Last week has definitely felt harder, we are missing our friends and family and I know you must be too. I had to dig deep to find my five things this time, and at the end I realised the simplest things were those I was hanging onto this week.
We can tick off Week Six of lockdown, it kind of feels like a milestone week. Who knew six weeks ago we would be where we are now?
Businesses and life are changing at a pace that is unbelievably and surprisingly fast, and maybe we are adapting, pivoting, learning and growing. Or maybe we are pausing and taking it all in. Whatever you are doing, make sure it is what's right for you.
We made it through another week in lockdown, I hope you are finding your way within the new normal and enjoying the pause. I have started making notes of five things that stood out for me this week as a way to remember all the positives from these challenging times.
Last month I shared our play room reveal, and it still remains one of our favourite rooms in our home. I meant to share the Ikea Duktig Play kitchen DIY with you after so many lovely comments on Instagram and then a mountain of work landed on The Room Alive HQ, including a trade show and launching a new stationery collection. All super exciting and now firmly launched, I can get back to my blogging duties to share this super easy DIY with you.
When I say super easy, it really is! I have chosen a pink tiled splash back design and got it printed in an adhesive format at Nutmeg Wall Art. If you need a different colour or design they would be able to help too. Pink was the obvious choice here, and my four-year old was absolutely over the moon to see it and both of them love their updated play kitchen!
When we bought our first home, we had a brand new kitchen, new bathrooms, new carpets, new everything, that was the joy of moving into a new build. I loved our all glossy white kitchen with light worktops and high ceilings! Second time around three years later, we moved into our family home and although it was still relatively a 'newish' build being only nine years old at the time, it definitely showed signs of wear and all the dated choices in bathrooms and the kitchen.
I wanted to get the cupboards painted in the kitchen as soon as we moved in. The Mr wasn't keen on the idea and we had other rooms to focus on to be fair so I kept postponing it.
I continued to research though, and inspired by some of my favourite bloggers, after almost three years of living with orangey-oak cupboards, I took the plunge.
The play room revamp seemed to be one of the most refreshing and smooth revamps we have done at home over the last three years, especially since every room we have decorated here lately has taken such a long time (hello kitchen makeover which took three months!)
The playroom is what would be the formal dining room in our home, but that would be a wasted space, with young kids and toys everywhere, the obvious choice for us was for it to become the playroom/games room.
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen some of the progress, but not yet the full before and after pictures. I'm sharing it all here, even if the before pictures make me cringe a little.
It feels like it was only yesterday when we were celebrating New Year's Eve and facing the thought of a whole new year ahead, how are we in the middle of March already?
They say the older you get the quicker the years go by, and I am seeing that happen right before my eyes!
On the other hand, there are some great positives with that, one being that the summer will be here before we know it (and long may it last!) and that we also have a pretty special date to celebrate very soon... Mother's Day!
It is not everyday I get to collaborate with the Wallpaper Queen, so when Charlotte Sweeting used our wallpaper to decorate her guest bedroom makeover, it had to be documented here. Mainly because the transformation she completed was absolutely to die for, and *warning* will make you fall in love with her guest bedroom...
If you are also addicted to looking at stunning interiors on Instagram, you will probably know who she is or at least have seen one of her gorgeous rooms.
Anyone in the creative field will usually find that their mind runs wild with so many new ideas and find it hard to tame it. Whenever a new idea sparks, my initial feeling is to drop everything else and spend all the time I got on bringing these ideas (some great, some crazy!) to life.
This kitchen makeover has been the most anticipated and the longest in the planning at home.
I have no idea how it has been already two and a half years since we moved in?! The first thing we did was to paint white over the lime-green walls we had inherited in the kitchen. Three times over and we banished the lime green for good!
We made the kitchen useable but it wasn’t totally to our taste. With a strong dislike for dark oak kitchen units and dark tiles, flooring, worktop, the ‘dark on dark’ look never did it for me.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of being the first owner of a new home, from sparkling new appliances to fluffy carpets, everything just feels that much more special and personal. I’ve been lucky enough to have moved into a new build before in our previous home, and I would do it all over again.
Last week I was invited by the lovely team at Cala Homes to experience their show home in Leonard Gate, Grendon Underwood in Buckinghamshire and I could not wait to get there!
I have to add that I have got some experience in looking around houses, new and old. When my husband and I were looking for our first place together, we were shown no less than thirty-two houses (yep, I still remember the exact number, slightly traumatic!) I was losing all the hope that we would ever find our perfect home. That included about five show homes, and it was one of those brand new homes that turned out to be the one for us at the time.
Visiting The Pebworth by Cala Homes from their Light and Space collection brought back all the joy of moving into a brand new home (without actually having to do any of the hard work!)
It is a four-bedroom detached home planned and built for busy family life, with every detail being well thought out and plenty of space for a family to spend time together as well as having their own space to express themselves.
Beautifully designed by Emily Wakefield, senior Interior Designer for Claude Hooper Interiors, it is one of fourteen new homes in the privileged location between Bicester and Aylesbury and with stunning views. I wanted to move in straight away!
The pictures will speak for themselves, and there are plenty of them so I hope you enjoy the tour, the styling is just beautiful…
The Kitchen/Family room
Don’t you love a clever space with plenty of scope for hosting a dinner party as well as kids activities and lounging about in a casual yet cosy room, made for socialising. I love how bright and light it is too.
The Sitting Room
A more formal sitting area perfect for parents to wind down at the end of the day in front of the fire. It opens up to the garden as well, and wait until you see the views!
Cleverly placed curtains make the room look even bigger, and window coverings are also included in the new home finishings package with Cala Homes.
The Dining Room
Great space for entertaining! And for those that don’t use a dining room, this could become a study, a play room, a studio.
The Utility Room
I didn’t get a photo of the room as a whole as I was too excited about this wallpaper… Look at those puppies! It was a really good size utility room for a family and obviously, the dog too…
Upstairs there are four bedrooms, two with ensuite, plus a family bathroom. The master bedroom also has a generous dressing area with plenty of light - every girl’s dream.
Bedroom with Ensuite
Third bedroom, set up as a home office.
Fourth Bedroom, styled as a dressing room for her
Pretty Details in the fourth bedroom
Isn’t it gorgeous?
There is also a garage and downstairs cloakroom which I didn’t get to photograph, and a generous landing and hallway. After the tour we were treated to a fab and super fun Christmas wreath workshop where I got to make my own wreath from scratch taught by the lovely (and super patient) girls at The Lily Pot (Instagram @the.lily.pot ) but that’s for another blog post coming soon! You can see my wreath here in the meantime.
I hope you enjoyed the tour! As promised, here is the view…
*This post was sponsored by Cala Homes.
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