Posts Tagged ‘home’

A year on from buying a home – 10 things we’ve learned

Today marks a year since we completed on our home – I can’t believe it’s been a year already! While we didn’t move in until a couple of weeks later (seriously, completing so quickly took us by such surprise that we weren’t ready), it’s so strange to think we’ve been home owners for a year. To mark the occasion I thought I’d share 10 things we’ve learnt – with a little contribution from guest blogger… my boyfriend Stuart. If only Freds could talk and tell me what he’s learnt!


A year on from buying our home - 10 things we've learnt. Post from This Little Space of Mine


Before I delve into what we’ve learnt, I’ll just add a disclaimer that I wrote my five before finding out what Stu had learnt. I dropped him a text, thinking he’d take a while to respond, and got an immediate response with five brief, but hilarious (and very true) things. Nothing like keeping it short and sweet!

Leanne
  1. Teamwork makes all the difference. It took us a while to find our groove and now we have, it’s pretty sweet.
  2. As organised as I am, there’s nothing like a change in environment to throw me into unorganised chaos. I wrote a bit about that here just after we moved.
  3. It takes so much longer to create a home than I ever could’ve imagined. A year on and we still haven’t framed prints to put on the wall and it took us eight months to get a dining table.
  4. I find myself saying things that make me feel like a grown up. Discussions about property development, shops opening in town and what it’ll mean to the value of our house (the Waitrose affect) and when roadworks that affect my journey are tip of the iceberg.
  5. Moving to a new town, in a new county, was 100% the right thing for us.
Stuart
  1. How a mortgage works
  2. How a credit card works
  3. How to use a drill properly
  4. How to prune
  5. How to grout

He sums it up so well!

Go us – home owners for a year! If you’re in the process of buying, moving or thinking about it for the future, here’s a couple of links to posts I wrote that might be useful.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

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Shelving and storage ideas for our under stairs cupboard

Over the Christmas holidays one of the things I was happy to tick off the list was painting our under stairs cupboard; a small task, but one we’d wanted to get done for ages and one that sets in motion everything else. Now it’s painted it means we can sort out the shelving and storage in that space, which then means we can clear those last remaining boxes that sit under our make-shift dining room table (Stu’s old desk). That, in turn, means we can then buy the dining room table we’ve got our eye on. So a lot of things ticked off the list!


Shelving and storage ideas for an under stairs cupboard makeover - This Little Space of Mine


Here’s a before and after that I shared on Instagram recently. We now lovingly refer to it as the custard box.


Shelving and storage ideas for an under stairs cupboard makeover - This Little Space of Mine


Our under stairs cupboard is a great space; I remember seeing it when we first viewed the house and thinking how much we could put in there. It’s quite a long and narrow space so, alongside the tumble dryer, we’re going to put in floor to ceiling shelving using IKEA’s IVAR modular system. While Stu maps out the shelving, I’m getting excited about making it all neat and tidy.

The space itself is going to be a kitchen over spill – for plates, glasses and other bits and pieces we don’t use often, a possible food pantry (should we need it), space for all our board games, a home for our hoover, ironing board etc. and all those other house bits and bobs you need from time to time.

Shelving and storage ideas for our under stairs cupboard

With that in mind I thought I’d share some of the images I’ve seen on Pinterest that have been inspiring this space for a while now, way before we even moved in. Stu even jokes at how excited I get whenever I see a wicker basket – something I know I’m not alone in being guilty of!


Shelving and storage ideas for an under stairs cupboard makeover - This Little Space of Mine


This first image comes from My Blessed Life and, while it’s more looking at bookshelves in a living/bedroom I 1) love the look of those baskets and how they’ve been labelled and 2) like how the books have been stacked – this could be applied to how we store all our board games.


Shelving and storage ideas for an under stairs cupboard makeover - This Little Space of Mine


While this is for a bedroom, how good do those baskets look together? The image is from Always Rooney and Courtney details on her blog how she’s made under her bed a useable space – very clever.


Shelving and storage ideas for an under stairs cupboard makeover - This Little Space of Mine


While the space above, from The Design Files, is intended for a living/dining room, we do need to think about how we’re going to store plates, glasses, vases etc. Having them all on display feels a little dangerous, but I’m not sure I want to box them up forever more.

If you fancy seeing more shelving and storage ideas, pop over to my Pinterest board. I’ll be using this board for organising our bathroom shelves too, once that arrives.

Follow Leanne’s board Shelving and storage on Pinterest.

Are you working on any house projects at the moment?

Leanne x

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Photo credit: My Blessed Life, Always Rooney and The Design Files

Let’s go shopping – Christmas gift ideas for me!

