At Home With…Me

One of my reasons for starting this blog was to reignite some of the passions that I had pre-children. Ones that got pushed to the back-burner due to obvious reasons. Ones that I have more time for now that they are growing up.

I’ve always had an interest in interiors, something that led me to completing a curtain-making course at night school some 6 years ago, as well as building up a huge pile of homes and interiors magazines over the years.

Now that I blog and am an avid social media fan, I’m drawn to Pinterest boards of beautiful bedrooms and blogs where the writer inspires me with pictures of home decor and latest accessories.

Basically, I’m a nosy creature. Social media and blogging is heaven for people like me! With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a monthly series on my blog, interviewing bloggers about their homes – the story behind it, their latest projects and of course photographs. We love photographs!

To start the ball rolling, I’m going to introduce you to my home…

Where do you live and how long have you lived in your home? 

We live in Wokingham, Berkshire and moved into this home back in 2006 – almost 11 years ago now.

Rewind to 2005 and we had some crazy notion to up sticks and move to the Bath area – I think we had been watching a few too many episodes of ‘A House in the Country’! This led us to selling our family home of five years and moving into rented accommodation whilst we waited for the sale to go through on our ‘forever home’.

We had set our hearts on an old Bath farmhouse that needed gutting (were we mad?!) but after attempting to buy it twice and the sale falling through both times, we started to become uneasy about the move. Was it the right thing for us as a family? Sometimes I think these things happen for a reason.

So we began to look again, at houses in our local area, and here we’ve stayed for 11 years!

What were the first impressions of your home? 

My husband was brought up on a farm so is a country boy at heart, the fact that this house was situated on a main road (it’s all relative but it’s a trunk road through from the village to the town) was a big black cross on his wish list.

The house had been on the market a little while and the only reason we hadn’t looked at it was because of the road it is situated on, otherwise it ticked all of our boxes.

I remember going to look at it on my own initially, with all three children in tow. The garden was so much bigger than the one we were used to and the girls played happily out on their swing and slide, as I looked around the house with our then 12 month old baby.

The house had a lovely atmosphere and the rooms were spacious and flowed into each other well. I persuaded the husband to come and view it later that week and the rest is history!

Have you had any major work done? 

We had a small single story extension done about 8 years ago which created a much bigger hallway and utility room. The previous owners had had the plans already drawn up and it seemed like a sensible idea.

We had wooden floors put in throughout the whole of the downstairs and a new kitchen with additional skylights, about two years after the extension was done.

We’ve had both bathrooms done in the last 5 years but other than a small addition to the front of the house, it remains structurally the same as when we moved in.

What is your favourite room in the house? 

This is a hard question because there’s little bits of every room that I love. We recently updated our playroom, turning it into a snug (although we still call it The Playroom!) and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, the wood burning stove being a welcome addition in the winter.

Our sitting room is probably my favourite room however, because I just can’t fault it. It’s a square shape so easy to arrange furniture in, has lots of natural light and some interesting features. It was a great ‘blank canvas’ to work with, after taking out the pretty hideous brick fireplace that was dominating the space.

We put down the wood flooring soon after moving in and added the white shutters only last year. The walls were grey before grey even became a ‘thing’ but last year we updated them and plumped for a much darker shade. I really like it because it gives the room a cosy feel.

Grey Sitting Room

My favourite piece of furniture is a rather brave bright pink chair from Made.com. The husband wasn’t at all sure initially but it’s proven to be a great feature, one that everyone comments on and is also very comfortable.

I think it would be fair to say that Made.com features pretty heavily in this whole room actually!

Is there anything that you would change about your home if you could?

We’ve often thought of creating a fifth bedroom because we don’t really have anywhere for guests to stay and we regularly have family over. I love the downstairs of our house but it’s always felt a bit bottom heavy, if you know what I mean? We’ve looked at going up into the loft but there isn’t enough height. We’ve since come up with another solution for guests (see the next question!).

Other than that, there’s nothing I would change and the road noise hasn’t actually bothered us – we only have one bedroom that fronts onto the road and as my son sleeps like a log, it’s never been a problem.

I do think that we sometimes get fixated on ticking all the boxes when 4 out of 5 is a pretty good compromise.

What is your next home project that we can look forward to seeing on your blog? 

We have a few projects planned this year. Firstly, we’ve promised to overhaul our youngest daughter’s bedroom for her 16th birthday (her sister’s was done last year).

Our bedroom is also long overdue a spruce up which I’m excitedly gathering ideas for. I am hoping to step away from the grey – you heard it here first!

On a slightly larger scale, we just received planning permission for a timber-framed building at the bottom of our garden. This will double up as a games room, sleepover hideaway and somewhere for guests to stay. Goodbye swing set, hello hot tub!

