Things I’m loving at the moment

Design Vintage Pale Grey Vintage Cupboard
Loaf Pudding Sofa
The White Company Beaumont Four Poster Bed
Distressed Metal Shelf Unit
Rattan Butlers Tray
Timsbury Velvet Mustard Sofa
New Trapeze Chandelier
Long Ear Hook
Easton Baskets
Chambray Towel
Stamford Single Bed
Design Vintage Pale Grey Vintage Cupboard
Loaf Pudding Sofa
The White Company Beaumont Four Poster Bed
Distressed Metal Shelf Unit
Rattan Butlers Tray
Timsbury Velvet Mustard Sofa
New Trapeze Chandelier
Long Ear Hook
Easton Baskets
Chambray Towel
Stamford Single Bed

Tough times don’t last, but tough people do…

Tough times don’t last, but tough people do…

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do” Unknown Author

I’m sure (and hope) I’m not alone here, I’m talking about when you go through those periods when everything just seems like such a struggle and you just can’t see any end in sight. To anything. Well I’ve recently been going through this!

Everything feels like an uphill battle and I feel like I can’t make any clear or final decisions and start doubting everything. Even what to have for breakfast! And for me a big part of this is living in such a mess, with absolutely no order. For someone that likes order and everything in its place… that’s me! I’m one of those people that arrives somewhere to stay and can’t do anything until I’ve unpacked, hung up my clothes, put out my toothbrush, toiletries and ensured things are where they should be. Yep, that is me.

I feel a bit as if there’s an expectation to have your s%^t together these days. Or is that just me?! I feel it’s my duty, and my job as a parent, that I have to be ok and look like everything’s alright (even if our morning has been like world war 2 trying to get Arthur to brush his teeth and I couldn’t find my knickers because they’re in a box somewhere amongst the pile of clothes and other stuff in our bedroom that looks like it’s been burgaled.) No one wants to hear about your awful morning or why you’re late. But sometimes I think when you’re trying to keep it all together it makes things feel worse.

Our way of life for the past 3 years has been somewhat of a challenge. Our lives have, and a lot of it still is, in boxes. I have completely and utterly surprised myself though, I mean I never for one second thought I could live in a caravan. But I did! Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not been easy. And I’m feeling fed up.

We are so close now to having the cottage fully live-able, we are sleeping in there, the main family bathroom is functional (however it’s not finished!) but we’ve still got no kitchen/ living area, downstairs toilet, utility room, ensuite or anywhere in our bedroom to store our clothes (apart from two humongous free standing rails.) The bedroom looks a little like we’ve been burgled. That’s another blog on how I am currently going through a life cleanse and throwing out all clutter, including half my wardrobe.

I feel like our life has been in limbo for so long… practically the whole of Arthur’s life (he is now 3!) and so far all of Wilf’s. I didn’t plan this in my head. It wasn’t how I thought things would be.

I remember thinking when I found out I was pregnant again with Wilf, how I couldn’t wait to enjoy my maternity leave in our new home, having all of his things in one place, and lots of time to dress it and make it just how I wanted it. I felt like I had a difficult time when Arthur was born, we were packing up our old house, moving in with my parents (which you’d think would have been easy with grandparents on tap), it wasn’t. Living back at your parents as a proper grown up with your own family, is hard. My mum was poorly too, which made things all the more difficult and upsetting. Then when we decided to rent, it was just another upheaval that at first was a welcome relief to have our own space, but then the house sold, so that’s when we had our bright idea to buy a static and live on site during the renovation of the cottage.

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This meant my entire pregnancy with Wilf and up until very recently were spent living in the caravan, through two heatwaves and a freezing cold winter complete with some serious snow, not to mention a few storms when I actually lay awake at night convinced the roof was going to blow off or imagining the caravan being swept away (with us in it) and landing in a field! Luckily we are all still here to tell the tale, albeit a few of my beloved coats that were discovered to have mould on them from damp in the caravan over the winter.

