Thursday, 31 July 2014


When the sink was fitted in the kitchen I think I cried. I was so happy. To have running water in the kitchen was a VERY big step! I love the round sinks. Especially with such a small kitchen. Cannot get enough of stainless steel at the moment also. The sink was kindly gifted to us from Paul's dad as he had one left over from a project he had completed up north and the tap was from IKEA. I had never been so happy to wash dishes.... That quickly wore off. 



Tuesday, 29 July 2014


The HAY tray table has been a lust item for a long long long long time. I was toying with the expense of it, as we are on a budget with the renovations! But then SKANDIUM had 40% off! We jaunted over to Marylebone, and I genuinely felt like I was going to pick up a kitten. GIDDY! They have predictably sold out at this branch, but Selfridges had one left. They reserved it for us and we snapped that one up. Here she is in all her shining beauty! 

Table: HAY tray table, Skandium


We found the most incredible reupholsterer on eBay. They take mainly mid century furniture and recover with modern fabrics. Here is the result of one of their masterpieces! It's an original yugoslavian 1960s base and is recovered with Designer's Guild fabric. The seller is called londonpuppetshow if you want to check out their other bits.

At the moment the chair is placed in the square bay in our living room, I haven't managed to sit in it yet, there always seems to be a cat in my way...

Chair: eBay, seller londonpuppetshow
Cat: Egyptian Mau

Monday, 28 July 2014


Kate Watts otherwise known as yourtype does the most amazing custom made prints. The personalised dates print is my favourite! Here's our dates, the date we met, the date we married and the date we exchanged contracts on our flat.

Head over to her Instagram to check out all the amazing typographic delights she has on offer!

Print: ___yourtype, prints by Kate Watts


I have long been a self confessed linen snob! It was all egyptian cotton, and nothing else would do.

The White Company had a range of Belgian linen which I lusted after hopelessly, as no way in hell would Paul let me spend £300 on a duvet cover! I couldn't find a less expensive alternative anywhere... H&M homeware to the rescue! Their stone washed linen set is a smidgen of the price! Hurray! £60 for a duvet cover and two pillow cases! So I snapped up the dark grey and the white.

Double duvet set:H&M Homeware


The bobby Habitat lamp is a classic. So simple, goes with most tastes, and of course white, which I seemingly cannot get enough of recently, as I type in my white jeans... All of the above and it's also very reasonably priced!

We got one for either side of the bed in the main bedroom. 

Bobby Lamp: Habitat
Plants and pot: IKEA
Perfume: Le Labo, Liberty 


Shelves either side of a fireplace is not exactly the most original idea, but we wanted them nonetheless. However, we decided to go for a thinner depth, to make them a bit different and make them more of a display unit as opposed to storage. We decided on one side being our favourite records- the ever evolving favourite records, and the other side to be frames and/ or pictures/ flowers. Here's the record side! The other side is not quite finished yet!


This morning is my first breakfast in the new living room. So I made my favourite. Avocado on whole meal, cream cheese, sprinkled with chilli flakes and pink Himalayan rock salt. Finished off with a jasmine tea!

Sunday, 27 July 2014


Abel and Cole are fantastic. We've been getting our weekly fruit and veg from them for a few years now. A friend bought me a juicing box as a present and I was hooked ever since. Organic, reliable, in season veg. You can see where your food is actually coming from and as I get older (and wiser of course) I become more aware of our impact on the planet and our responsibility to source food from fair and reliable companies! I've long been interested in nutrition, and it's comforting to know exactly what I'm putting in my body! We are what we eat, after all!

I was a virgin to shelling broadbeans until recently. It was rather therapeutic! 

Broadbeans: Abel and Cole
Cutting board: IKEA
Colander: Flea market in Norwich 


Aesop is my most favourite skin care brand. Absolutely everything about it! From the obvious heavenly scents to the branding, to the shop fittings, to the canvas bags! The whole experience of shopping with Aesop is a delight! I couldn't pick between "resurrection" and "reverence" so I bought both! The whole bathroom smells incredible after using!

