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We’ve been renovating our house for over a year now and it feels like we may be hitting a bit of a proverbial brick wall. We’ve just got so much going on. We are organising our wedding this summer and I am busy with my new venture as an Interior Designer. It seems our house has slipped down the rankings in priority.

Luckily we did make quite a bit of progress in our first year and most of the rooms upstairs are renovated. I wouldn’t say finished as we still need light fittings and the hallway isn’t painted which makes it all feel not quite there yet.

One room that is finished is our Master Bedroom and I am so thankful for this. It’s our little retreat at the end of the day, or the middle of the day if I just need to take a minute! With a serene palette of greys and whites it feels like a lovely, light and bright space. A real slice of heaven it does feel very relaxing and calming room which is just what we need with the chaos of the rest of the house.

We have a large bay window so we needed to carefully consider if we wanted curtains or blinds for the bedroom. After much deliberation we opted for plantation shutters at the windows instead of curtains or blinds. There were several reasons that this made sense to us. Firstly we loved the…

Look and feel

Shutters give a lovely feel to a window. Clean and simple, they effuse a coastal / foreign holiday vibe to me. The light looks really beautiful as it is diffused into the room. Working with both classic and modern interiors alike.

Bay window

We have a 5 panel bay window in our bedroom. It’s tall and a large expanse of window to cover. Roman blinds would have been an option. Curtains would have meant we needed a tricky construction for the curtain to run on as well as really, really long curtains as our rooms are over 3m high. We felt shutters offered us so many other positive points that it was a bit of a no brainer.

Privacy

What is great about shutters is with a flick of the slats, you’ve closed off the outside world. They also don’t need to be entirely closed and blocking the light to offer privacy as you can slant them upwards or downwards to hinder the view but not block the light totally. Our shutters are also split between the top and bottom window frame so we can close the bottom for privacy and keep the top open for light.

Timeless

Not only do they work with modern and traditional interiors, they don’t really fall victim to passing trends. This was one of my main reasons for opting for shutters. I know myself and I like to change the decor often in the house but don’t want to be forking out a lot of money each time to change the window treatment. Whether your room is white, red or aquamarine shutters will always work.

Hardwearing

Following on from timeless, shutters are constructed from wood and precision fitted by experts. This makes them a really hardwearing, durable option. Guaranteed for 5   years (the reality is they will probably last a lot longer though!), they may seem an expensive investment at first but if you work out how long they last for and how many pairs of curtains you would go through in that amount of time, it is very much worth it.

Sunlight

With a South facing bedroom we have a lot of sunlight streaming in during the day. This means that we now have the option to filter it out without closing curtains or making the room dark. It’s also super handy in my office (where I also have shutters) if you need to work and have an annoying stream of light coming through the window to pierce your eyeballs! At night time they totally block out the light so our room is perfectly pitch black.

Flexibility

The flexibility that shutters offer you means you can adjust any section of the shutters how you please. This can be for privacy or sunlight or sleeping. No other window treatment offer this flexibility. If you need one panel slanted downwards for the light, another closed for privacy but all the top sections open to still have the light in the room, it’s all possible!

Thank you to Thomas Sanderson window blinds for working with Lish Concepts – we appreciate your support!


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.

style-pinkI’ve always loved watching interior design programs on tv, inspired by the transformation of a standard house into a beautiful dream home. I often wondered whether I would be brave enough to do a ‘grand designs’ of my own and actually design and build my own dream house, hmmm perhaps if money were no object!

Back in the real world, we’ve just embarked on our own project ‘ Dream House’ and have purchased an Edwardian property from around 1910, that is very much in need of renovation. It is a beautiful house with a wonderful homely feel, it just hasn’t been touched in about 60 years or more! Think old 70’s carpets and curtains, embossed wallpaper, oh and lots of spiders webs and spiders.

front-room

Viewing the house – carpet had to go, curtains had to go, fireplace had to go…

bathroom

Our lovely retro bathroom ;)

kitchen

Out dated pine kitchen

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Beautiful large garden

When we viewed the property I fell in love. It had all the lovely proportions of a period house, high ceilings, bay windows, large skirting boards, stained glass, wooden floors (albeit hidden under dusty old carpets) and I knew it had the potential to be a wonderful family home. The garden was a great size, perfect for our expanding family to enjoy plenty of outdoor fun. So we took the plunge. Many might have thought us mad (we know you did and still may do!), moving from a perfectly finished new build to a old rundown property that requires so much work but we just knew it was meant to be our home.

We’ve been here for about 3 weeks now and it feels great, we settled in right away, well as soon as we did a thorough clean, ripped up the dusty old carpets and moved our furniture over. We’ve started painting the kitchen cupboards in Annie Sloan Old White and we are busy rewiring before the real decoration starts. It’s a long road ahead of us to get the house to the finished state but we’ve so many ideas and exciting plans for our new home.

painting-kitchen

Sprucing up the kitchen cupboards with Annie Sloan paint

playroom

Adding our furniture makes it feel like home already

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View to the lounge – we’ve exposed the tiles and wooden floor. Now the pelmet and curtains need to come down!

The goal is to uncover or restore the beautiful original features of this Edwardian property while transforming it into a house suitable for a modern family. We love the old tiled floor, but want to set it against a crisp white backdrop so that it really gets a chance to shine. The wooden floors will all be sanded back to create practical beautiful flooring. We will open up the light in the rooms by getting rid of the heavy drapes and installing roman blinds in the large bay windows. The walls will be stripped of their wallpaper, newly plastered and freshly painted. We plan to add a log burner into the main fireplace of the house for a practical and modern addition, the smaller bedroom fireplaces will be lovingly restored. In the longer term we want to add a lovely extension to the back of the house where our kitchen / diner / family room will be and maybe eventually tackle a loft conversion in our large roof space.

Decoration will be fresh, homely and practical. I’m a big fan of light, bright spaces, wood and beautiful detail as well as a touch of fun so no doubt there will be splashes of colour and some nice quirky touches. I’m constantly gathering inpiration on my pinterest board and am so excited to get going. First stop Littlelish’s nature inspired bedroom (at her request) and the nursery for our new arrival.

dreamhallway

Dream hallway – our plans for a light, bright hallway (image via Pinterest)

beautiful bathroom

A fresh, modern bathroom (image via Pinterest)

lounge inspiration

A stylish, elegant lounge (image via Pinterest)

bedroom dream

Follow my inspirations over on Pinterest and the transformation as it happens over on Instagram!

Follow ♥ Lish Concepts ♥’s board Lish ♥ House renovation on Pinterest.

Wish us luck, we may need it! x

This post is written in collaboration with Direct Blinds

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