I should look back on these times now and be thankful they are over. And yes I am, but now I feel like we have new trials and tribulations to face. I haven’t yet completely managed to rid ourselves of ‘that’ caravan, we are still cooking and eating in it. I’m sure we could manage if we didn’t have small children, but preparing their meals and milk etc requires a working kitchen! Wilf is also weaning now so I’m trying to save our new cream carpet. The kitchen/living area has no flooring down so with a little one on the move, it’s just not safe (or comfortable) to be eating in right now.

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Over the weekend, I went to visit my 100 year old nan (very nearly 101!) who always asks about everything that’s going on in my life, including the house. She is one of the most grateful people I know, (alongside both my children) which is something I absolutely adore and admire about the innocence of children! My nan has lived through two world wars, losing the father of her child (my dad) at war before my dad was born, a few recessions and probably seen things in her lifetime we can’t even begin to imagine, and she is so optimistic. Nothing seems to phase her.

I pulled out some clean clothes for her when I visited and helped her into them. She was admiring the jumper I said I was going to dress her in, and she just kept saying how wonderful it was; the quality and the colour. She thought I had just bought it for her, I didn’t have the heart to tell her the clothes were hers already. But it made me think how I have never heard her say ‘I don’t like that’ or ‘I’m not sure about that’ or ‘isn’t there something else I could wear’. She is more than happy with whatever she is given. Completely content. She doesn’t complain. She just gets on with it.

I’m in complete awe of her, as I only wish I could be this grateful and content with life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy, I’m not ungrateful with my life. Not at all. I am so fortunate for what I have, and know it’s more than most. Just sometimes I need to step back and remind myself how lucky I really am.

My nan kept saying to me at the weekend, ‘aren’t you lucky you have your own home though’ after she’d asked me how it was coming along and I’d replied to say ‘slowly, and feeling a bit fed up’. We are so lucky, whether it has a kitchen or not, it’s somewhere we are fortunate enough to be able to call our home. So thank you nanny for reminding me of that.

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Recently, I also lost my mum, as you can imagine it’s been a very difficult time and I feel like it’s only very recently starting to sink in that’s she’s not here. That I’ll never see her again and I can’t just pick up the phone to her or pop and see her. I saw her most days. I don’t think you can always account for how much your emotions can exhaust you. Dealing with something like the death of a loved one, in my case, my mum, is, hands down one the hardest most life changing things I’ve ever had to face. They say it gets easier or you learn to live with it, but right now, I can’t see that.

A lot of the decisions and reasons for buying this house is because of my mum (and dad.) The village we live in has always been somewhere we’ve wanted to buy in, and a big factor in that is because of how close my parents live to the village (about 5 minutes away). We keep our horses and (used to) keep our pig, Bazz there (sadly he also recently died). So just popping to see to the horses and visit my parents was easier than ever before. Now things feel very unfair, mum isn’t just down the road anymore. She was also my go to with the house. I have said in a couple of my Instagram posts about how my mum often advised and heavily influenced a lot of my interior choices, and knew all the best brands to buy.

I’m sad she’ll never see the progress with the house now. We had just made the main family bathroom functional before she died, so she at least got to see that. I sent her photos of the boys having their first bath in the cottage which I’m sure she loved seeing. I just wish I could send her photos of all the other adventures we’ll have in the house.

I know we’ll finish the house. People tell you how hard a renovation is. Most people say they’d never do it again. Then people ask why you did that or you should have done it like this. Well it’s not your house! Then people ask why you bought that now rather than do something they see as more important. It’s us that lives here, surely it’s our choice what we do and when. People also constantly say how lovely it’ll be when it’s all finished. I know that. But there’s times when you just don’t see this. And this is one of them.

But I thank my Nan for bringing me back down to earth and reminding me that yes, I am so lucky to have my own home and such a beautiful family. And I know she’s not here, but I know my mum is watching over us and can see the progress on the house. She’d also probably tell me to stop being silly and that everything will be ok, ‘it won’t be long’. Even though she’s not here to ask, I feel like my choices I make now on the house are still heavily influenced by her and in a way she’s part of our journey to finishing Our Pink Project. I hope so anyway. I don’t feel very tough at the moment. Far from it in fact. Living in chaos doesn’t suit me. But hopefully I won’t feel like this for much longer and normal service will resume.

