Willow Tree Cottage

Instead of boring you with the trials of moving all our worldly belongings from not one but two houses (we still had 1 and a half van loads of stuff up at our house on the market in Nottingham) I will just say this: it was HARD.

We’ve spent the last three weekends at our new house getting it ready. Sanding the kitchen and utility worktops down and re-sealing, scrubbing the quarry tile floors, cleaning the fiddly bits in the skirting board with a toothbrush, shampooing carpets, wiping down all the walls in the house. My brilliant DIY Dad re-aligned the dodgy French windows, replaced locks, replaced the kitchen sink, advised us on the best filter tap to buy, re-sealed things and blocked up the broken catflap in the back door (all for a couple of beers and a takeaway).

Super DIY Dad

And this weekend we were finally able to move in. It was a baptism of fire for me, going from a small two bedroomed new build to a 400 year old four bedroomed cottage – this place is COLD. Well, not really, probably not for people who aren’t as sensitive as me, but colder than I’m used to. I’m starting to regret those purchases of 100% silk dresses and wish I bought hoodies instead.

Those scrubbed floors

The kitchen and family room are mostly unpacked. We have a seriously dark pink lounge that needs definite attention (I’m thinking grey on the advice of Aly), gothic black wall lights that need to go and a pantry that is crying out for storage and some organization but this will all happen in good time.

Our new kitchen

The family/play area and those wall lights

Err… help?

What’s left to do is a different matter, and can only be demonstrated by these hellish photos:

Elfie’s room, which is now looking slightly better

Underneath all this is our new spare room

The office

The utility room

We have five rooms that we need to decorate and I’m trying to resist the urge to slap expensive wallpaper on everything (love and love), apparently wonky walls and my expensive taste do not mix. So I’m back to drooling over Farrow & Ball colours when I should be unpacking, or working on the largest project of my Freelance career. And dealing with the lingering pregnancy exhaustion and all-day sickness. Zzzzz!

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  1. katie wrote:

    It’s probably not worth going expensive for the decor in a rental it is, especially stuff you can’t take with you like wallpaper! I’d say go light and neutral (I love our pale grey living room walls) and buys lots of art and textiles :) Happy settling in.

    Posted 10.25.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I agree, although fingers crossed we will be buying this place once our other house sells! Plus I don’t have it in me to move for at least six years ;)

      I’m definitely leaning towards the grey, although due to the aspect and darkness of the room I think it needs a ‘warm’ grey (if there is such a thing!)

      Posted 10.25.11 Reply
      • katie wrote:

        Ah, didn’t realise you might have the opp to buy this place – perfect! Go forth and nest then :)
        I think Farrow & Ball’s Strong White is a lovely warm very pale grey, could be perfect.

        Posted 10.26.11 Reply
  2. Bryony wrote:

    How exciting! What a gorgeous place, I’m sure it’ll look ship shape and cosy very soon! Also I concur on going grey in the lounge, can’t go wrong!

    Looking forward to a post on the finish product! x

    Posted 10.25.11 Reply
  3. Aly wrote:

    Just came on to say that I just realised you are expecting number two- fab news! I love having two and now that Tobias is more interested in Elijah, Elijah is more interested in him which is very cute.
    As for the grey. I have crown historic trade collection ‘palladium 13’ in three rooms and it is surprising how the light changes the warmth of it in every space. Good luck whatever you decide!

    Posted 10.25.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Thanks Aly – great baby names!

      Posted 10.31.11 Reply
  4. Toffeeapple wrote:

    Just take your time, don’t rush to do things, you are there for the long term so don’t panic. Your Dad is marvellous isn’t he?

    Posted 10.25.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      He is definitely a keeper!

      Posted 10.31.11 Reply
  5. Zoelee wrote:

    I’m trying not to go wallpaper mad here. There is so much good stuff out there.
    Good luck with it all.

    Posted 10.26.11 Reply
  6. Yay! Congratulations on the new home. I can see that in time it is going to be wonderful – just remember it doesn’t all need to be done now (and elephant’s breath is a lovely colour for a sitting room…!)

    Posted 10.26.11 Reply
  7. katyboo wrote:

    Just to add to your woes, have you thought of making your own wallpaper? Heavy duty lining paper and printing blocks? You could make that animal wall paper easy peasy. ish.

    Posted 10.27.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      That’s a lovely idea but I would get half way through and wander off to go and do something else (probably play on the internet) and then never go back to it. There’s a reason why I’m not crafty. At all.

      Posted 10.31.11 Reply
  8. What a gorgeous new home – I love it. Tiring but worth it I bet!

    As for the cold, get yourself a Slanket from Firebox and you’ll be toasty…I could live in mine during the winter.

    Happy new home! x

    Posted 10.27.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I’m definitely considering a slanket or all-in-one fleecy sleepsuit (not just for babies, apparently!)x

      Posted 10.31.11 Reply
  9. Kara wrote:

    The pink is hysterical. I adore grey on walls as a neutral (as opposed to khaki or tan). Congrats on your wonderful home.

    Posted 10.27.11 Reply
  10. honiebuk wrote:

    What a lovely house! We moved into a four bedroomed from 2 houses (unpacking was a nightmare).

    Although I do not have a lovely big, airy kitchen like that – I see foodie blogs in the near future being videos on that kitchen table (if not, why not!) I’m not jealous :o

    Posted 10.28.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Ahhh I would love to see myself as a novice Nigella ;) I’ve definitely reached a plateau with the unpacking and haven’t emptied a box for about five days now… need to get back on it!

      Posted 10.31.11 Reply
  11. LaRue wrote:

    Wow looks like a great cottage. I’m sure it will look amazing when there are less boxes! haha. I don’t know how you managed to do all this with a baby and a tiny bump too.

    Posted 11.1.11 Reply
  12. Helen wrote:

    I still cannot even express the level of envy I have for that kitchen. It makes my little terraced house kitchen look even smaller! I’m with you on the expensive wallpaper. I bought wallpaper for my living room and bedroom before I’d even completed on the house. It still isn’t hung. Luckily I too have a super DIY Dad who will be doing it for me very soon!

    Posted 11.2.11 Reply