I have been stalking Amy's Instagram for a long time. The pictures she posts are so well curated and perfectly shot. This is no surprise as she is a stylist, blogger and runs her own homeware shop. I haven't a clue where she found the time to partake in Knock Knock. But it was an absolute delight to get behind the Instagram screen and hear for myself what has gone into making her home so beautiful. Huge thank you to Amy, and I hope you enjoy it too!
When we bought our flat, it had previously been rented out and had been left completely unloved since the nineties, with too many of its original Victorian features ripped out or covered up. It had been months since the last occupants left with all their furniture, but it wasn’t quite a bargain fixer-upper either. You could just see that no one had really cared about it for a long time. No one had thought about making it a home by picking out paint colours or hanging nice curtains. The beautiful original floors and fireplaces had all been covered up, and it just felt a bit soulless, like a house built in the 90s inside a Victorian shell.
As soon as I stepped into the flat, It reminded me of every other flat we had lived in before, decorated by a landlord for an unknown tenant. However, that was cathartic for us in some ways as we had always wanted to change our previous homes but were unable to.
The bonus to it not being a complete fixer-upper was that we could live in it while we worked on it, tackling it room by room. The downside was that there was no real need to upheave our lives for bigger projects, so often, they sat on the back burner for a little longer than planned.
In the five years that we have lived here, we have gradually changed this home; we’ve done big projects, like putting in a new bathroom ourselves, with the help of my very handy dad. We’ve exposed and restored the original floors, brought fireplaces back in, spent days removing layers and layers of bumpy paint on all the woodwork so the new layers could go on smoothly. Our next and last big project is the kitchen.
When we moved in, we painted everything white as each room had a feature wall painted in an absurd colour. Over time we slowly decided which colour each room should be to reflect how we used it and wanted it to feel. Once the new paint was on the walls, our home began to fill out. We finally started to hang our art; Tino went to art school and has swapped art with lots of friends over the years, and my mum and grandpa are artists too, so we luckily have a lot of lovely pieces hanging on our walls, not to mention all the bits of TAT I can’t help collecting. Piles of books started popping up everywhere. Every chair has patterned fabric draped over the back of the arm. I like to live with a print for a while before I commit to making something with it and I like to rotate the ones on view depending on my mood or the season. Many of them have become lampshades, tablecloths or cushions. Most of our furniture is old, either given to us years ago by family or something I have excitedly found at the back of a charity shop. Eventually, this home began to feel like ours, although it is in constant motion and always feels like a work in progress.
Around three years ago our priorities for this home changed when we started looking into going through IVF. My want and need to create a comforting, calm space took over all our plans and to this day that is our main priority. Almost like I began nesting for the two of us, knowing there would be times when we would need a safe space to physically heal from procedures and knowing there would undoubtedly be times when we would be filled with sorrow and would need a calm, comforting space to process it all.
Most of my time in this home is spent working or making. Sometimes the line between the two is blurry as one tends to feed into the other. Over the time we have lived here, it has become what I always needed it to be: a backdrop to my business and my main source of inspiration. All the little projects I do for this home end up inspiring the items I make and collect for the shop and my blog Stories From Home. They help inspire my fabric choices, patterns and colours for upcoming seasons. There is nothing in my shop I wouldn’t want to keep in my own home.
I like to think we’ve connected this home back to its soul, that you can feel the age of it when you walk over the floorboards that feel warm underfoot. I often think about all the people who crafted this home and the ones who lived here before, what their lives would have been like, and what they would think to see it how it is now. Our time with this home will be short as once we have finished our kitchen renovation later this year, we hope to move to the countryside, but I like to think that some of the changes we have made will stay around a little longer.
Sorry, probably an overload of photos but I thought they were all charming and I hope you agree. Huge thank you to Amy!