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A little boys bedroom

A little boys bedroom

Creating both my children’s bedrooms was one of the most exciting parts about moving into the cottage. I have been buying bits and pieces for Arthur’s bedroom for quite a while now (around 3 years!) Basically since he was born and we sold our first home. With no idea what his bedroom would even be like, but knowing how I wanted it to feel, I’ve managed to pretty much find everything I’ve bought a home in his new room.

There’s something very magical about a child’s bedroom, and I think they deserve to be a special place for your little one to go and feel safe, escape, use their imagination and play to their hearts content. Somewhere where mum and dad won’t keep saying ‘no’ and ‘don’t do that!’ I seem to say that a lot. I also wanted to create a space that Arthur would have all of his favourite things in one place!

This bedroom was created in collaboration with ReRoom and Mamas & Papas.

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I didn’t tie myself to any particular theme, it’s just a collection of all the things he loves. This includes animals, dinosaurs, fire engines, buses and trains, books, oh and now Lego and Playmobil thanks to his older cousins!

We’ve painted the whole house white for now, until we can decide on colours. So his room was a blank canvas.

I chose his bed based upon the fact it would last him (potentially) into his teenage years. I had seen lots of really fun themed beds, tree house beds etc but I knew he’d just grow out of them, they also take up a lot of space. I also wanted to go for a bit more of a traditional look. So this cast iron White Company single bed in black was perfect. I wish they did it in a super king size to be honest as I’d consider it for our bedroom!

The chest of drawers are the Hemnes range from Ikea, and I knew I wanted these as I really like the style of them and the fact they were tall and narrow (good for space saving). They weren’t expensive so I won’t stress if they get damaged from dinosaur wars.

The shelves were from the Great Little Trading Company. Perfect for Arthur’s enormous book collection! He absolutely loves a story at bedtime, we always stick to two books maximum (or we’d be reading all night if it was up to Arthur!) some of his books are already getting longer though! He chooses the books he wants, and these shelves are a great way of displaying his books so that he can see them. I also like that you don’t just have to put books on them, there’s room to put his cuddly toys in there, and anything else he wants to look at whilst he’s in bed.

The picture shelves, are from Amazon (look closely and you can see we need to paint around them!) The plaster was new so it crumbled quite a bit when Luke drilled holes for the shelves, and then he started changing his mind on the size of the gap between the shelves so we were left with a few holes in the wall that he had to fill!

The shelves were more of an aesthetic thing, practically I wouldn’t say they are the answer to all your storage problems, but they’re a great focal point and way to show your child’s personality. So I’ve used them for his over flowing book collection, dinosaurs, any pictures I think look nice, and any quirky ornaments he has. I framed this London Bus print which was actually a 3rd birthday card from my sister. She lives in London and I often make up tales to Arthur about his Aunty Sophie & Uncle Jason, and Little Lily who live in London with the Queen and travel around on big red London buses! (Obviously they do other things than just travel round on London buses), but Arthur seems to enjoy my imaginary tales and adventures that Aunty Sophie has in London!

These Lego storage boxes, from Amazon are amazing. They don’t just look nice, they’re a great way to keep Lego, building blocks or playmobil sets all together in one place/ brick. I’ve actually just ordered some more as Arthur’s had lots of Playmobil for his birthday, so I ordered one that has two separate drawer compartments and a smaller square block. They come in every colour imaginable, but I’ve just gone for the grey and white ones (just because).

This cute little rocking chair isn’t an old family heirloom that we’ve upcycled, it’s just from Ikea. But I love it! I reckon I could easily pretend it was 30 years old… apart from the new paint job! I bought the cushions from Etsy, originally bought to go in his tepee he had for his 2nd Birthday but that’s stored away somewhere! But they look perfect on this chair. Somewhere for Arthur to sit and read his books! When I chose this pouffe online, I’ll be honest I had no idea it’d be this small… but, I really rather like it for Arthur’s bedroom. He sits on it in his little reading corner, uses it as a step up to climb into bed and I’m sure he’ll get lots of use out of it for play.

