Hygge, I can take or leave. I've never been able to understand what's wrong with plain, old cosy. Lagom, I kind of get. Meaning 'just the right amount', it's a concept that raises its eyebrows at excess. But, wabi-sabi, the new-ish craze on the Farrow & Ball painted interiors block, is something that I can wholly jump on board with.
Wabi-sabi is all about finding beauty in imperfections, and in our crazy world right now, I think we all need to dismiss the quest for perfection and seek comfort in the simple, the quirky, and the not-quite-right. Right?
It's also a word that applies so well to our soon-to-be new home. Originally a little cottage, it's been added to and added to some more until it reached its current incarnation as a lovely family home. The marks of years gone by are there to see and the house is richer for them. Each owner, with slightly different tastes, has added their stamp and done their best to seamlessly blend the old and new.
And we're going to do the same.
I've spoke about this before but one of the trickiest things about having an interiors blog (and I also write and edit the Great Little Trading Co. blog) is that I absorb so much information and inspiration on a daily basis, my own likes and dislikes sometimes get lost amongst the new, shiny trends that I'm bombarded with.
I need to wear blinkers and block out all of that lovely influence to really put my finger on what we want from our new home and how we're going to use it. I want it to be the perfect backdrop for our busy lives. For it to shine, but not as brightly as the people who live in it. And it definitely has to be a kick-your-shoes-off-and-relax type of family home.
I don't think you can have too many concrete plans until you've lived in a house for a while ... and it can take years and years for it to become the home of your dreams. But here are the things that we're contemplating tackling this year.
My five year old's bedroom
Forget what I said about not having too many concrete plans ... in my five year old's room, we know exactly what we're doing. Because he's told us. And he, without a shadow of a doubt, is the boss. Of everything. And everyone.
He wants a 'cool countryside' room. Think modern day Wind in the Willows. Fun, charming, nostalgic but cool ... old fashioned but with a contemporary vibe. Age appropriate, too. He's five and a really sweet and shy five at that, so I want it to be a room that he finds magical and whimsical rather than encouraging him to grow up too quickly (quite the contrast to my seven year old who's already thinking of a living room-type area in his room for when he has friends over).
We're going to be using some of the pieces of furniture that are in his current room mixed with a couple of things taken from elsewhere in the house and few new things, too. I'll do a separate mood board post so you can get a clearer idea.
The family bathroom
When viewing the house, we dithered over how soon to change the bathroom. It's okay. Just okay. It's not to our taste and will need updating at some point but could it wait a year or two?
When the survey came back with a couple of notes about the lack of ventilation, it gave us the nudge to say, 'Let's do it this year'.
I think we'll be taking inspiration from The Chickenshed where we stayed last summer. The bathrooms were amazing. Simple but totally stylish.
The kitchen, oh the kitchen! While I'd love to replace it because I'm not all that keen on it, it's simply not feasible over the next couple of years. Plus, the existing kitchen has so much life left in it, I'd feel really wasteful taking it out.
The midterm solution?
I'm going to paint it ... and potentially change the worktops.
It's a project that fills me with both excitement and nerves. It feels like a big deal and it feels like I need serious painting skills. But I'm going for it. I have my Farrow & Ball tester pots at the ready and I'm not afraid to use them.
The mega garden
The house sits on 1.5 acres. And my knowledge of gardening? Well, it's limited, at best. The learning curve is going to be steep, very steep. There's a lovely kitchen garden which I'm keen for the boys to take over. I think it will be an amazing responsibility for them. With the new Peter Rabbit film coming out soon, I'm hoping it will inspire them to create their very own Mr. McGregor's garden.
My main plan, though? Is to earmark a space for the pizza oven, gin bar and outdoor film nights come the summer. Obviously, it's not going to rain this year. It best not rain this year!
Of course, when moving house, there's always lots of small things ... and unexpected things ... to do. We're planning to alter the flooring in a couple of the rooms, slowly change the majority of the walls from cream to white, and play around with our existing furniture and accessories to see what works where and what doesn't work at all.
We would absolutely love to add a big extension for a new super dining/family room on the ground floor and a dressing room and ensuite for a new master bedroom on the first floor. But it's not going to happen in 2018.
However, we're going to start thinking about it and potentially make plans for it, if only to get an idea of whether it's doable and how long we're going to have to save for to be able to afford it. It'll be easier for me to explain what I want, where it will go and why we want to build it, when we move and I can share some photos. So stay tuned!