 20m2. At £19.99 for a 2.5 litre tin it’s definitely a paint we would invest in again.

We’ve mostly used Farrow & Ball paint in the rest of our house but I’d say we were equally as happy with the Hemsley paint. For me particularly the gorgeous shade of my office makes me want to investigate the colour chart further. Hopefully I’ll find another gem like this one.






Image: Cox & Cox

I’m currently obsessed by all things bathroom. It’s finally time for us to say bye bye to the carpeted bath (yes you read that right) and hello shiny new sink and dreamy freestanding bath. I’ve almost gone blind from hours spent on Pinterest researching the perfect fixtures and fitting, tiles and towels.

I’m currently searching for the right mirror so todays guest post from Pebble Grey Bathroom Mirrors couldn’t have come at a better time. Read on to find out about different mirrors and the effects they can create to help you get the most out of your bathroom.

Mirrors can often be overlooked when it comes to styling your bathroom. Instead, they are just used to serve the purpose of helping us each day apply makeup, comb our hair, or brush our teeth. However, different mirrors can be used to create different effects, from accentuating room size and space to emphasising features to acting as set pieces to bring a bathroom to life.


Long and rectangular, oval and arched

Different mirrors shapes can create different effects in your bathroom and add to the overall feel of the space. A long, rectangular mirror can create the illusion of height and add size to the room. For instance, it could emphasise the length of a striking shower curtain, a frosted-glass shower cubicle, or a colourful abstract painting.

Without the sharp corners of a rectangular design, an oval shape can soften the edges of a mirror. They don’t tend to take up too much room, so can work well when your wall space is limited. Oval mirrors also fit well with antique or vintage fittings and furniture when, for instance, paired with a large Victorian frame. Arched designs can create the effects that both oval and rectangular designs bring; softening edges, complementing styles, while accentuating size.


Matching and multi mirrors

If you have the wall space in your bathroom, using more than one mirror can be a good way to add some striking style to the space. One option is to select matching mirrors so that two identical mirrors are placed alongside each other, with some space in between. This can emphasise wall size and draw attention to striking backdrops. It can work well when matching mirrors are positioned above and at either side of a single vanity unit and wash basin, a double sink, or across a feature wall.

Taking the idea of using more than one mirror up a notch, you could consider filling a bathroom wall with multiple mirrors. These could be arranged to create an artistic abstract effect, or they could be placed next to each other to give the impression of a mirrored wall. Using multiple mirrors is also a clever way to create the illusion of space and bring more light and colour into a room, as lighting, fixtures and fittings are all reflected in the glass.


Floating and unframed

If you have the space and you’re feeling daring and ambitious, fitting a floating mirror can provide a stunning set piece for your bathroom. A floating mirror is when the mirror doesn’t hang from a wall, but is instead suspended away from it. For instance, in a bathroom, the mirror could hang from the ceiling above a vanity unit that’s positioned in the centre of the room. This style can open up the space around it and bring a significantly striking stylish approach to a bathroom.

Alternatively, a frameless mirror can create a similar effect. For instance, when fitted slightly away from the wall with ornamental clips, this style can create the impression that the mirror is floating, giving a space impact. Frameless mirrors can bring a small bathroom to life. They can also work well with particular styles, like a rustic effect or an exposed brick wall, effectively drawing attention to such striking backdrops.

I think you’ll agree there is some really helpful advice here. We are going for an oval shaped mirror I think to keep with the 1920’s style of bathroom and house. Do check out what Pebble and Grey have to offer, I love their magnifying mirrors, definitely have one of these on my shopping list!







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