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Cornwall

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Cornwall

 

 

On Saturday morning Anthony and I woke up after a mammoth lie in with bright sunshine filtering through the curtains. He turned to me, half asleep, and said ‘I wish we lived in Cornwall’. My sentiments exactly. It felt like the perfect morning for brisk beach walks and exploring forgotten parts of the coast. Exactly the right morning for a blustery walk up to Pendennis Castle followed by a cup of tea somewhere cosy.

Me and Anthony met in Falmouth where we both studied English, and whilst we knew how lucky we were at the time to be situated in such a beautiful part of the country, nothing really prepares you for moving away and facing the reality of living somewhere sort of…ordinary.

I love Manchester, don’t get me wrong. There are loads of things to do if you just go out and find them. The difference with Cornwall is that you step out of your front door and it’s THERE. RIGHT. IN. FRONT. OF. YOU.

The beaches, the woodland walks, the charming pastel coloured houses, the tiny, whimsical gift shops, the boats bobbing in the harbour. The sea is enchanting when the sun shines, majestic when it’s stormy, strangely comforting on a grey day and most importantly, free.

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There are lots of paid activities to do in Cornwall as well, but there are plenty of things to do that won’t cost you a penny.

Where we live at the moment is so far away from the seaside, and although the countryside is only a short drive away we never find ourselves getting out in it because it takes planning and map reading and effort. In Cornwall it was just there for the taking. I think that’s what I miss the most. Alone or in a group, every coastal walk was an adventure and it required no driving, or picnic packing (unless desired), or overall planning. I loved just heading out on a Sunday morning with no plan of where I’d end up and just wandering parallel to the sea until I got tired and walked back towards town.

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Whilst I don’t think a move back to Cornwall is possible in our immediate future, it is somewhere I’d most definitely like to live again. Whenever I spend time remembering Cornwall like this I always come away feeling so dissatisfied with where I am now, and what I’m doing. It makes me realise that although what I have now is good, it isn’t quite right. It isn’t enough. It isn’t the dream.

I don’t know if Cornwall is even my ultimate dream place to live, but it does tick a lot of boxes on my wish list. It is an easy region to access the outdoors from, that sounds silly, but what I mean is from wherever you set off, after a short while you will end up in the countryside. It also has lots of small towns and villages, and the sea, and excellent food. These are all attributes that I think are important when considering a place to live. Unfortunately, house prices, cost of living and employment are also things that I am forced to consider too, so it’s a no to Cornwall for now, at least.

Do you have a dream place that you want to live? What do you think is important when considering where to live and what sensible reasons are holding you back from moving there?

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Home: Our Kitchen Currently

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It seems that Anthony and I are destined to forever cope with the hell of cooking in absolutely tiny kitchens. The kitchen in our old flat was minuscule, we couldn’t even fit a rubbish bin in it and there was only enough counter space for a chopping board and a couple of appliances. In fact, when you opened some cupboard doors they knocked into other cupboard doors or the fridge meaning that some cupboards were basically inaccessible causing a lot of precious space to be wasted.

When we initially came to view this house the kitchen was still small but it seemed massive compared to the kitchen in the flat. There’s plenty of counter space, lots of cupboard space and the fridge lives in the hallway so that gives us extra room..but it’s still narrow and that causes problems. The biggest problem is appliances, or specifically, where to keep our appliances! I think that if you don’t have your blender/processor/steamer/pizza stone out and ready to go you are unlikely to use it, it just gets left gathering dust (and that strange sticky gunk which is peculiar to kitchens) at the back of a cupboard.

In the future I hope to get some baskets and shelves for under our counter which doesn’t have cupboards. This will create much needed storage space. I also want to hang some hooks on the wall so I can store utensils and pans. 

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I dream of having herbs growing in the kitchen window but this window does not seem to get any sunlight. Budding gardeners of the blogesphere…is there anything I can grown in this semi-dark, humid environment?

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Pictured above are my two favourite areas of the kitchen – the coffee station and the cocktail station! I want to upgrade my filter machine to something with a milk-frother so I can make unhealthily delicious lattes. I’d like to get hold of a vintage bar cart for the dining room to store all my ingredients and glasses on…I’ve been keeping an eye out but each time I find something I like it’s either out of my price range or at a time when I need to be sensible with my cash (I always need to be sensible with my cash, booorrrring).

That’s about it for the kitchen. I’m struggling for inspiration and excitement when it comes to this room to be honest, partly because it’s so tiny and partly because it’s always the messiest room in the house. That doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be a fun part of the house, I want it to look nice and be functional because I spend a lot of time in there. Any ideas? I’d love to hear them.

Home: Our Living Room (Currently)

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This is my favourite room in the house. It was pretty much as you see it when we moved in, we just added our own furniture and a few decorations.

The colour of the walls in this room are actually one of the main reasons I wanted to moved into the house. After living in a cream and brown flat this room seemed so bright and cosy. I love our settee. Our old flat was furnished so one of the draws of moving was that we’d be able to get our own furniture. The settee was the most important as the tiny Ikea ones at our flat had been so uncomfortable. Every time I sit down on this settee I thank the Lord and DFS for making it possible for us to watch a film without moaning about neck pain.

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I still want to change the curtains, possibly change the rug (although I think Anthony will put up a good fight to keep it), and change the cabinet that the TV is on for something a bit lighter. 

