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Houses are funny things. Until recently, I had no idea how much impact the space I lived in had on my mood. It’s now clear to me that for the past 18 months much of the stress I’ve felt has been to do with feeling unsettled and frustrated with where we lived.

Although we loved the village and the cosy cottage we lived in for three years in Berkshire, by the time we left we were ready to move. It had become too small, cramped, the low ceilings a constant source of irritation for my 6’5″ tall husband.

I realise how privileged that makes me sound – we were lucky to have a roof over our heads while others don’t even have that luxury – but still, falling over toys, being cold because there was no central heating, dealing with a recurring rat problem, all these things got me down after a while. Not to mention the fact that the house wasn’t ours, so we never felt able to put down secure roots in the village. I couldn’t imagine my toddler at the local school because I didn’t know where we’d be in the next six months let alone 2 years.

Cut to the summer and we moved to a temporary rented house in a lovely town on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon. The town was great, the house was not. With barely any floor space downstairs, steep steps to get to it (not ideal when you have a hypermobile child who still needs a buggy) and damp, we were relieved it wasn’t a long term home. We took it because it was literally the only house available on a six month lease within budget, in a 20 mile radius. Rentals in Devon are slower than Berkshire – it seems all the nice places are used for holiday lets round here.

Anyway, here we are. In our proper home. I say “proper” because this is the first place we’ve ever lived as a family that we’ve been able to make plans in. The long slog of saving for a mortgage deposit was more than worth the wait. Those endless hours of working and working and working some more paid their way.

It feels impossible to be grumpy in this house, and believe me I’ve tried. Despite a stinking cold and chesty cough, the odd huge tantrum from my threenager and a traumatic incident involving a brown mark on the sofa, I’ve felt genuinely calm and content for the first time in AGES. Even my stern Northern husband has returned from a tough day’s teaching with a big grin on his face. We have space, walls that are our own to do what we like with, plans for the future and inspiration for home projects.

That panicky feeling I used to get when I’d look six months into the future has gone. I regularly find myself smiling for no good reason, which would probably look a little weird to an onlooker.

I won’t waffle any more, I’ll just share some snaps of our new place. They’re all Instagram pics, so apologies if they’re not straight out of the pages of a glossy interiors magazine. In the interests of keeping it real, I’d also like to point your attention to the tin of Asda Smart Price chopped tomatoes on the kitchen work top.

Frog’s room:


We have lots of ideas for Frog’s room, including a proper story corner with a home-made tree shaped bookcase. Pinterest is my best friend at the moment. But, for now, my favourite thing about her room is the fireplace.

She also has a pretty view…

Window view

I’m pleased with the upcycle job I did on her shabby chest of drawers too.


Our room is just as airy, but with a calmer feel from the (again, upcycled) furniture. We need a new bed, but that will have to wait for now. If we ever do buy a new bed then the rules around jumping on it will have to change…

Main bedroom

My favourite room in the house is the family / dining room. High ceilings, an open plan feel with the interior wall knocked through to the living room and a cosy log burner. I love it.

dining room

You can see into the dining room and living room beyond from the kitchen, as it has a big inside window cut into the interior wall. Handy for spying on children while cooking tea…


We haven’t spent much time in the garden due to the weather…


Once the endless rain stops I’m looking forward to getting out there and learning about a bit of gardening. We have a big vegetable patch at the very end of the garden and I’m determined to attempt to grow some veg (“attempt” being the key word here).

I wander around the house and see things I want to do: paint a few walls, bring up the carpet and sand the floorboards in the hallway, put insulation and a carpet in the sunroom to make it a cosier office space, create a reading nook at the top of the stairs… but these are all things that we can take our time over.

We’re going to be here a while. *Happy face*


(By the way, if you’re at all interested in interiors and pretty things, then I’ve got another blog – Play Love Grow – where I’m blogging about upcycle projects, homeware finds and my ongoing love of cushions.)