This little stool, gifted from Mamas and Papas, at the moment works really well as a little bedside table. It’s pretty neutral and the perfect height for Arthur to reach his drink when he’s in bed, his torch and some of his little toys he likes to keep on there.

So… that’s Arthur’s big boy bedroom, and I think he’s pretty pleased with his new room!

I’m looking forward to making lots of happy memories with him in this room!

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Our Summer holiday

Last week we all took a very welcomed break to Cornwall. To be honest, very unlike me who could quite happily holiday every month of the year, I wasn’t keen to go away at all this year. We’re nearing the end of the renovation works (well sort of), boxes are everywhere, I haven’t seen our suitcases for about 12 months and god knows where my bikinis are (priorities and all!) so a holiday was the last thing I felt like doing.

Everything’s been feeling a bit of an effort at the moment, with things everywhere and two small children, I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself. The caravan isn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things, it’s kept us all with a roof over our heads which I know is more than those less fortunate can say, but it has started to get me down. It can all feel a bit oppressive in there, cramped, freezing in winter and an oven in summer. I also hate the disorganisation of everything. Paperwork is everywhere, and clothes are bursting out of every cupboard. But, I put my big girl pants on, and embraced our first foursome family holiday, minus the bikini, and agreed to go along.

And we couldn’t have picked a better week! The week the UK was experiencing the start of an extreme heatwave with temperatures in the 30’s. Cornwall felt like we were somewhere tropical. I love Cornwall whatever the weather. We’ve now been for the last three years as one of Luke’s friends has a Chalet there, which is a stones throw from the beach and it’s perfect for little people!

We had initially booked two weeks but cancelled the second as we thought we might go abroad somewhere later in the year, but I’m not sure we will now as there’s still so much to be done on the house and we really need to plough all our money into that rather than a holiday (as much as it pains me to say).

We spent everyday on the beach, and visited a local animal sanctuary on the last day, driving home that same evening (thinking Arthur and Wilf would sleep the whole way home) … didn’t work out that way, and took us an extra couple of hours longer to get home but we’ve now visited most service stations in the south west.

I was always very fortunate when growing up. I have two sisters and we’re all very close. They’re my best friends. Amidst the odd squabble about someone else wearing each other’s top, I have some wonderful memories from our family holidays. My parents loved holidays, which is probably where I’ve got my love for travel from. We went every year, sometimes twice or even three times, and we always went abroad. We stayed in villas and then hotels as we were older and became harder to please.

We never really holiday’d in this country though, so until I met Luke, I hadn’t really been anywhere in the UK to experience places much longer than a day or two. And how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful country!

I have still only visited Wales, Devon and Cornwall, so have a few more destinations to do in this country but once the house is done we’ve said we are going to do lots of long weekends which I’m already looking forward to. I read something the other day that has really stuck with me, which said ‘make every second count when your children are young, you only have 18 summers with them’ (that’s if they stop holidaying with you when they’re 18!) I hope they don’t! But when you put it like that… it’s not much at all is it?! So make the most of it. Every moment, every day, and every single holiday.

So I think whether it’s a few days, a week or longer, some sort of family break altogether is really important. Sometimes the monotony of that daily routine and passing like ships on the night can get you down. For us, with the added stress of the house it can be difficult to enjoy your time together at home sometimes when you’ve got a million and one things on your mind and a to do list as long as the channel tunnel, getting away with a change of scenery can do wonders for your relationships with each other and time to relax.

I’m so pleased we went. Although it now seems like a distant memory!

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Designing the nursery

Designing the nursery

When we bought the cottage it was a two bed house. The upstairs layout was bizarre, so we had a complete re-jig. What is now Arthur’s bedroom was originally bigger, but we decided to split it and make an office. This would create the third bedroom, but we always planned to extend to make a further, much bigger fourth bedroom (if) our family grew. Little did we know at that point, that our family was going to grow a bit quicker than we thought, with our wonderful Wilfred.