I want to create a gallery wall on the chimney breast. I love the framed otter and badger and the British flowers clock – so I think a theme of British wildlife would work perfectly.

The nesting tables are convenient but a little worse for wear. I’m building up the courage (and knowledge) to sand and paint them.

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I also want to update our scatter cushions. We have a couple of Habitat ones which are lovely and a couple of hand me downs, which although they are nice enough (and luckily match our colour scheme) have seen better days.

I think with a bit of attention and a small budget this room could be perfect.

Home: Our Bathroom (Currently)

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We are still a very, very long way off being in a position to decorate the house. You know what it’s like, when you have the time you don’t have the money and when you have the money you don’t have the time. Life is unfair.

I can still plan though, and hope and dream. I waste many an hour scrolling through Pinterest and adding to my Home board, dreaming of exactly how I’ll alter each room in the house. We’re renting so we won’t be able to change it massively, but I would like to put our own stamp on it as much as possible.

Whilst the house is relatively clean and tidy, I thought I’d take the opportunity to snap a few pictures and share what it currently looks like with you.

Here’s the bathroom. It’s really tricky to photograph because it is so pokey.

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It doesn’t help that the back of our house doesn’t seem to get much light (or not at any of the times I’ve checked, anyway) and the bathroom window is narrow. The kitchen has the same problem (it’s also at the back of the house), the window is high and the little light that that side of the house does get struggles to filter through. Oh well.

I really like the (tiny) nods to vintage style in this room. This teacup once had a candle in it and once it burnt out I just filled it with a tea light. The soap dish (opposite the teacup) was a charity shop find. I made the glittery toothbrush glass myself using a cheap supermarket tumbler and some glitter paint, I’m quite happy with how it turned out and will be glitter-izing more household items in the near future.

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These toilet roll covers were knitted by my great grandma. She gave them to my grandma and granddad and every time I visited their house I’d love looking at them. A couple of years ago my grandma was going to get rid of them but my dad told her he thought I’d want to keep them. Phew! He was right! I love them! Hilariously (or disgustingly), they make me want to buy expensive toilet paper. Their skirts look much better all padded out with luxury look roll. I always feel sad when I see the girls’ skirts looking sad and baggy because they’re hiding a roll of Tesco Value…

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 I want to keep the vintage feel moving forwards and change the art on the walls for something more in keeping with the very basic decorations I have already. I love how kitsch the loo roll ladies are so I’ll be keeping my eye out for bright and slightly over the top items. The frames on the walls right now were there when we moved in, they aren’t too bad but together with the beige walls they just wash the whole room out.

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My plan is to paint the walls a soft grey and have lots of colourful framed pictures to brighten the room.

I’m such an impatient person, I wish I could do it all now and just have the room exactly as I want it. The bathroom is my main priority because I like to have a long, relaxing bath almost every night (I listen to podcasts in there, so in a way I am multitasking rather than being lazy) and it will be even better when the room is looking lovely.

 

Home Sweet Home

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I’ll start by apologising for the terrible instagram photo. I agonised over the pros and cons of photo versus no photo, and a decent photo just wasn’t on the cards as my camera is currently out of action (not that it’s much better quality, grrr).

Anyway, its makes a point. A picture says a thousand words, weren’t you aware? And the words this one is saying are – we’ve just moved house and have got to that point were we have all the necessary furniture and we’ve unpacked everything (when I say we, I mean me by the way, I live with a lovely young man but an unpacker he is not) and now we just need to make it fun. And get more storage. 

What is it about houses in the Greater Manchester area and not having adequate storage space?!

Back to the FUN. I am desperate to make this house a beautiful, functional and exciting space. I had lofty intentions of doing this with our last home but in the end it just failed. There were a tonne of reasons for this – it was our first home together so there was a long getting-used-to-each-other period, then we were pretty economically challenged and when we finally became financially sound we were poor in time and motivation. Plus the bones of our flat were pretty gross. The bones of this house are different though. Different in a wonderful way.

This time it is most certainly different. This house is a home. I felt it the second I stepped through the glossy red front door and I feel it now as I type in our neutral-toned office-cum-dining room (even though there are remnants of cous cous and a vegetable tagine on the table). It may have something to do with it being an entire house rather than a flat, it might be because we’re situated further away from the hustle and bustle of it all, it could be because we have a garden. But I like to think it is because the house simply has a better attitude. And a bath. The bath is really excellent.

I feel compelled to do this house justice. To really pour my all into it and use my energy and creativity to make it special. Hell, I want people to pinterest my decor ideas (a bit too ambitious, I know).

We have a few ideas, mainly mine that I haven’t shared with Anthony who suggested a theme of ‘flamingos’ for our dining room that I actually think might work (thank you internet for allowing us access to cheap watercolours). I want to make our bedroom bright and unusual because I find that they are almost always overlooked and used as a dumping ground for mess (especially when we have guests), Basically, they are usually left bare and boring; our bedroom is pretty big and has loads of natural light so I’d like to really make a big deal of it. The living room is pretty set (light blue and water colours of british wildlife) but I’d like to expand the decorative elements. The kitchen is tiny and I could be persuaded to paint it a really bright colour (with adequate pinterest research, of course).

Sorry to bore your brains out with my out-loud-thinking.

I promise to get my camera up and running and unleash my interior decorator before your next visit.

 

Kirsty