Hello, how has your week been? It seems like everyone is crazy busy at the moment, I guess it’s just that time of year. While I do love Christmas, it’s just everywhere and feels like it has been for months now!

Anyway, on to my final Christmas gift ideas – this time ideas for me! OK, while they are for me and are things I’ve put on my Christmas list, they could still give you some last minute ideas for gifts (though be quick – postage might become tricky now).


Christmas gift ideas for me! This Little Space of Mine


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I’ve wanted a radio in my craft room for yonks now and I love the size and style of this VQ mini DAB radio – it’ll fit perfectly on one of my shelves and has Bluetooth too, so I can play Spotify, Audible and podcasts from my phone. On the subject of my craft room, I’ve also asked Father Christmas for the Frosted Pumpkin‘s 2016 stitch along – which is taking on a travel theme this time around. I wanted to do their 2015 one but decided against it in the end, but this time I’m itching to do some more cross stitch and love the travel theme. For UK purchases, The Homemakery are selling everything you need.

Next year I really want to try and read more. I say this every year, but really really want to read a book a month in 2016 (more on that next week) and I talked before about All The Light We Cannot See, it looks like a great read. Before and after our trip to California I’ve loved Victoria’s blog and her San Francisco book is firmly on my list.

I love Liz Earle; as a teenager it didn’t work for my skin but I tried it again last year and got on with it really well, my skin felt so soft. We bought it as a gift for a friends 30th in the summer and she loved it too, so it makes for a great gift. My sister has this No. 7 mirror and since moving I miss being able to use it.

Finally, I’m a big fan of Flow Magazine. It’s a Dutch magazine that celebrates life’s little pleasures and each issue is jam packed with great articles; I can so easily get lost in it. From time to time they bring out specials and additional products and this calendar has a page a day theme and illustrator Deborah van der Schaaf has drawn one tiny pleasure for every day of the year.

Oh and if you fancy catching up on the whole Christmas gift series I’ve listed the posts below for you to have a browse –

That’s my final shopping post for the year done, I really hope you’ve enjoyed them and that it’s given you some ideas (especially for the last weekend before Christmas mad dash!). Tomorrow I’ll be having a festive lunch with friends and Sunday celebrating Christmas day with my Dad and his girlfriend.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

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Let’s go shopping – Christmas gift ideas for bakers

So it appears everyone is in full on Christmas mood – it’s everywhere! This weekend I’m off to the Winchester Christmas markets before having a Christmas meal with friends on Sunday. It’s nonstop at this time of year, isn’t it?

This week I’m sharing some gift ideas for bakers; those that actually bake, or maybe those that don’t but want to or just like to enjoy baking from afar! I’ve picked out 6 gifts which will hopefully help you along with your shopping; it might be a stocking filler, a gift for a friend, or (hopefully) just give you some inspiration for what to buy.


Christmas gift ideas for bakers - Kitchen Aid, Mary Berry Print, recipe book, apron and more! This Little Space of Mine



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When I was researching for this post one shop I had to include was Nikki McWilliams and her biscuit related product range. The pink custard cream cushion is ace, but do have a look at her website for even more ideas. On from the cushion, how about this hilarious Mary Berry soggy bottom print? It’s excellent.

The KitchenAid is for the very generous, but keeping it back to the affordable I love this jelly apron from SMUG. The biscuit tin is for bakers and non-bakers alike and finally I’ve included Frances Quinn‘s, Great British Bake Off Winner 2013, first book – which looks to be jam packed with recipes and ideas..

Oh and if you fancy catching up on previous shopping posts, there are some more Christmas gift ideas over here –

See you next week for the final Christmas gift ideas post. Enjoy your weekend!

Leanne x

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Let’s go shopping – Christmas gift ideas for new home owners

Hello, how are you? We’re now officially in full-on Christmas mode, with just three weeks to go. I’m almost there with my shopping and I really want to power through and wrap presents and write cards as soon as I can. This weekend I’m going to bake some biscuits for our neighbours; we never really introduced ourselves properly when we moved in so hopefully we can start getting to know them a bit.

Thinking about Christmas gifts, this week I thought I’d look at ideas for new home owners – or even couples perhaps. Of course buying a house this year taught me a lot and when I was researching for this post I kept thinking of things that we were given that were handy or things we would’ve liked. Plus it gave me an excuse to browse online shops I like! I’ve picked out 7 gifts which will hopefully help you along with your shopping; it might be a stocking filler, a gift for a friend, couple, work colleague, or I hope just give you some inspiration for what to buy or where to buy a gift.


