Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

I can’t believe how fast time is flying this year – we are already through April and into May! It still feels to me like Christmas was only a few weeks ago, so I’m not sure quite how we’ve reached early summer so quickly! April was a lovely month for us. The weather in Dorset and in London was mainly beautiful, so there were lots of blue sky photos on my Instagram feed and we had lots of friends visiting at weekends.

It’s also the time of year the flower obsessions begin – Spring brings first the daffodils, then the blossom and magnolia and just as we’re all mourning the speed at which magnolia and blossom die away, the beautiful wisteria appears and official #wisteriahysteria can begin!

As those of you who read the blog regularly and follow me on Instagram know, I’m a little obsessed with flowers and nature, so this time of year I’m in my element. Every day there is something new to celebrate; P and I also had the beautiful bluebell woods just next to our house to appreciate on our daily dog walks, which was so enchanting and magical.

And now we are coming into early summer – we are off to Menorca this evening, somewhere I have been longing to visit for a long time. We are very familiar with the other Balearic islands (we lived in Pollensa in Mallorca for four years not that long ago),but I have never visited Menorca. I hear it’s more beautiful and rustic than the others, which is right up my street.

I can’t wait to share lots of moments from the sunshine there with you soon!

Laura x

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's April Moments

I am so excited to share the before pictures of a project very close to our hearts. P and I, along with our wonderful team, have been working for the past few months on this beautiful Victorian carriage house in the heart of the breathtaking Dorset countryside. It has been a hugely challenging, but we are really starting to make headway and see this historic building come to life again, which is both exciting and rewarding in equal measure. Prior to us taking it on, it had been divided up into three flats and lived in for a number of years without much updating taking place, so as you can see from the pictures, there was a lot to do!

Over coming weeks and months I will share updates on the work and I can’t wait to see the finished home, which we hope to be moving into in time for Christmas, if not a little earlier. Spending time in Dorset has been such a pleasure! One of the most beautiful counties in the UK, it’s where I was born and I actually grew up only fifteen minutes from this house. P and I were also both at school nearby, so it really does feel like coming home for both of us. 

LBM
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One of my favourite architects, Ben Pentreath, has just launched his first book, English Decoration, featuring a range of stunning houses around the UK, many that have never before been featured in print. One of the properties is Ben’s own country home near to me in West Dorset. 

The former parsonage, built in 1820 stands on raised ground overlooking the church and Bride Valley. Ben added the small, painted timber porch to the garden door, which I simply adore and spends a lot of his time there working on the stunning garden. The interiors are very traditional with a wonderful use of colour and texture throughout – very in fitting with the period of the property, creating a beautiful and homely space. 

If you also love his style, then the book is available now from Ben’s website and costs £30.
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{Images by Simon Bevan}

This week I’m thrilled to share with you this gorgeous home away from home in Dorset, courtesy of the fab Unique Homestays. The Pavilion in situated in the tranquil hamlet of Milborne Wick, the perfect spot to really get away from it all. The interior has been designed tastefully by Pasfield and Park Interiors, with a luxurious yet relaxed feel and the latest in audio visual entertainment. Experience a week in this charming village, giving you a real taste of Dorset Life from just over £1,000 for four guests. For more information or to book please visit the Unique Homestays website.

LBM
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Last weekend P and I had a sneaky break before his busy season begins…from mid-May until the end of October his weekends as well as week days are filled with work and I have to grab moments with him between meetings, shoots and the hours of editing that follows. Before all that kicks off we headed down to France with Coco in tow for a house swap {which was fantastic…more of that on a later post…} to explore the brocantes and indulge in too much local cheese and wine.

You might be wondering at what point Bridport comes into this…although we had a wonderful time in our French home away from home, the brocantes and bric a brac we found left us longing for Bridport and the weekly antique market on South Street and the wonderful St Michaels Trading Estate; a permanent warehouse full of amazing delights, a haven for those like me who love to browse and bag a bargain. The things we’ve found on our trip to France were a little dull and very overpriced, making us really appreciate how wonderful and unique Bridport is. I’m sure there are lots of brocantes with some wonderful bargains but sadly for us on this trip, we didn’t discover them.To celebrate Bridport here are some lovely pictures of the town…have a great weekend and if you’re in the area I would highly recommend the market tomorrow!

LBM
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