Where's the Love In Da House?

Oh, hello. Remember me? Sorry for taking unauthorised leave of absence but I just needed a month off to chisel the dust off my laptop after the Christmas kitchen extension and have a good old pause for thought. 

New year, New House Candy Goals

New year, New House Candy Goals

There's a lot of us doing this interior blogging thing and I'm not sure the world needs us all shouting about the same stuff, do you? I wanted to step back and assess what noise I am contributing and the truth is, it's taken me a month of drying out over January to think straight and gain a bit of perspective. Anyway, here's what I found:

I've realised that I can only talk with absolute authority about the stuff going on in my own home and life, so that's what I'm sticking to and what you'll find here is more on the designs and interior choices that are helping me towards MY dream house scenario (which I'm kind of hoping you'll like too). This could take a while since what started out as a kitchen extension has somehow turned into a four storey overhaul. I know, right? *crowd funding ideas welcome*

I've got a lot of work to do and of course a budget to work to, so I'll be looking at ways to stretch it as far as it will go. My main objective for the house is to restore it to its former Victorian glory. It has been stripped of many of its original features over the years and because every job here turns into a big operation, there's been plenty of bodge jobs, make-dos and cover ups. It makes no sense to keep throwing good money after bad so the main bulk of our budget is to be spent on getting the basics back to their best.

We've only ever had one main bathroom and a downstairs loo and the structural changes have allowed us the luxury of incorporating two more shower rooms into the house, which I'm sure will become necessary with two growing boys! All the bathrooms are having to be re-done which of course is a lot of money and I've got a few ideas to try and get the high end look I'm after at a fraction of the cost. Keep following to see how that pans out and if House Candy Andy can cope with any more of my unconventional up-cycle ideas. The word Pinterest is enough to send him into meltdown as followers of the story so far will be all too familiar with!

Do not adjust your sets, this is modern up-cycling at it's bright and beautiful best!

Do not adjust your sets, this is modern up-cycling at it's bright and beautiful best!

As you know, I love vintage style more than modern but that's not a passion shared by the rest of my household. Still, I believe vintage style is timelessly chic and doesn't have to be all about pastel pinks, frills and florals (though all of the above are fine with me).

Hopefully in creating a home that blends vintage with modern I can inspire a few more people to re-love old furniture that doesn't deserve to be scrapped, support more amazing charity shops and also bring ideas that may help you achieve the interior look you want, for less. 

Masculine vintage is how I'm pitching many of my new room designs!

Masculine vintage is how I'm pitching many of my new room designs!

There are some items that I believe you should invest in the best you can afford. I'll only splash the cash on luxury items if I believe they are keepers and that's why I always prefer to go for classic styles rather than trend led furniture. I was recently asked to curate a page for a wonderful online interiors store called Oh What's This. If you haven't already checked out what I chose, have a look here. I keep referring to this list when I'm designing rooms and adding furniture and accessories because it's easy to get distracted by gorgeous new trends, but really important to nail down your own unique style. This is totally mine and if you like this Classic-with-a-twist style too, bag yourselves 10% off with the code HouseCandy at checkout. I'm going to spend some time explaining why each piece is a keeper in my next post.

I've got ongoing beef with social media and for the sake of my sanity, this year I need to buy back some of the time I am prone to wasting on there to do more things that make me happy. Making this discovery of extra creative time has already led to an exciting new venture which I don't want to jinx by blabbing about yet, but rest assured I will BLAB MY MOUTH OFF about across ALL of the medias if it actually comes off in the future.  

So that's what the future holds and a few things I needed to get off my chest before we began. Unfortunately I've been further stalled because House Candy Andy has had a wobbly start to the year health-wise (nothing to do with me) With any luck he'll be back to his bolshy best by Monday and we can get cracking.

In and amongst house do-er-upping, there's a family to look after and style goals to maintain; the life of a Real Housewife of Suburbia is multi-facetted as you may already be aware. If you're in agreement I thought it might be cool to share any life-wins I discover along the way, be that the get-me-anywhere outfit of dreams or a £5 gravity defying face cream that you need to drop whatever you're doing and head out for RIGHT NOW.  But look, I'm as much work in progress as my house is and I'm still reading the manuals. I've recently discovered a couple of good ones including Self Care for the Real World by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips. In it they have turned the essence of what I've been banging on about for three years into an international best seller that Kate Moss herself proclaims is her bible. Nadia and Kate say: "Your home is your identity and it tells a story about how you want to feel in it: make that story comfortable, calm and beautiful." That's House Candy goals 2018 right there.

Ready, Steady, GO.

Happy weekend all,

Claire xx

The New Year Resolution that needs to start NOW

Day Eleven

OWT.jpeg

This is a little bit sick bucket - and also the first time I've told anyone - but every year when I switch the Christmas lights on for the first time I take a moment to reflect on how lucky we are to have another year together with all of us in good health. *Look, just keep reading, there's a gift in it for you, if you get to the end*

My youngest son came close to knocking on the pearly gates when he was a baby, and obviously, it scared the bejesus out of us. I don't know why I reflect upon it more at Christmas than any other time of the year, but something about putting twinky lights and delicate glass decorations on a tree (of all things) reminds me that every day is a gift that ought to be treasured. I think that's why I'm rubbish at saving anything for best. Life is the special occasion people. Know what I'm sayin'?

Recently I was bowled over to be asked to curate a page for a beautiful interiors website called Oh What's This. Everything on this site has been handpicked to make it a special on-line marketplace of just really gorgeous homewares and accessories. It was tricky picking my top ten favourite pieces from such a vast selection, until I started to think of how I want to approach filling my brand new kitchen.

Basically, if I don't love it, it ain't going in. This is the only New Year's Resolution I'm making and I'm applying it to my entire (overcrowded) house/life. Even the pans will be bloody lovely pans... until I burn the buggers of course. If I have to take my time filling it, fine. I'd rather have four lovely mugs than 16 okay ones. I get that things need to be practical, but that needn't stop them being beautiful. Who knows, they may even get looked after better if they feel special. It shouldn't be that way, but let's face it, it just is.

So when I came to curating my shoppable page for today's re-launch of Oh What's This, I gave a lot of thought to beautiful items for the home that would make every day of using them a treat. 

See what you think to my choices by clicking this link: www.ohwatsthis.com

And as a special treat for all of us to feel mushy about, here's a 10% off discount code to help with those particularly special items over £100 from the entire Oh What's This site. Simply enter OWTCANDY at the checkout. 

I'm kicking off my New Year's resolution early by purchasing a luxury sixteen piece set of brass cutlery which I will relish putting in my brand new kitchen drawers in a week or so... and which I hope will give my folks an extra forkful of joy when they have their Christmas dinner. 

Luxury brass cutlery, £120  www.ohwhatsthis.com

Luxury brass cutlery, £120 www.ohwhatsthis.com

Sorry if that was just a little too nauseating right after you've eaten, but look, if you're anything like me you'll be feeling a bit frazzled right now. Too many mince pies already, too many pre-drinks, which inevitably leads to too many actual drinks. Not enough hours in the day and a to-do list as scary as the thinning skin around your eyes. You, my friend, need to be reminded how flaming special you are. Go on, treat yourself and your kitchen. Santa's orders.

Claire x