Christmas gift ideas for bakers - soft furnishings, sweet treats, candles, keeping organised and more! This Little Space of Mine


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In terms of kitchen bits and bobs, a mixing bowl will always come in handy. Even if you already have one, they always have their uses. I’ve only recently heard about Bluebird Tea Co. and they have a great selection of teas and gift sets on their website, including this glass teapot with infuser. Plus, a pot holder will always have a place in any kitchen! Really tempted to treat myself to a couple of bits from their store as I’d quite like to try some new teas.

Comfort and homely touches can often be added with soft furnishings and H&M home have a great selection of cushions, throws etc. I went to their store in Edinburgh and only wish my suitcase was big enough to have bought more back with me! This grey moss stitch blanket looks especially nice. While a bit more of a girly gift (well, certainly in my household!) I’m a big fan of Flamingo Candles‘ range. Plus, who doesn’t like a tin of biscuits? I’d imagine a good gift if you don’t know the couple too well or want to give a token gesture.

Finally, for the organised I reckon this KikkI K folder for important documents will come in handy. OK, not the most glamourous of gifts but if they’ve just moved house the likelihood is they’ll be drowning in paperwork and grateful for some help! Have a look at Kikki K’s website, oh and they now have a pop-up store in Covent Garden, London, which I really need to get to. Claire‘s been talking about it recently and oh boy does the store look good!

Oh and if you fancy catching up on previous shopping posts, there are some more Christmas gift ideas over here –

See you next week for more Christmas gift ideas. What do you have planned for the weekend? We’re putting up our Christmas tree tonight and then celebrating my best friends’ 30th birthday tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

Leanne x

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Creating a festive fireplace

When house hunting back at the beginning of this year one of the ‘things’ on my wishlist was a fireplace. Realistically I didn’t think it’d happen, but lo and behold we’ve ended up with a fireplace in our living room and I love it! I love our house anyway but having a fireplace has given us a focal point in the room – which we opted to paint yellow to keep the room bright.


Creating a festive fireplace with Wayfair - This Little Space of Mine


So as the night’s draw in and Christmas approaches, I’ve been wanting to bring the season into our home; of course there will be the classic Christmas tree, but creating a seasonal feature with our fireplace has been on my mind for a while. When Wayfair.co.uk got in touch about working together I was excited by the prospect of creating a festive fireplace.


Creating a festive fireplace with Wayfair - This Little Space of Mine


To bring light to the room I’ve started with a statement mirror; with small rooms in mind, especially, a mirror can make a room feel bigger and cleverly draw light in from all corners of the space. It was something we’d been on the hunt around for a while and Wayfair.co.uk have a great selection.

Next comes the mantelpiece and how you’ll style it to match the room, your colours, style and the time of year. This can take shape in the form of photographs, mementos, lights, candles and decorational pieces. With Christmas in mind, I added a pine tree, leafy garland and reef; all have associations with the festive period as well as the autumnal/winter weather we’ve been having.


Creating a festive fireplace with Wayfair - This Little Space of Mine


As well as a statement mirror and fireplace itself, light can come from candles and lanterns and this time of year is perfect for lighting a candle to create that cosy feel in your living room. I love candles and always light them as soon as I get in after work. This white lantern adds colour and means you can safely light a candle in your home!


Creating a festive fireplace with Wayfair - This Little Space of Mine


Keeping the mantelpiece minimal is a good idea so it doesn’t end up looking cluttered, but perhaps a few Christmas cards or small decorations can also be added.

Products used:

How are you styling your mantelpiece this Christmas?

Leanne x

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This post was written in collaboration with Wayfair.co.uk but all opinions are my own.

Let’s go shopping – Christmas gift ideas for stationery addicts

Can you believe it’s four weeks until Christmas? Where has the time gone?! Tonight we have our work Christmas do at Madame Tussauds which’ll be fun. Onto Christmas shopping, have you started yet? I feel a bit stop start with mine and still need to work out gifts for secret santa with friends.

So first up was cat lovers, then crafters and this week it’s all about stationery addicts – which I’d like to think applies to everyone in some shape or form – who doesn’t love a brand new notepad or diary to write in? I’ve picked out 7 gifts which will hopefully help you along with your shopping; it might be a stocking filler, a gift for a friend, or (hopefully) just give you some inspiration for what to buy.


Christmas gift ideas for stationery addicts - planners, pens, notepads, diaries, desk accessories and more! This Little Space of Mine



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You may have spotted a bit of a floral theme with the BusyB address book, Cath Kidston recipe card holder and Rifle Paper Co planner from Tea and Kate. Totally unintentional, but they’re all quite pretty aren’t they? And useful. Of course, always useful! I need to find a better way to store my recipes and I’m torn between the recipe file from Cath Kidston and/or a book.