So the office has become a nursery. It’s more than big enough for a single bed, but I do wish it was a bit bigger. So it was a bit of a challenge to design Wilfs nursery ensuring it looks good, it’s functional and it can grow with him too. One thing I have spared is the wardrobe. I may well regret this, but, I didn’t want the room to feel too crammed.

Furniture wise, the nursery is pretty minimal with a cot, a changing table, chest of drawers and some wall shelves. I think cots can take up a lot of the space, and we are using Arthurs old cot (which does have a large under drawer storage), but I have seen some very cool oval shaped cots which look great and I think would give a feeling of more space, but for now, Arthur’s old cot works. We haven’t moved in yet, so I expect the room will also evolve and I’ll add to it when we’re living in it. Clever storage will be key, and I’m going to look out for some baskets to store things like his dribble bibs. I seem to have a serious collection of dribble bibs for Wilf! In fact, I’m quite obsessed with them!

I wanted Wilfs nursery to be pretty neutral with just a splash of colour. Mamas and Papas do colour really well, they have a few different ranges that you can mix and match, and that’s exactly what I did, as it gives you a bit of flexibility to add in your own personality. Their colours are bright, but subtle.

This changing mat is a great way to add a splash of colour and I really like mustard yellow, which works well with white, cream and grey. They don’t sell this mat anymore, but its available on Amazon. 

The felt horse door stop is Fiona Walker from Homesense. I had to try and get a horse in somewhere, plus I love a door stop.

This Mamas and Papas Pom Pom Garland is a really clever way to add some personality and fun to the nursery. I wasn’t sure where to hang it though, and might try hanging it up on the wall at the top end of the cot, but it brightens up the cot weaved over the side.

This Mamas and Papas coverlet also matched the garland, and it’s now in the sale! It’s really good quality, and has a plain grey underside. This will last Wilf for years, Arthur my eldest loves to snuggle on the sofa and loves his blankets. I didn’t ever think boys would be like this, and I hope it’s not just an age thing and he stay like this, snuggling his mummy on the sofa till he’s at least 18!

I also put it with this Cam Cam grey wave playmat, which can be a blanket or play mat. Cam Cam is a scandi brand and I absolutely love their stuff. The quality is amazing, and well worth spending a little bit extra.

I adore all of these cushions, but my favourite is Mr Lama!

Cushions are a great way to add a bit of personality and brighten up, what could be otherwise a pretty stark, plain and boring cot. Wilf certainly had lots of fun trying to eat them all!

I am a complete sucker for cuddly toys, so Wilfs room inevitably will have lots of cuddly toys, so I wanted to be able to put them up somewhere to enjoy. In particular Sebastian the Lamb from Cuddle and Kind. They sell unique cute hand knitted dolls, and each doll that’s sold feeds 10 children. So on that basis I might have to buy the entire collection!

These Mamas and Papas mobile birds are a bit nostalgic for me. My parents have some hanging birds similar to these (but probably antiques now) as I remember them when I was a child, and their still hanging up in their kitchen. I saw these and had to have them. Because everything has just been decorated Luke wasn’t keen about hanging things from the ceiling or walls, so for now they are going to live here on the door, but to be honest I think they look quite at home here.

The animal heads add a bit of fun to the nursery, and to be honest I was pleased to put something up on the walls. Every room in the house is painted white at the moment t and although it looks really clean, it can feel a bit bland, and for me these are a great way to brighten up the room. The Fox is from Mamas and Papas and the rabbit is from ReRoom. Lewis, the hare is a lot larger and I think it’s Wilfs favourite as every time he looks at it he has a fit of giggles. Its pretty realistic and even the ears bend (they have wire inside them) so you can change the rabbits expressions with the ears up or down.

This rabbit head is part of a Hedgehugs Nursery with woodland themed furniture and accessories that ReRoom provide as a complete room. Alternatively you can pick and choose from their complete collection. Their concept is really clever, and if designing a nursery fills you with dread, they can do it all for you. They kindly gifted this rabbit head, which I thought would go really well with what I had planned for Wilfs room, and the fox (even though it’s smaller) still goes. So it shows you don’t always have to opt for the matchy, matchy sets.