Hand wash: Aesop 
Marble tray: H&M homeware
Plant and pot: IKEA


Lavender is a firm favourite smell. There is an overgrown bush in our neighbours garden, and every time it rains I can smell it through the windows! So glorious. I couldn't resist picking a teeny tiny bit of it yesterday! Whoops. It's now sitting pretty on our new shelves in the living room!


This weekend, before we put the furniture in the living room, I took a cup of tea and just sat on the floor and gazed in part amazement and part disbelief. The room needed a lot of work, and had been a storage room for months and month (and what felt like years and years!)

Sitting on the floor and drinking out of my favourite mug, staring at the empty room felt wonderful and brought a smile to my whole weekend. We are getting there! Slowly but surely! 

Mug: From SKANDIVIS, design letters by Arne Jacobsen

Tea Towel: IKEA


My favourite thing about the weekends is the treat (and ritual) of long mornings and breakfast in bed. I set my alarm at 8 just so I can go back to sleep and doze.


The master bedroom is at the back of the flat, over looking a beautiful brook. Picturesque... If you can see it. This room needed a lot more work than the first bedroom. There were no windows in the lower half of the sash. We got these completely remade. But whilst we were waiting for these to be fitted, the lower half were boarded up... So the view was only obtainable by standing on tip toes!

Above: Before moving the boarding up!


The kitchen couldn't have come soon enough. 12 weeks of waiting was enough!! The first time I cooked was quite wonderful. I was worried I has forgotten how to work a hob! The first night I think I cooked some kind of spinach pasta with pine nuts, lemon, kale and goats cheese. Not exactly the most complicated, but I figured I had to ease myself back into the game!!

Friday, 25 July 2014


White floorboards has long been on our wish list. We have waited weeks and weeks and weeks for them in the living room. Last week we eventually got there. I even painted a small section on the floor boards just so I could IMAGINE what it would look like. SO many people told us it was a crazy idea, to have white floor boards in the lounge, but we held firm and strong, and we are really happy with the outcome! We will probably have to freshen them up beore we sell, but for now, NO SHOES.



As you've probably gathered, we love slate. The theme continues over into the bathroom. I love the simplicity of natural stone, the imperfections, and the fact that no two piece is the same. We installed a stud wall, with cememt board, then tiled on top, and plywood followed by slate on the floor, as with the kitchen. Slate looks great in its natural state, but even better scrubbed up!



After our first carpenter broke his arm, NOTHING TO DO WITH US, we were in panic mode to find another team, albeit a quicker/ faster team, who complained less...
After a four hour trip with Mama to IKEA, and a delivery of ALOT (ALOTTTTTTT) of flat pack boxes, and sourcing a new team, the kitchen quickly started to materialise. The base cabinets went in, the worktops, and then the slate splashback. Next was the wall cabinets, and alot of drawers. Which I was ADAMANT would look glorious, but in hindsight, alot extra work than banging on a few doors.
When we measured the kitchen we were hit with a problem, it was wonky. Very wonky. One side of kitchen was 240cm, the other was 235cm. Most cabinets/ applicances come in 60cm width, which was parfait for one side, but naht so parfait for the other side. We sourced a 55cm fridge and a 55cm freezer, 60cm dishwasher and 60cm base cabinet for the shorter side, leaving 5cm to play with shadow gaps. Sorted? Not quite. We were happy to measure that where the wall cabinets would go on the left hand side was a snug 240, so the wall was wonky vertically also, however, the BOTTOM of the wall cabinets woudn't fit in, so the builders chiselled a bit out of the actual brickwork to make it fit. Where there is a will there is a way! I am since told, kitchens are always a nightmare, I'm beginning to understand.......


The first floor warner flats traditionally have lovely large, spacious living rooms. Sadly, the owners before us had put up a stud wall, to half the size, and to make a third box room. We decided to get rid of this and bring the room back to its full potential!

I had visions of taking a sledge hammer to the wall, but Paul's Dad told me this was ridiculous, and messy and there is indeed a tidy way (boring way) of removing a stud wall. It involved punching lots of holes in a line, to create a cut out, then hammering in the crowbar between the holes to actually cut it out. I was good at this. Precision is my forte. Once removed neatly, the pieces of plasterboard are stacked... NEATLY. Lovely.