I’ve included a couple of desk accessories, the mint green desk tidy is really cool and I’ve heard good things about Mark’s Tokyo Edge pens; these are from Fox and Star. Also, who doesn’t need an animal print pencil case in their life?

Finally, I’m a big fan of Erin Condren, having ventured into the land of planners in the summer. As well as planners she’s got some cool accessories and smaller notebooks, like this wellness journal, which I think would make a great gift.

Oh and if you fancy catching up on previous shopping posts, there are some more Christmas gift ideas over here –

See you next week for some more Christmas gift ideas. Enjoy your weekend!

Leanne x

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How to get a better night’s sleep – Heather at Home’s sleep rescue plan

You know that feeling when you get to the end of the week and you’re exhausted? So tired you just want to crash in front of the TV and sleep for a million years. I hate that.

Since moving house in May this year my commute has tripled each way, so it’s safe to say sleep is more important than ever for me. And yet I seem to have less and less time for it! So last week I had one of those moments on Friday evening where I was so drained I cried and didn’t really know what to do with myself.


How to get a better night's sleep - talking about Heather at Home's sleep rescue plan and how I got on with improving my sleep. This Little Space of Mine


How to get a better night’s sleep

When Heather at Home’s latest video popped up on my phone last Saturday morning I felt like she’d recorded that video just for me.

Heather talked about how quickly a week can spiral if you don’t get enough sleep, as well as sharing her sleep rescue plan. Yes please. Here they are:

  1. Get outside.
  2. No caffeine after 4pm; replace hot drinks with herbal teas.
  3. Tidy up your bedroom.
  4. Be screen free for an hour before bed.
  5. Five early nights in a row.

So I thought I’d put it to the test this week and see what difference it made.

Get outside. OK, I’m terrible at doing this, especially if I’m busy at work and/or it’s raining. This week I really made an effort to get out at lunchtime, plus a meeting in London meant I got outside and on the train.

No caffeine after 4pm. This one was relatively easy for me; sometimes I crave tea when I get home from work and sometimes I don’t. I had one late night cup of tea on Wednesday but given I don’t drink coffee I think I’m good on this one.

Tidy up your bedroom. I’m all for this step. I’ve found in the past that having a tidy room makes all the difference and I managed to keep things nice and tidy this week.

Be screen free for an hour before bed. Not quite there on this one, but I did manage about half an hour and put my phone on the other side of the room (this also prevented me from snoozing my alarm because I had to get up to avoid waking up Stu!).

Five early nights in a row. Oops, I managed three. In my defense one night I was out with a friend and got caught out by train cancellations and the other I fell asleep on the sofa for an hour and was woken up by Stu coming home from his shift. Could do better here.

Overall, I feel like I’ve made a step in the right direction. I could definitely do with getting outside more and putting my phone away, as well as being strict with myself about getting to bed early but it’s a work in progress and I’ll continue with this next week.

Do you have anything to add to this plan? What helps you get a good night’s sleep?

Finally – please do have a look at Heather at Home’s YouTube channel, it’s one of my favourites. She also blogs over at Growing Spaces. Heather – thank you! You’re a superstar!

Leanne x

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Photo credit: DTTSP

50 things I’ve learned from buying a house


50 things I've learned from buying a house - This Little Space of Mine


Today marks the 50th day since we moved into our first home together, so what better a way to mark the occasion then to share 50 things I’ve learned – an informal, light-hearted list that I’ve been putting together since we moved in.

