As much as we love our home, we love to travel, too. We like to seek out the unusual and we take inspiration from wherever we go. Following design blogs is not something which preoccupies us. We don’t want our home to follow the latest trends. That doesn’t mean we’re not influenced by what we see around us – we just know what we like, and if it’s not bang on trend, so what? It’s our home and we’ll do with it, what makes us smile.

Since starting this major renovation, we’ve become more creative, not only in what we do, but how we do things. We don’t have a bottomless pot of money – far from it. We still work full time – but luckily, as website designers, we can do this from the comfort of our home – and so we do need to be resourceful. Online trawling is one way we seek out new ideas, as well as recycling and upcycling what we already have.

Gone are the days when we’d throw something away, simply because it no longer suited. Becoming more conscious of waste and finances has made us think more creatively – and here, we’ll share what inspires us.

Latest Blogs…

the *unfinished* apartment : citta alta : bergamo

the *unfinished* apartment : citta alta : bergamo

Although we've largely finished the renovations of our stone house, I can always find something else that needs to be done. So, effectively, it always "unfinished". But not on the scale of these properties, which have been designed to be deliberately "unfinished"....

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string curtains…

string curtains…

Our bedrooms are not overlooked and so we don't necessarily need curtains at the windows. But sometimes, curtains - or a simple roller blind - can just finish off a window. We have installed white roller blinds in all of the window recesses, because even though we...

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winter teal

winter teal

The main bedroom in our house is large. Certainly bigger than any bedroom we've ever had before - and keeping it warm and cosy in the winter, is something I work on every year. It's great in the summer - light, spacious and airy. With the windows wide open and a...

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hallway reno

hallway reno

Not all renovation projects need to involve demolition and mess and heavy tools and living with dust and dirt. I like to think that's all kind of behind us - at least for now, but we never say never. These days, our renovation projects are quite small scale, very...

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nuvolette : cole & son

nuvolette : cole & son

In a previous post I wrote about our desire to eradicate the parts of internal walls which have not been plastered and are still the original Istrian stone. Some people would love the walls, but as the years have gone on, I have to say my love of exposed stone -...

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best purchase of the summer…

best purchase of the summer…

For quite a while now I've been longing for one of these chairs. But, the garden has never been quite finished, so the idea of swinging gently, whilst sipping a cocktail, seemed ridiculous. We had far too much else to do, to get the outside areas ship-shape, before I...

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six years on…

six years on…

Looking back over photos taken when we came out to view the house in Istria, and stay over as guests of the owners, has been a real experience. I can remember, obviously, what condition the house and garden was in - pretty awful, to be fair! - but as we live in the...

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les jardins de villa maroc : essaouira : morocco

les jardins de villa maroc : essaouira : morocco

It’s always great having friends in-the-know when you travel abroad, as they often give you top tips that you don’t find in guide-books or through internet searches. Because usually you don’t know about these places and so don’t search on them. One of these gems...

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lluna aqua hotel : sóller : mallorca

lluna aqua hotel : sóller : mallorca

When we last visited Mallorca, one of the hotels we booked was the Lluna Aqua Hotel in Sóller. Housed in a traditional Mallorcan townhouse, which we were told had been empty for over eighty years, the renovation had only recently been completed and the hotel only...

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a bit of bling…

a bit of bling…

In the olden days, when I wanted to up-cycle something, out would come the paint pots and brushes. Faffy and fiddly and usually waiting ages for the paint to dry. And because I am ridiculously impatient, I'd try and pick up or move whatever I had painted, too soon,...

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window shelving…

window shelving…

One of the things that we've always meant to tackle, but never got around to it, as there always seem to be other jobs which take priority, is the levelling of a number of our window sills. Some are level, but some, including one in the living room, are still in their...

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decoupage doors…

decoupage doors…

Decoupage or découpage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and other decorative elements. Commonly, an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts...

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grey & white, with a woodland vibe…

grey & white, with a woodland vibe…

We've never had so much space and shape to play with before, in any of the houses or flats we've lived in, and our stone house has proven itself to be a complete source of surprises. Each time we think we've finished somewhere, we see something else that could be...

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open plan visioning…

open plan visioning…

We've reached the stage in our renovation journey, where we've been thinking of the next stage. Our stone house is now renovated - or, at least renovated as far as we want to go. We could have a (modest) swimming pool built, but being realistic, we have weighed up how...

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the living room : update 2

the living room : update 2

The living room, when we bought our Istrian stone house, was dark and oppressive. Walls were plastered in places, painted in places and in other places, the stone work was exposed. Window frames and external shutters were a faded green colour. The pine floor boards...

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fantastic faux…

fantastic faux…

I love fresh flowers. For the third year running, we've seeded up a few areas of the garden with wild flowers, because we believe that one day soon, these seeds will become something more than spindly stems and limp hanging heads. I always think something like this...

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fifty shades of pink…

fifty shades of pink…

Pink has never been my colour. I think I've always associated the colour with being "girly" and so have largely avoided it. But, I've been wrong, Oh, so very wrong. And now I'm letting pink into my life. The image above, sort of sums up why. From the palest baby pink...

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