Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Saturday, 30 July 2016

{chota house-a year on}

A year ago today I got the keys to my house. My parents had told me that I should be prepared for a bit of disappointment. They were right--I was so excited to walk through the door, but when I opened it, the house seemed a bit more shabby than I remembered, the rooms were smaller than I had thought, and I was overwhelmed by a long list of jobs that needed to be done. Where would I start? Every room needed to be painted. All the carpets needed to be taken up and floors refinished. What would I find under the floors? Immediately, I thought "Quick, let me try to get this carpet up in the living room and see what lies beneath." A quick tug on one corner and voilà- wooden floors-phew!
I certainly had grand designs before moving in...& had a whole lots of ideas... but I suppose it's that excitement that gave me the energy to do all the work. Even though I still have a list of things to do (tile the fireplaces, paint the shed, get some grass down in the garden etc...) I have to say I'm pretty proud of all that I've accomplished this year. I'm even more proud to say I didn't hire a single person--of course my parents came to do the floors, the built-ins, and the picture rails, but all the rest has been moi.
So, here are some pictures from the last year, to celebrate Chota House and all that has been accomplished this year:

In the first week, it was a few paint jobs:
{walking into the house for the first time as owner! the paint! the carpet! ahhhh!}
{the first room to be painted was the bedroom--had to get rid of those stripes!}
{walls painted, carpet torn up}
Then came painting the downstairs: 

Then the removal of the carpet (flea-ridden at that) & boards: 
Painted out the stripes in the study too: 


Then the removal of the carpet in the hall & the painting of the walls (goodbye lime green):


{in progress}
and finally with the finished floors: 

Then I attacked the kitchen, painting out the red walls, and finally changing the knobs & painting the cabinets:
{goodbye 90s knobs}
{goodbye fake wood}
{hello lovely blue & gold!}
{& recently I got rid of the red tile!}

Then my parents came and redid the floors for me:

& they built in cupboards & bookshelves:
{Simla helping out!}

Then in the bedroom, my parents made me some lovely wardrobes:
{BEFORE, as previous owners had it}

{in progress}

 & then they installed picture rails throughout the house:


& then just recently, I've managed to paint the spare bedroom, getting rid of the last of the wallpaper in the house:

& also paint the exterior of the house:

So my Chota House has come A LONG WAY in the last year:

I now feel pretty happy to call this place my home!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Hi blogbland!
Happy Thursday! Yesterday, sadly, my sister left with her two kids back to Canada. sniff!
It's always fun having kids around as they make you see the extraordinary in the ordinary:
{find joy}
We had lots of fun and did lots of lovely things... visits to nearby towns, walks along the canal, a trip to Hever Castle and punting in Cambridge & so much more...will post pics on that soon (there are some already over on instagram).
This morning, I woke up super early and did some filming at the V&A--busy day:
{photo courtesy of the camerawoman, Morgan Phillips}

Any plans for the weekend? I'm hoping to get caught up on some work, clean the house, and maybe even paint the shed...

Thursday, 14 July 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Hello Blogland! Thursday again, already?!
I spent my last weekend like a maniac--I painted the exterior of the house, the guest bedroom and the kitchen! phew! I was inspired because my middle sister is coming this weekend with her two kids!!!
I haven't seen her or them in over three years. Super super super excited!!!!
She is an amazing woman--a graduate of Oxford and Cambridge, she's often on the news because of her research on refugees and displaced youth, she is successful in her career but still manages to make homemade cookies for her children. I live in awe. But she's also super down to earth and I can't wait to just catch up!
So today, a quote about the people in our lives that make us feel good:
{feed your soul}
In case you're interested, a couple of pics of my painting transformations, but stay tuned for a proper blog dedicated to the renos!
The exterior:

The guest bedroom:
... & now that's the last of the dreaded wallpaper in the house-GONE!
 et, la cuisine:


Thursday, 7 July 2016

{quotable thursdays}

I'm doing book edits for the next few weeks. It's rewarding and frustrating and difficult and creative and... sometimes I want to give up and just say it's all rotten and at other times I think to myself 'this is pretty good.' It's the strangest process. But I need to keep reminding myself this:
{from daily quotes}
The news just keeps getting more depressing by the day. I am trying my best not to let it get me down...and summer also seems never to have arrived in Blighty! but my garden furniture arrived yesterday so I'm hoping this encourages some summery weather. I also need to do a whole load of painting outside but haven't been able to because of the weather. Here's hoping the sun (& summer) follow today's quote too!

Sunday, 3 July 2016


Last weekend I visited Sissinghurst Castle with my cousins, to celebrate my cousin's birthday. It has loads of history, but it was the likes of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson who made it what it is today. They bought it derelict and in need of lots of love, and turned it into a mini-village where they lived with their family. Each property on the grounds serving different functions from Vita's study in the tower, to the kitchen occupying another area, to the living room/library in an old barn, to the oast houses which stand proudly...
Their love of gardens also means that the grounds are simply stunning to wander. It was rose season, but I'm sure at any time of year, it's a stunning spot.
{oast houses}

{part of the old castle}

{the tower (where Vita's study is)}
{Vita's study}


{library with portrait of Vita peering out}

 The tower is closed when there is bad weather, particularly lightening. We were lucky, as we climbed up right before we were told we had to head down...& it remained closed for the rest of the day. Stunning views!
{views from the tower}

 The gardens are simply delightful to wander in...

{Harold Nicholson's study--that's a view to inspire!}

From the house there is a beautiful countryside walk... we managed to time it perfectly, as the sun shone right when we began our walk!