50 things I’ve learned from buying a house
  1. All those hard-earned savings disappear in a flash.
  2. When the above happens, expect a call from the bank as they freak out at you moving money.
  3. Having a boyfriend who works shifts and therefore has mid-week days off to fill in paperwork and pop in to the solicitors is a god send.
  4. People are really kind. Family members, friends, new neighbours, it’s times like these that those important people really stand out.
  5. I somehow got away with having polka dot crockery in our kitchen!
  6. There is literally no point painting your nails, it’ll chip straight away when you’re moving boxes.
  7. You’ll unpack things and wonder why the heck you hadn’t binned it ages ago.
  8. There will be arguments.
  9. Seeing friends get excited that you’ll be 10 minutes down the road from them makes moving to a new town totally worthwhile.
  10. Trello will help you keep organised.
  11. A tape measure will become your new best friend.
  12. 23 days without the internet is a long time.
  13. The arrival of furniture inevitably means even more cardboard boxes to break down and get rid of.
  14. Having a printer/scanner is really helpful when you need to send copies of driving licences, bank statements etc. to the solicitors.
  15. You will cry. A lot.
  16. Everyone will have an opinion; on your bank, on your furniture, on the colours of the wall, on unpacking etc.
  17. Money weirdly becomes nothing; you end up spending so much and adding to the pile is so easy. I can see how people can get into major debt.
  18. Going on a date night together is a good idea.
  19. Having a tumble dryer is amazing!
  20. Giving Freds a fishy supper meant a nasty surprise in the litter tray the next day.
  21. It’s a healthy time – you’ll be walking lots of flights of stairs and moving around a lot.
  22. It’s an unhealthy time – there’s no time to cook properly, not to start with.
  23. Buy loo roll!
  24. That jug you bought from a vintage fair and didn’t know what to do with is great for displaying knitting needles.
  25. Ben and Jerry’s is always a good idea.
  26. Teamwork is so important.
  27. Unpacking just one box will make you feel a million times better.
  28. Perhaps making my hay fever suffering boyfriend cut the grass wasn’t the best idea in the world.
  29. Have scissors to hand!
  30. The actual buying of a house can run a lot more smoothly than people make you believe (or it did for us).
  31. It’s a lot of fun, even if you don’t see it straight away.
  32. You’ll find craft supplies you never knew you had.
  33. When deciding how to decorate, Pinterest can be a little overwhelming.
  34. The arrival of a sofa is what makes your house feel more like a home.
  35. Have snacks to hand on moving day. My sister bought a selection of picky bits to ensure no one got ‘hangry’.
  36. When you’re on the phone to IKEA about a missed delivery they play ABBA when you’re on hold. The horror.
  37. Having a yellow feature wall in our living room is the best.
  38. My Nan and Grandad are so amazing. They gave us a care package the day before we completed – full of goodies we’d need, like dustbin sacks and matches.
  39. From time to time you’ll feel like you’re drowning in paperwork.
  40. Packing means making a mess, so it’ll look like you haven’t made any progress.
  41. You might move into a house that spiders seem to love.
  42. It’ll take you a while to figure out how to get in the loft.
  43. Bring a meter key with you.
  44. Packing is a great excuse to take old clothes you never wear to the charity shop.
  45. Freds is even more amazing than I thought; he settled into his new home so well.
  46. It can literally be the best of times and the worst of times.
  47. A bunch of flowers in the living room brightens up a stressful day.
  48. You might say you’re not interested in having a dishwasher, but you’ll end up using it and loving it (especially when you have lots of people over!).
  49. Knowing you’re on Pinterest all day long looking up house ideas is the one sure-fired way to get your boyfriend to join it.
  50. It feels pretty good to finally own a home of our own, together.

So there you go! It certainly feels like we’ve learned a lot together in the past few months and we’re now in a place where we’re beginning to enjoy what we have. It’s so easy to get clouded in the day to day stresses, so now things are calming it all feels pretty darn great.

Thank you for having a read, I hope it made you smile as much as it did for me.

Leanne x
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A first look at our new home

I am so excited to share this post today, it feels like it’s been a long time coming and wow oh wow, we have a home and one we can decorate as we like, as we’d always imagined. Feels pretty good. You could say we’ve settled into our new home; it’s been almost six weeks and we’re finally feeling pretty good about things. So today I wanted to share with you a first look at our new home.

It’s just a couple of pictures of our living room, but it gives you an idea of the vibe we’re going for – plus a Freds the cat fix!

First up is my favourite piece in our living room, my armchair. This was my one extravagant purchase and can be found at Made.com (you may remember me talking about it in my home wishlist a couple of months back). I love this armchair; it’s bigger than I thought it’d be but it fits in the space so well and, teamed up with the wicker basket underneath, is a great little craft spot. I’m sure come the winter time I’m going to be cuddled up under a blanket on this chair, with Freds trying to find a little spot to sleep too.


A first look at our new home - This Little Space of Mine


Oh and bonus points if you can name the two characters featured on the cushion!

Next up is our Cable and Cotton lights, which we love love love! I found it hard to get a photo that does them justice, but these match the colours we want in our living room so well. Cable and Cotton offer sets, or you can pick the colours you’d like (which we did); the colours are Ivory, Bright Yellow, Anais Green and Sapphire Blue.


A first look at our new home - This Little Space of Mine


And of course, no post would be complete without the appearance of Freds. He has been amazing; settled so well and he absolutely loves our new sofas. Spot the sky blanket too – so happy that’s in our living room on display.


A first look at our new home - This Little Space of Mine


Short but sweet, but I’m so happy to be able to share these with you. We’re still working on the other rooms but hopefully I can share more soon. Don’t forget you can find snapshots of my day to day over on Instagram.

Leanne x
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