These shelves are from the Great Little Trading Company. They come in two different widths, and I chose the narrow ones for Wilfs room, but I also bought them for Arthur’s room. Not only do they look good, they’ll be useful, not just for books but for cuddly toys too. I’m really keen for both boys to read lots of books, so having somewhere to showcase their books is really important to me. I plan to rotate their books, and keep refreshing the shelves too. I would also like to add a little chair or a bean bag cushion in this corner for Wilf for when he’s a bit older and can sit and enjoy looking through his books or somewhere for mummy and daddy to sit and read to him. Arthur’s always been a real bookworm, so I’m hoping Wilf will be the same.

The grey knitted lampshade is from Mamas and Papas, and is a great neutral colour that will go with anything.

This origami play mat from Mamas and Papas, (now sold out), is great and I love the colours, it stores really easily as it folds up quite small. It also has a cushion on one side so he can lie on it or use it for tummy time. It works well with this Mamas and Papas wooden play arch, the hanging toys are velcro so can easily be removed and you can add other toys too. Its taller than most wooden arches I’ve seen before, so I think it’ll last Wilf quite a while, it also looks good! Which helps! I do prefer wooden toys over plastic, but I know they don’t always stay looking as good for that long, from little teethers, and just getting bashed about.

Wilf loves this little chime toy – fawn from Mamas and Papas and it has an actual removable fur gilet! How adorable!

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*This post is a collaboration with Mamas and Papas and Reroom and all items listed have been gifted, but chosen by me.

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Life in the caravan

Life in the caravan

As we prepare to evacuate I thought I’d give you a little look around the caravan and the place we’ve called home for the past 14 months. I’m not sure how or why I ever agreed to living in a static caravan, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but somehow I am still here to tell the tale, still married (just) and another little addition welcomed into the family who has only ever known life in a caravan.

It was never the plan to be in the caravan this long, let alone with a newborn, as we knew that’s when things would start to get tricky not just because of all the paraphernalia they bring along with them but because the winter would be tough and not ideal when there’s no double glazing or central heating (but luckily no leaks!) But Eskimos do it, however I think their igloos were probably a few degrees warmer than the caravan at times. The thermometer hit minus in here during the winter and there were actual icicles on the outside. Thank god for blow heaters!

One thing everyone said was ‘at least you’ll save lots living in the caravan’. Yes that’s exactly what we thought. That hasn’t been the case. Not when our electricity bill started creeping up to £305 a month and we were in debit of £1,500! That is not a typo. I called the electricity company to explain our situation and tell them there was no way it could be accurate, thinking it must be some sort of mistake. So we had a smart meter fitted, and there it was on the screen. Your estimated next monthly bill is £1,500! So we turned absolutely everything off and one by one started testing the cost of every appliance thinking something must be faulty. Turns out blow heaters and oil filled heaters are up there with the cost of some new tyres on a Porsche.

But it’s ok, because when you’re doing up a property which is inhabitable you are given 12 months grace on your council tax. So we are making savings there. It’s just unfortunate that the 12 months lapsed in September 2017 so we are also paying empty property tax.

I don’t think you can ever really put a figure on how long or how much it’s going to cost you to renovate a property, but you can only hope it’ll be worth it. I’m pretty confident it will be for us, it has a really nice feel about it, homely. If that’s even possible when we haven’t actually moved in yet but It does already feel like home. The garden is a really good size and wraps around most of the house. It’ll be amazing once we’ve cleared it up. It’s currently a jungle.

I’m also looking forward to saying goodbye to the caravan altogether as it does take up quite a bit of space, and it’s not the prettiest of sites. Externally it’s surrounded by insulation (the silver and yellow foam boards) held up with wheel narrows, bits of wood and metal. We get a lot of dog walkers down our lane, and I often watch people walking past with intrigue (and horror!)

The caravan is a two bed, with a bathroom (cupboard) which is basically a sink and shower, there’s a separate toilet, lounge/kitchen area and Luke’s nifty little extension which houses all our shoes, coats, washing machine, tumble drier, a wardrobe and chest of drawers.

