I can’t quite believe it, but last Saturday was the first anniversary of us moving into our home in Cleadon. It seems like two minutes ago that we put our old house up for sale and started the hunt for our ‘forever’ home. One lunch time at work I was scrolling through Rightmove when I saw a house that had just come on the market which was in our price range and in the exact location we wanted to be in, right next to all of my family. It seemed too good to be true.
We immediately set up a viewing and went round after work. The owner walked us round and we couldn’t believe our luck, it was perfect for us. We could both see this being our family home and we couldn’t wait to put an offer in. It was a tense few weeks as we had to wait for our house in Newcastle to sell but eventually it did and our dream home became a reality.
At first Grant and I differed in what we wanted in a house. I wanted a fixer upper and Grant wanted a new build we could move straight into. We ended up meeting half way and buying a 70 year old house which needed a few little fixes here and there but in the main was ready to move in. I couldn’t wait to get started on putting our stamp on things.
Our first job was the living and dining room which, while perfectly nice, was magnolia throughout…that had to go!
We decided to go for a more modern feel with grey/blue walls and added warmth with various wood pieces to match the fireplace (one of my favourite features of the house and something we didn’t have in our first home together). It took ages to decide on a dining table that we both liked. I wanted something more traditional and Grant wanted modern. We eventually managed to find one that combined modern with retro that we both loved and it goes perfectly in our dining room. I did, however, lose out on the great sofa debate. I wanted to go for style over comfort but Grant, being practical as usual, convinced me that comfort was more important. I will admit, they are extremely comfortable.
Next, we moved onto the conservatory. We both love this space and spend a lot of time out there with the patio doors wide open, usually doing the Waitrose Weekend crossword like the rock and roll couple we are! The only down side was that it was custard yellow when we moved in. One week when Grant was away I decided to paint it to keep myself busy and make it feel more tranquil. I chose a colour which was very similar to the one we had used in the living room to continue the theme straight through. We then added a comfy seating area (Grant’s favourite spot to play guitar) and a small dining table and chairs so we can eat with a lovely view of the garden.
This is such a relaxing space all year round, and looked beautiful when lit up with a little Christmas tree on our first Christmas in the house.
The garden is such a lovely space and didn’t really need much doing to it. It came with a fantastic pizza oven and BBQ which I was very excited about. We have neatened up the boarders and added some of our own plants but the main thing we have done in the garden is give the shed and planters a revamp. The old shed was dark brown and was a bit boring and in need of a little pick me up. We found a beautiful blue/green shade to revamp it and it changed the entire look of the garden.
When it came to decorating our bedroom, we decided to go with white. White walls, white bedding, white curtains, white accessories. I love how bright it looks when the sun shines through the window on a morning. Especially on the weekends when we get to have a little lie in. When the previous owners of the house extended the upstairs, they converted the box room into a walk in wardrobe which is accessible from our bedroom. This is a great little space with plenty of room for clothes, shoes and handbags and even has a dressing table. It means we didn’t have to fill the bedroom up with a big wardrobe and so were left with more space. The White Company are my favourite for bedding and accessories. They add a little luxury to the room and I think everyone should have a little luxury in the bedroom!
Our latest decorating project, and definitely the most difficult, was one of our spare rooms. I wanted to make it into a guest room for when our friends and family want to come to stay. Again, I wanted to make it bright and airy and decided to combine duck egg blue with white to make the room fresh and clean.
Originally the room was white, pink and floral and while there’s nothing wrong with that it wasn’t really to our taste. The great thing about this room is that is has a huge built in wardrobe which fits in perfectly and gives us loads of storage space. I thought it would be an easy job to decorate, just take the paper off, give the walls underneath a sand and a clean and repaint it….not so simple.
When we started taking the paper off we discovered every wall in the room was painted bright red. It was like something out of a horror film! I half expected to find creepy writing telling us to get out of the house! We also found that some of the walls needed to be plastered or skimmed at the very least. Luckily, once all of this was done we were able to crack on with the painting and decorating. It’s amazing what a coat of paint (or 5) and a few soft furnishings can do to a room. I think this is our greatest achievement to date in this house and I m thrilled with how it looks now. I have added a few little touches like The White Company hand lotions and candles and little pictures and flowers to make it feel more homely for our guests.
I think we’ve achieved a lot in 12 months of living here and I couldn’t be happier. We still have a way to go though. Next on our list is the hall, stairs, landing and downstairs loo, but we have decided to hire a professional for this. After that we are going to redecorate the kitchen ready for hosting our guests at Christmas. All we have to do after that is the study (currently a bit of a dumping ground for things we are yet to unpack or find a home for) and Grant’s music room which at the moment is bright pink as it was the bedroom of the previous owner’s young daughter! Luckily our bathroom was installed just before we moved in and is brand new, complete with jacuzzi bath and built in shower TV! However, I’m not a fan of modern and I’m planning in my head (and on Pinterest) to redo the bathroom once everything else is finished and make it a bit more traditional…I just haven’t told Grant yet!!