Thursday, 24 July 2014


Hallelujah! The first bedroom, needed NOTHING doing to it barring a lick of paint and work on the sash windows. The light in this room is wonderful. I actually, in hind sight, regret not keeping the wooden floors in this room. I probably fought for it at the time, and there was very probably a valid reason, which I have clearly decided to forget about.

 Above: The room in its original state.

Above: White paint makes everything look wonderful. Clean and crisp.

Above: Tadaaaa. White, white white!


The kitchen has been emotional. We moved into the property sans kitchen. I love cooking. The kitchen is the heart of a home, and I gravely underestimated my attachment to the kitchen before moving in. Going in blind was probably better, if I had known the TWELVE weeks that lay ahead would be kitchenless, I think I would've thought twice about moving in so soon!

The original kitchen, I can honestly say, I barely set foot in. It was hideous. Grease was dripping from the ceiling, some kind of black treacle lay (along with a flip flop I hear?) under the cooker, which I've since been informed, made a carpenter of twenty years gag and wretch. The cupboards were covered in thick thick layers of grime and grease. There was no salvaging the kitchen, I was glad to hear, so it was all ripped out. The floor proved extremely difficuly to pull up. The owners before us had laid ceramic tiles with out the correct matting first, they'd laid the tiles directly onto hardboard. So once the tiler had smashed through the tiles, he had to take up the hardboard- a 2 day laborious task. He said it was like taking up an entire floor of dried chewing gum. The plywood floor was then laid, ahead of laying the slate!

I genuinely do not have one photo of the "before" state. In retrospect, I really should have taken pictures, so I could share the horror scene... But the picture start from here.

Above: Plywood floor ahead of slate.



I honestly am not entirely sure where to start with the bathroom. When we bought the property, there was a hole in the floor, and we could say hello to the neighbours below. Not exactly ideal.

The first job in the bathroom was to replace the joists, as they were rotten. We then opened the space up. The original bathroom entrance had one door leading into a cupboard area to the right, another door to the left leading to stairs to the back garden, and yet another door straight ahead leading to the actual bathroom. We opened all of this up, so there was only ONE door. Three doors within 1 square foot seemed a little over the top... The brick wall we took out filled SIXTY HUGE bags of rubble. SIXTY. This was a half wall, not a huge wall at all. I could never have predicted how much mess this would cause.

Above: Original state of bathroom, through the SECOND door... The wall you can see to the right is the wall we removed.

Above: The "cupboard" to the right of the first entrance.

 Above: After replacing the joists, we laid laminate floor salvaged from the living room on top, to hold the brick wall we knocked down. This is not even half the mess it made!

Above: A few of the rubble bags.


One of the first things we did was to get a scale drawing done of the flat. I find it alot easier to see things from this perspective, without standing in a floorless grease pit. All emotion removed, literally leaving it to the maths. I've always seen things as black and white (possibly something to do with being a Geordie?) and when you're standing in a room with the windows hanging off and damp patches I find it hard to take myself out of that and imagine anything other than what's in front of me.

With a floor plan, a blank canvas, it all comes to life and the possibilities (budget permitting) are endless. You can also easily see if things will fit where you want them to (like a 1700 bath, which we realised would NOT fit in the space we imagined) What looked like a large space, was purely a trick of the eye, and we in fact, ended up going with as 1500 bath!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


On December the 20th, we secured our first project, after a long time dreaming, and being fed up of paying other people's mortgages. We became official owners of a (rather run down) beautiful two bed Warner property in the ever growing east end delight, Walthamstow, or better known by it's new desirable buzz name"E17."

There was an awful lot to do, when I say alot, I mean everything really... From the windows, to the floorboards, to the kitchen (horror scene,) to the bathroom (there was no floor and you could see into the neighbours downstairs...) But this did not phase us one bit (maybe it should have?) We were too excited to watch our first little project grow!

You will notice I use the work "project" as opposed to "home.." All part of the greater plan... We will be buying, restoring, and selling on, or "flipping them" as the estate agents say, for the foreseeable future, to secure that end goal of the family home. It helps that we really enjoy doing it. There will come a point where we will want to stay there for a while, but for now, I invite you to join us on our journies, our ups and downs, our milestones and our mistakes as we do up property in London's eastend!

Samantha x.