The kitchen consists of 5 cupboards. Sounds like a lot, and I call them cupboards, they’re more like cubby holes with a door. Seriously!

Not quite a Range. The cooker is gas and you have to light it with a flame. To light the oven part it requires you partially putting your head in the oven to see what your doing. Surprisingly I still have a full head of un-singed hair, but this may be because I avoid cooking with it!

To save space we put up some hooks to hang the mugs on, which fits in really well with the rest of the interior, which I’d describe as cluttered meets umm, tacky?

The living room, next to the kitchen is just about large enough for one two seater sofa, a nursing chair (completely accidental addition, but has been a godsend as an extra chair and feeding Wilf), a sideboard, (which is literally ‘stuffed’ with stuff, and a chest (also stuffed with toys).

For us clever storage has been key. Toys have been stored in big storage bags and a wooden chest. Food, in plastic storage boxes, Kilner jars and baskets, which have all been life savers.

The dining table, homemade by my very clever husband, with scaffolding. This has been so useful, it’s worked well with Arthur’s high chair as it’s the perfect height. And I think it looks quite nice! (And that’s a serious comment!)

We recarpeted throughout, which was one of my ‘conditions’ to agreeing to living in the caravan. The living room carpet was from a local carpet shop, cheap as chips but has served its purpose well. It was a light cream, but still looks pretty clean, even though it’s a very small area and has been very well used. I am an obsessive hoover’er though!

The bathroom lino was left over from one of Luke’s jobs and the bedroom carpets we bought off a Facebook selling group, brand new which someone didn’t want.

The Bi-fold door, (the side door to the caravan) caused a terrible draft in winter but great in the summer to let some air in. Not so great when you have a toddler and there’s a 4 ft drop. We put a stair gate up but would still never leave it open with him out of sight.

The family bathroom, aka the cupboard consists of a shower and a sink.

We are particularly fortunate with the shower as you have the feeling you are showering outside as it has an open roof (the extractor fan). Although there is a mesh sheet covering the (purpose built) hole in the roof. Quite refreshing during a torrential downpour, not so good if you’re scared of spiders.

The shower boasts a comfortable seating area if you have had a long day at work and need a rest whilst applying your shampoo. I joke but it was very useful post-surgery from a c-section!

The toilet has never been anywhere you want to stay in for long and look at your phone.

The curtains throughout were a real steal, free with the caravan. I washed them about 50 times and boiled them. I REALLY wanted to buy some more but we had other things we needed to spend our money on… like the house!

The bedroom is a squeeze. We managed to fit in our own double and a bedside table, and use the existing vanity desk and overhead cupboards for towels and some of Luke’s clothes (the rest of his have had to go in boxes under the bed) as all of my clothes are in the wardrobe, and cupboards.

Arthur’s room is small. Basically a big cupboard. But somehow we managed to fit a cot, wardrobe and a kitchen (a toy kitchen) because everyone needs a kitchen in their bedroom.

All his changing stuff is in baskets or plastic boxes, nothing matches or coordinates but I just turn a blind eye and keep telling myself it’s temporary. Oh how naive I was.

There’s a few areas that were just impossible to turnaround and look in anyway homely. So I have tried to just turn a blind eye and avoided spending any money on it where there was no need as we wanted it all to go on the house.

One thing that made a massive difference though was the extension. Yes Luke built an extension on the caravan, but it meant we could have a washing machine, tumble drier, extra wardrobe space and somewhere to hang up my five million coats and store shoes. We have encountered a few issues with condensation from the cold weather and heat from dryer (we found mould on all of our coats which resulted in a £150 dry cleaning bill!) but Luke added in some air vents which have helped.

One thing this whole experience has taught me, is just how much ‘stuff’ we have and how much stuff we don’t need. I am a real sucker for buying things we don’t need. I’ve also realised that as long as you have plenty of plastic boxes and baskets, you can live anywhere!

My advice to anyone thinking of taking up residence in a caravan is, don’t buy one without central heating and double glazing! And if you’re going to be living in it for a while, I’d get one with a proper bathroom, and an oven that you don’t have to light with a flame.

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