I’ve just created some Pinterest boards to help me compile ideas for all 3 projects. Pinterest is great for creating a ‘look’ before actually throwing any money at a project. It has certainly helped me get fresh ideas as well as avoid other potential disasters. If you’re not on Pinterest yet, what are you waiting for?

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Next month I will be featuring another lifestyle blogger and her home. If you would like to take part in my series, then please drop me a line at suzanneinsideout@gmail.com.

 

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22 Comments

  1. May 17, 2017 / 9:47 am

    Oooh I love the idea of your timber building! We are considering doing something similar if we decide to stay here. Your house is beautiful, thanks for showing us around!
    Nat.x

    • May 17, 2017 / 11:45 am

      We ummed and ahed for years (probably a decade!) about whether we would stay in our home. I think we are here now until our kids all leave home.

  2. May 17, 2017 / 9:55 am

    This is so fun!! There’s nothing I love more than noseying around other people’s houses!! Excited to see the new development unfold at yours… this coming weekend will be a year since we started the work on ours, and I’m very ready for a break!

    • May 24, 2017 / 9:00 am

      Thank you Claire, I will look forward to hosting your home some time! I also love a good nosy …xx

  3. May 17, 2017 / 11:32 am

    Your home is stunning! I am seriously envious. Not only beautiful, but also very tidy too! I love our house, it’s so spacious (and has a fifth bedroom, although it’s my office space and where we dry our washing!), but it’s a bit rough round the edges in parts.
    I’d kind of like to be featured on your blog, but feel a bit embarrassed about the ordinariness of my house 🙁

    • May 17, 2017 / 11:44 am

      Listen – my family can pay testament to the fact that some of the rooms in our house desperately need an overhaul and honestly, they are not all tidy (why do you think I only photographed 3!!). I would love to feature your home! From what I’ve seen of it, it’s lovely and very ‘you’. Drop me your email address and I’ll share some questions 🙂

  4. May 17, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    I love being nosey. It is so freaky our new hallway is the same colour or should I say colours as yours. We have a lot of work to do at the moment. I love the look of made but worries about buying without seeing/touching it. Xx

    • May 17, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      We had these colours done about 8 years ago and I loved them so much we had them done exactly the same 5 years later!

  5. May 17, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    Your home is beautiful. I love having a look around other people’s houses, I must have a nosey streak! A wooden building is a great idea, beautiful yet functional. I hope you share it once it’s constructed.

    • May 24, 2017 / 8:52 am

      I’m sure that I will somehow Louisa. Thank you. x

  6. May 17, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    What a gorgeous home! I absolutely love nosying around homes and since discovering blogs and Instagram, my need to buy the ‘housey’ magazines has actually eased! Your dandelion print is beautiful!

    • May 23, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      Thanks so much! I’ve absolutely toned down my need to purchase magazines since blogs became a ‘thing’. Love them 🙂

  7. Katherine
    May 17, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    I love love love that chair!!! We are in the process of of adding a mainly glass extension to our kitchen and I want a funky bright chair in it. Although given the weather today it is more like a swimming pool!! The joys of house improvements!! You have a lovely home.

    • May 23, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Oh wow, doing home improvements in the rain isn’t my idea of fun! Definitely check out Made.com for some chair inspiration. x

  8. May 19, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    Suzanne,

    This is a good example of turning-points in life. If you’d moved to the Bath area, you would have formed a different circle of friends, your children would have attended different schools, you would all have been at a different church… the list goes on. Even your blogging would have been different — “Inside and outside the farmhouse”, maybe?

    • May 23, 2017 / 5:18 pm

      It’s funny how life turns out sometimes isn’t it? I have often thought what it might have been like and how different it would be. Remember the film ‘Sliding Doors’? Very thought provoking.

  9. May 19, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    Oh your house is gorgeous Suzanne! Love all the greys and that pink chair is amazing! Good luck with the build of your guest hideaway/games room, sounds like it’s going to be just as lovely as the rest of your place. x

    • May 23, 2017 / 5:18 pm

      Let’s just hope that grey NEVER goes out of fashion lol! Thanks for reading. I will keep you updated on the home improvements 🙂 x

  10. Millie
    May 19, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    I love your home and that’s a great idea! I think we are all a wee bit nosy and love to see around other homes.

  11. May 23, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    This is a great idea, and Suzanne you have such a beautiful home and garden. I love how you have styled all your rooms, and that pink chair is just gorgeous. It makes me want to redo our whole house now, which I am sure the husband would love! x

    • May 24, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Ha ha that is definitely the downside to reading lots of blogs about interiors! I just have to rein it in and give myself boundaries. x

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