Distraction number 1

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You may remember a post I wrote a few months back now about how I tried to not worry about my pregnancy by deliberately creating other things to do or organize in my life in order to stay busy.  One of these was an extension and house renovation project.

Extension and house renovation

This two storey extension project began back in April and comprised of two new bathrooms, a new kitchen, full house rewire and new central heating with new radiators.  Getting rid of a very narrow galley kitchen and extending the back of the house to create open plan living with a large kitchen dining space.  We would also get a new bedroom upstairs so we’d have more room for visiting family and friends to stay with us.

Sacrifice

Our old boiler was ripped out in April so we lived in our house for 4 months with no heating or hot water and for the most part had no rear wall either just chipboard.  Thankfully we still had an old electric shower so that was the sole source of our hot water other than from a kettle.  A temporary kitchen was set up in our lounge and dining room. We had our oven, washing machine and dryer and sink all in the one room with all our downstairs furniture.  Our fridge freezer had to be moved into the hallway next to the front door.  It was a combination of camping and being in an episode of Steptoe and Son. 

Other things to worry about

Thankfully it did work in taking my mind off worrying about the baby for a lot of the time as instead I worried about the mess and chaos. I concerned myself with ordering the relevant materials needed in time and designing the kitchens and bathrooms.  We also boxed and bagged our belongings so they could be stored in the loft as the rewire and new radiators meant all of the floorboards being ripped up.  Then was the day-to-day dealing with the dust, mess and noise from builders.

Just relax

I remember the midwives and specialists telling me I should try to have lie ins and naps to help with fatigue caused by my pregnancy and the hole in my heart (see this earlier blog post for more details on this).  I just laughed when they suggested it, explaining the builders arrived at 7am everyday and you try sleeping at lunchtime when there is hammering, drilling etc.

Building work later than due date

Unfortunately our building work also ran over schedule and our baby Aurora arrived ahead of time by a few weeks. So it did mean we had to get alternative accommodation when we first came out of hospital.  Thanks to an AirBNB stay and then some amazing next-door neighbour’s, who leant us their house while they were on holiday, the baby avoided most of the noise and dust.

Now the hard work begins

So now we are slowly decorating, unpacking and sorting out our new-finished house bit by bit. It isn’t easy with a newborn baby but we are so happy with our new kitchen space. We can fit more than one person in there at once, and the bathrooms are exactly what we wanted. Despite the craziness and my doubts half way in we’re pleased we went ahead with it in the end.

Kitchen

So far we have almost finished the kitchen space.  We went for a navy blue kitchen with copper accessories and a white mistral worktop, which is a solid acrylic that can emulate marble. It is stain proof so much more durable, with a baby and a clumsy mummy we felt that was essential. The pendant lights were from Wayfair.

The stools I adore and they are from Cox and Cox.  Whatever you do though if your health visitor says they love them and want to know where you got them from, don’t tell them to just google Cox.  That caused a lot of laughs when the hubby overheard!

New lounge area

The seating area of our new downstairs extension will eventually have a new sofa. But for the meantime with the budget blown we have created a little lounge space with Ikea Poang chairs, stools and rocking chair.  Added into this is a gorgeous rug from Dunelm, a sheepskin rug for cosiness, an original Moroccan silver lamp purchased in Marrakesh in January and some silk cushions that I’ve had for about 20 years.  The best buy is probably the faux fur stool I purchased today from Aldi for only £14.95 but looks more expensive don’t you think?

Eclectic

I love being quite eclectic with my décor so there’s a real mix of new buys from the high street, old vintage things like the silk cushions I have had for years and hand me downs. The lovely chunky wooden coffee tables were from my mum.  I like to get the odd piece from our travels hence the lamp from Morocco we saw in January. I also got bright coloured fabric from there that I will swap into that room for the summer, when we can then open both sets of bi-fold doors across the back of the house.

Have you bought any lovely things for your home from your travels?  And if so please share your finds as I’d love to see them?

This project has really helped to take my mind off things and it continues to be a passion of mine, although I’m miss impatient so want to finish it all at once when it will be a long term project over the next few years as we have an entire house to decorate and dress.

Please share some of your favourite home photos.

Speak soon, love

Sarah x

Always Violet Skies

P.s. please ignore the state of our garden we will look at that next year! lol

You might enjoy these other blog posts –

Design inspiration in Morocco


Somewhere after the rainbow – what happens if you lose your rainbow?

Mothering after loss

Design Inspiration – Modern Morocco

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This is the first of hopefully many design inspiration blog posts I plan to write, as for those that don’t know me I adore architecture and interior design. I take a lot of photos of it especially when we travel.

My inspiration

We are also about to begin a home extension and remodel so I’m collecting lots of lovely design ideas to give me inspiration about what we’d like for our new home.

When we visited Morocco last month I took about a thousand photos of architecture and interior design, both modern contemporary and ancient traditional, so this is my first post where I look at modern eclectic Moroccan design.

Salut Maroc hotel

I was honoured to be given a guided tour of one of the newest and chicest boutique hotels in Morocco; the fabulous Salut Maroc in Essaouira.

Each of the 11 bedrooms are individual and have been personally designed by the owner, who also designed all the fabrics especially for the hotel, having them handmade in Morocco. Anyway I will let the photos speak for themselves…

Patterns aren’t scary

Don’t be scared of patterns & colours even if you think they may clash.  Love the overall effects here.

Feature walls

Why not embrace a feature wall and create a beautiful mural as artwork?

Bathroom inspiration

Bathroom inspiration why stick to cream and white – cheer things up go for vibrant blues, yellows and embrace patterned tiles!

Vibrant lounge and dining spaces

Even lounge, dining and entrance spaces can be cheerfully designed fusing modern and classical design touches with colour and pattern.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen the Mona Lisa in such an eclectic setting!

Garden or patio inspiration

I’m someone who is guilty of sticking to neutral colours or black and white when it comes to interiors but I think a pop of colour from a nice rug, cushions or even a burst of wallpaper on one wall could help to lift the dreariest of UK winter days!

Get the look on the UK high street

To get this type of look from the UK high street check out

Next and their Brighton or Studio by Next range 

John Lewis fusion range for furniture & cushions

For tiles check out Tile Giant’s Moroccan Bizarre range  or Geometric range

There are lots of others out there on the high street and smaller homewares stores that are embracing the Moroccan influence for this coming summer season.  Feel free to share any finds or your own photos with me.

My next design inspiration post will look at traditional Moroccan design.

Love, Sarah xx