Sunshine, snowdrops, socialising with good friends (and laughing until you cry!)…what a great weekend. I think it’s true that the best things in life are free and, when it comes to turning a house into a home, some of the most effective ideas are the simplest. I love the way these old family photographs have been displayed in this row of antique glass bottles – very personal and eye-catching. Can’t wait to recreate this idea. 🙂
‘I’m perpetually intrigued by other people’s homes and here at Coast we’re lucky enough to be invited to see some wonderful properties. In this issue we talk to the mastermind behind a stunning new two-storey modern ‘upside down’ home in Sussex.’ Emma Dublin, Coast editor.
Ohhhh…Emma is talking about one of my house finds…definitely one of the coolest homes I’ve ever written about. Can’t wait to see this feature in print in the March issue!
Just heard on the property grapevine that this cutting-edge home, owned by architect Neil Barker and his wife Louise, has gone on the market.
Shiloh, valued at £795,000, is currently for sale with Gascoigne-Pees.
This light-filled detached house was first featured in the self-build magazine Build It. During our interview the tenacious couple revealed how they fought fierce local objection to create this unique home in Inlands Road, Nutbourne, West Sussex.
While we chatted, it came to light that, apart from having designed and built their own house, the plucky pair educate their seven children at home – a pretty impressive achievement by anyone’s standards.
With this in mind, I reckoned their inspirational tale would be ideal for The Independent and, indeed, the newspaper snapped it up.
During the subsequent interview, Neil, who runs AV Ltd, revealed that another project was in the pipeline.
At the time he told me:
“We are keen to use what we have learnt during this process to drive a future project; one that takes another step towards self-sufficiency. We want to take sustainability to another level by considering lifestyle, growing more of our own food and investing even more quality time in our seven children.
“We’re a couple and more importantly a family, who thrive on challenges. We are actively seeking our next project and excited by the potential of pushing the boundaries once again in the not-so-distant future!”
Looks like that time has arrived and I wish the Barkers the very best of luck in finding a buyer.
To read the full home education feature on my website, click here.
With a name like McMeekin, on a day like today, it would be rude not to flag up Burns’ Night.
Seemingly, my ancestors originally hailed from somewhere in bonnie Scotland (I’m not sure where though). The story goes that three of the more adventurous McMeekin brothers from the clan took the brave step of sailing across the Irish Sea to settle in Northern Ireland.
I only discovered this little piece of genealogy after moving to England back in the 1980s. After landing a job at the Oxford Mail and Times newspapers, I bumped into a lovely girl by the name of Genevieve McMeekin, who I’m still in contact with. Her father had researched the family history and revealed that we were indeed distant relatives!
Anyway, enough of my ramblings…more importantly, I’d like to introduce you to Causeway Coast Lifestyle and, in particular, their Giant’s Causeway Tartan Collection – a range of pure wool throws, picnic rugs, mugs and ties, all with a distinctly tartan feel. Check out www.causewaycoastlifestyle.com
I first met Caroline Robb (who runs CCL) during a shoot for Coast magazine at her fabulous contemporary home on the Antrim Coast.
Since its launch, Caroline has brought together a wonderful collection of stylish giftware and contemporary home accessories, created for and inspired by coastal living.
I love the Antrim Coast with its spectacular scenery and abundance of tourist attractions, including the new Visitors’ Centre at the world-famous Giant’s Causeway.
One day I aim to visit Staffa – the Scottish island with basalt columns mirroring those of its counterpart in Northern Ireland. Who knows, while I’m over in Scotland, I may even do a little family history research myself and see if I can track down a few more of those McMeekins. 🙂
Pictured below is my little lad Jonathan at the Giant’s Causeway. He’s grown a bit since that photograph was taken…must be time for another visit there too.
Calling all green-fingered folk. I’ve just been approached by a magazine looking for interesting gardens for makeover features.
If you have transformed your own garden from a dull space into something a little (or a lot!) more eye-catching, or if you know of anyone who has, then please get in touch at email@example.com
The only catch is that the magazine will definitely need a before shot to show the transformation from dire to gorgeous.
This suitably dreadful before shot appeared in a previous feature that was published a while ago. Thankfully, I can confirm that the after photographs were MUCH better and that the owner was absolutely thrilled with her garden makeover, courtesy of the lovely Matt Bodimeade of Terra Creative Landscape and Construction. For more information about Terra Creative view www.terra-creative.com
If love is in the air in your home then this could be the ideal gift for that special person in your life this Valentine’s Day.
The heart-smothered cushion has been made by Sharon Port – a lady who’s not just handy with the needle but one who can also turn her hand to making platters, bowls, pendants, vases, bowls and even the occasional sculpture!
I reckon this appliqued cushion, from Sharon Port Originals, is a much more thoughtful gift than the token box of chocs or bouquet of flowers. It costs £35 plus p+p.
For more details and other examples of Sharon’s work, visit www.sharonportoriginals.co.uk or visit her Facebook page.
PS Thanks for the Like, Sharon! 🙂
This was a fantastic property to write about – an amazingly creative project that recently found its way onto the pages of Real Homes magazine.
The innovative owner had the vision to transform an unsightly disused toilet block public in Witney into a very stylish contemporary home that now oozes personality and charm.
Something about this home really clicked with me. I loved the owners’ passion for the project and their attention to detail. Instead of a crumbling building, this is now a warm and welcoming home.
Definitely one of my most memorable winter shoots!
Photograph John Lawrence
Owner Kristina Furniss is a lovely lady and a talented artist with a great eye for colour and interior design.
The spacious barn is jam-packed with her artwork, from the striking painting that overlooks the dining table, to her sculptures dotted around in various rooms.
This talented artist was extremely keen to have both her unique home and work showcased in a magazine article, and the feature in the February 2013 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes does exactly this. The piece includes a mention of Kristina’s website which is www.kristinafurniss.com.
It was a pleasure working with Kristina and I’m delighted that she’s just dropped me a line to let me know how thrilled she is with the five-page feature. Seemingly, it’s actually turned out to be even more beneficial than she first anticipated since she has recently decided to sell this gorgeous barn. The property will soon be going on the market with Henry Adams estate agents.
So, if you’ve read the feature on pages 75-79 of 25 Beautiful Homes and like what you see, this is your golden opportunity to beat the rush and line up a viewing.
Photograph Carl Pendle
Really pleased with the coverage given to my house finds in the current (Feb 2013) issue of 25 Beautiful Homes. I’ve never had three interiors features in one magazine before – definitely a first for the new year!
The trio of properties include a delightful family home created from a converted pub, a barn that’s been given a very stylish facelift and a four-storey Georgian terrace bursting with personality.
Although the houses are all very different they are good examples of why interiors features are such a terrific showcase for stylish homes. Over the next little while, I’ll be flagging up each of these wonderful homes on my blog and Facebook page.
However, if you’d like to read the full features, then the February issue is out now and, I have to say, I do like the rather cheery front cover.