Happy New Year (I know it a little late for that!), but I’ve been working away behind the scenes all month on a blog redesign – I hope you like it!

I also wanted to share with you some of my favourite moments from January – a month when many suffer from the post-holiday blues, this year I chose to make it a time for me; a time to be quiet and reflect and enjoy our lovely new home and the beautiful countryside surrounding us. Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have already seen some of these pictures, but for those who don’t, they perfectly depict some of the month’s best moments.

January is often a time when we decide to make big changes; dramatically cut things from our diets, begin a new exercise regime, or cut out any bad habits. This year I decided to do nothing of the sort! Instead my sole aim was to be gentle and kind to myself – to slow down after the chaos of 2016 and renovating/moving into our house just in time for Christmas. We still have quite a way to go on the house and I will love sharing our progress with you along the way. So instead of any big resolutions, I decided to add a few nice, gentle activities into my daily routine that all focussed on slowing down and being kinder to myself. The bonus about choosing these nice/gently things is that they have been so joyful and easy to stick to, that they will remain with me for the rest of the year.

My daily yoga with Adriene (if you haven’t heard of her before then I highly recommend checking her out on YouTube) is a wonderful start to the morning, our longer daily walks with the dogs have been so beautiful- the scenery so stunning and serene, and meditating each evening has been a wonderful way to wind down and still the mind. I have been using meditations by Oprah & Deepak – they are brilliant and there’s a huge selection, so something for everyone.

I have loved spending more time with P and the dogs, walking through the stunning countryside that surrounds us here in Dorset. I have also really enjoyed settling into our new home and making little bits of progress each day; whether unpacking bits and bobs or having a brainwave about a fabric or piece of furniture, I am loving pottering and making it feel like home.

My final new discovery this month had been the delicious and wonderfully fragrant Rose Bud Tea by Jing Tea – a lovely indulgent treat in the afternoon, like a little bit of heaven in a cup.

What have been the highlights of your month?

LBM

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I want to wish all my lovely readers a really Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year – I really hope that 2017 is a lovely, calm and positive year for everyone. 

We are finally feeling a bit settled in the new house – it was a very stressful first month, with almost everything that could break/not work deciding to do so! These last few days have felt much calmer though and having the Christmas tree brings a smile to my face every time I walk into the room.

I want to finish the year with a lovely story and hopefully a good omen for our new home and the year ahead. 

Yesterday morning Patrick and I got back from some last minute food shopping in Poundbury and whilst unpacking into the fridge, we heard a noise coming from the Christmas Tree. I put it down to needles dropping and rustling on the way down, but after a few more minutes we heard a different sound. It sounded like a tweeting, but the bird decorations on the tree don’t speak, so we headed over to take a closer look (the dogs were super excited by the drama!) and found a little Robin flitting between the branches!

We have no idea how he could have got in – with recent stormy weather windows haven’t been open and the doors only briefly to go in and out, but there he was happily sitting on the tree. We would have loved for him to have stayed, but we opened a window and after a moment or two he flew out into the garden. 

It really made us smile and was lovely thing to happen at Christmas – a happy note to end the year on!

Happy Christmas and look forward to catching up with you all in 2017.

LBM

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We’ve been working super hard over the last few months to try and get the house in Dorset ready for us to move into in time for Christmas…these are pictures taken last week, which show that we are still  a little way away from completion, but we are positive about moving in at the end of this month and having it finished enough for a family Christmas! With a project of this scale there are always challenges, but so far we’ve actually been pretty lucky. No major horrors that we weren’t expecting, just a lot to do. 

Since I last shared pictures, a huge amount has changed. We have replaced the roof, ALL the windows and doors and re-plumbed and re-wired the whole house. We have also had to dig down throughout the ground floor in order to lay under floor heating pipes and then pour cement on top – six huge lorry loads! We now have a cosy, water-tight house with a lot of decoration to do before we move in in a few weeks’ time. 

For a lot of the rooms I designed the schemes a few months ago and it is now so lovely to watch them taking shape. The one space that I have found really tricky is the front hall. As you can see below I have tried a lot of different colours on the wall!

My initial instinct was to go for something fresh and blue, but when the samples went on they were too cold for the space. I then tried some warmer Farrow & Ball colours that I love and use often; Elephants Breath, Cornforth White, Purbeck Stone – they just appeared a little sludgy.

I am now trying green/grey and hope to make a final decision soon – La Seine by Zoffany is my current favourite – what do you think?! The reason it’s a very challenging space is because there are a lot of walls, all facing different directions and all getting different amounts of light, but hopefully I’ll get there soon!

I will share more updates with you in the next few weeks

LBM
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ps – Oh and the Aga is in! I am super excited about that!

{Images by Patrick Butler-Madden}

{Image via Houzz}

Apologies for being AWOL for the past few weeks – P and I went on a wonderful trip to see friends in New England, and of the course the beautiful Fall, but I have been posting regular updates on Instagram

We have now we have returned to slight mayhem as we are in the final stages of work on the Dorset project. We are due to move in one month today and my goodness there is still a LOT to do. I will share an update post with you next week, but in the meantime I wanted to write about a few exciting things in my world that I haven’t had time to share with you yet.

The first is that I have been asked to write for amazing design website Houzz – it’s been a huge hit in the US for a number of years now and the UK version, which was launched a few years ago, is going from strength to strength – the site has millions and millions users worldwide, so needless to say I am thrilled to have been asked to join them as a guest contributor for the next few months.

You can read my first two features here and here and I will update you each month when I publish a new one. I will be writing about interiors topics and offering advice, so if there is anything you would like to hear about then please do let me know.

I am also thrilled to have been featured in the latest issue of Very magazine:

Finally, I have a sparkly new website in the pipeline. The blog will stay the same, but I will have a new website for my interior design work that will sit alongside the blog. I hope to be able to share the finished version with you in a few weeks time!

So all of that along with the culmination of the Dorset project and an imminent house move, is keeping me very busy, but I hope to be back to blogging as normal now.

See you next week with a Dorset project update and I will endeavour to share our wonderful trip in New England with you soon too!

LBM
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Having project managed the build of a house in the Balearics a few years ago and spent four years living in the north of Mallorca, it is a place that I hold very dearly. I was lucky enough this summer to visit both Mallorca and Fomentera (post on the latter coming soon) and of course Ibiza very briefly en route to Fomentera! I dream of renovating a rustic house somewhere the Balearics, particularly today when the temperature has just dropped and it really feels like Winter is on it’s way…

Living in the Mallorca, winters were so sunny and bright and fresh. The temperature would usually be 21 degrees or more in the daytime and cooler at night, so you can still light a fire and dig out your cashmere socks. It was blissful and as we creep towards the UK winter I start to miss it more and more! So I’ve been flicking through fellow blogger Will Bright Bazaar’s latest book Dream Decor and absorbing all the lovely bright colours and mediterranean homes that he features inside. It’s the perfect tonic on a chilly Autumnal day!

Where would your dream renovation project be?

LBM
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Dream Decor: Styling A Cool, Creative And Comfortable Home, Wherever You Live by Will Taylor, photography by Andrew Boyd, is out now, published by Jacqui Small (£25). More information can be found here.

{Images by Andrew Boyd & Patrick Butler-Madden}