Sunday, 26 July 2015

DIY Doorstop

Hello hello! Just popping in, in between painting the new house, to share a quick DIY project I did right before the big move (which feels like a million years ago now...). The lovely Secret Linen Store asked me to come up a fun how-to using an old sheet or pillowcase. Not one to turn down a challenge, I dusted off my sewing machine and whipped together a door stop to replace the ugly grey plastic thing holding our doors ajar - and it turned out pretty well!

You can find the entire how-to over on Secret Linen Store's website - go check it out!

P.S. I promise more regular blog posts soon - it's just been a little hectic chez Take Courage at the moment.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

A Beautiful Mess

Well, this is very exciting – our little flat (which we’ve just waved goodbye to!) has been featured on one of my old-time favourite blogs, A Beautiful Mess – go check it out now!

The prospect of being able to paint our new house without fear of our landlord’s retribution is simply wonderful. I’ve been swatching like mad this week, our walls look like a colourful chess board – but if I’m honest I feel so overwhelmed by all the choice of colours. I’m thinking of going for a fresh, light green-y grey for our bedroom, but I’m afraid of it looking like a hospital. I’m also thinking of a soft blue for our dining room, but then I’m afraid of it being too dark. I need advice! Do you have any colour recommendations? Any tricks that I should know about before taking the plunge?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Place To Call Home

So we did it – we are homeowners! It’s taken many, many months of saving every penny, but finally all our hard work has paid off – and it feels FANTASTIC. Good riddance to the struggle and waste of renting, dealing with endless bureaucracy, and miserly landlords, and noisy neighbours, and moronic letting agents with their exorbitant fees, and being treated with disdain because we’re tenants. I never thought it would happen, but here I am, writing this blog post from my new study, and there’s not a landlord in sight to chastise me for putting up pictures or changing the curtains – I can hardly believe it.

I didn’t want to say too much before in case it all fell though, but we bought a little Georgian town house in Rochester in Kent. I grew up not so far from here, but I don’t think, as a teenager, I ever appreciated how pretty and quaint Rochester is. There’s a medieval castle and cathedral, a cobbled high street with independent shops and their hand-painted signs (I've also discovered a new online shop this month, one which sells second hand designer clotheswhich will be dangerous), the river running through the city – it’s bursting with history; even Charles Dickens hails from these parts. The air-conditioned (such luxury!) train takes 45 minutes to Cannon Street (although quicker to St Pancras, just 30 minutes on the high speed line), the beach is 30 minutes down the train line, and endless fields of wheat and wild flowers are just 10 minutes away by car. The best part, however, is that our 10-room house (post edit: not 10 bedrooms! I'm not minted, you know!) cost £75k less than a one-bed flat in zone 2: London has lost its mind. 

I’ve read lots of articles on this in recent months (like this one and this one, both of which perfectly sum up my sentiments) so I won’t rehash this too much, but I have grown sick and tired of London. It took a decade, but I’ve finally filed for a divorce. The property market is depressing, to say the least. Just yesterday I read about how hundreds of flats in a tower block in Canary Wharf (yuck, it’s like living in an office) sold in less than five hours, half of which to foreign investors. London isn’t for Londoners anymore. Every where you turn, there’s a fee of some sort – a fee to drive your car, a fee to sign a piece of paper so that you can rent a shoebox, a fee to go for a wee! Even taxi drivers ask for your postcode to punch into their satnav before taking you home. The city I once knew and loved has been chipped away and been replaced by an unforgiving, inflexible prison. So we decided to break free – a prison break! – to a happier, healthier, more affordable life. 

Photos to come soon – the decorating commences this Saturday!