Moving house in the dead of winter isn’t really to be recommended. Dark days and freezing cold weather are already depressing enough, without the stressful move from everything that is familiar and cosy, to a brand new house. Even if you’re moving to the house of your dreams, it can take time to settle in and feel like it’s home. And we were moving to a gorgeous little place. A small four bed rental nestled in the countryside, with fields to the front and back, plenty of room to store my collection of furniture (they’re ‘family’, they need to be catered for!), a lovely large garden for the pets to ruin, a wood-burning stove (always had a strange hankering for one of these), and most importantly a fabulous pub 15 minutes’ walk away (essential when moving to the sticks). What could be more perfect?
So it came as a bit of a surprise that for a couple of months we didn’t feel so happy here. Our brains told us that our unfamiliar surroundings would become familiar, that the chaos of boxes and furniture would eventually become organised, that the dark, cold mornings and evenings that kept us indoors would turn to light-filled days of alfresco pottering. But our hearts took a while to catch up. It was like we were waiting for spring to come, with it’s promise of new life and new beginnings, for us to truly embrace our own new chapter in our lives.
It was during a dog walk a few weeks ago when I realised things had changed. It was an absolutely beautiful day, cold but with bright, bright sunshine. And as we went on our travels across the fields and down the lanes, and as I noticed the snowdrops and daffodils, and listened to the birdsong, I met some lovely walking companions along my way. I said hello to a couple of colourful Mallards and their loyal wives waddling next to them; to some pheasants disturbed into flight by the dogs. I waved and hollered (it’s ok, nobody was about) a greeting to a group of white ducks in a farmer’s garden, who were ambling about amongst chickens and geese, and even some peahens. I leant across a gate and said hi to three stunning horses, but they didn’t really like the look of Mabel and Tilly so sadly didn’t come over. And I even saw some gorgeous sheep that were big and black and looked like miniature ponies. I was in heaven.
(As an aside, my desire to say hello to every animal I come across can sometimes deeply embarrass my poor husband, especially if there are human witnesses)
I walked home feeling elated and happy, and wondering why on earth it had taken an animal lover like me so long to move to the country. And then, in a split second, my next thought was that I was walking…‘home’. This new little house, despite its magnolia walls (see last post) and its inability to heat up (old windows), was exactly where I wanted to be and where I now called home. It was a feeling I’d been waiting for. For only when I’m truly feeling at home can I begin to know how I want to decorate my space. And in decorating my space, it becomes even more like home. It’s a happy set of circumstances.
Of course, in my new country pad, and with a penchant for bringing the outdoors in, I will of course be decorating all country-styley, with furnishings inspired by the countryside around me. And as the clocks go forward, and with Easter fast approaching, I can think of no better way to celebrate than to share with you my favourite springtime fabrics and home accessories, so that you can bring the same sense of new beginnings to your interiors that we all feel blossoming outdoors.
I have already shown you a few items from my favourite springtime range, the Country Collection from Voyage Decoration. The range features fabrics printed with exquisite water colour paintings of farmyard and woodland animals, and are just so evocative of the countryside in spring, that they instantly make you feel all warm and happy inside. Larger scale paintings by the same talented in-house artists have been used to make these fabulous cushions below, which can be found at their sister company, Voyage Maison. I definitely need a Mr. Piggy cushion in my life very soon, how could I not?
If you fancy something a bit more funky, Voyage have also come up trumps with these patchwork and appliqué cushions, which are just so lively and fun. Great for kids and the young at heart.
And, finally from Voyage, they have teamed up with award winning artist Mary Ann Rogers to create beautiful home accessories, just one of which is this stunning footstool. The colour and detail is striking. (I’m going to ask the husband tonight if he would like to rest his feet on this when he’s watching telly; I might have to bribe him with a foot massage whilst said-feet are on the stool, but I’ll do whatever it takes to have this in my home!)
To follow, is a round-up of my other favourite springtime and Easter interior products.
I’m sure you’ll agree that all these products are gorgeous and covetable, but decorating doesn’t always have to put a dint in your pocket. The simple things in life are often the best, and nothing could be simpler then creating a lovely, fresh springtime feel in your home by picking some flowers and creatively arranging them around the place. Now, ‘creative arranging’ doesn’t come too easily to me, I tend to just plonk flowers in a vase, shuffle them about a bit and hope for the best. But it’s one of those things that I would dearly love to be able to do. I have chosen these images of pretty flower arrangements in egg shells in the hope of inspiring even the flower-arrangingly-challenged like myself to make some Easter table decorations, as they’re really quite simple. I’m figuring even I could blow the yolk out of some eggs, maybe spray them in gold, and pop some little sprays of flowers in. Granted, they wouldn’t look like the pictures, but I bet I’d feel quite satisfied.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed all the lovely countryside inspiration. Sadly, what pretty pictures and nice fabrics don’t show you is that, in springtime, the farmers start laying down manure on the fields. So you know those two fields I told you about earlier, the one at the front, and the one at the back? Well, last week they got sprayed with the smelliest of stuff. Being a townie, I didn’t have a clue what was going on, so I stopped working, accused the cat of not going in her litter tray, and spent the next half hour hunting for hidden protest-poos under chairs and curtains! It was only when I took Mabel and Tilly out on the fields that evening, and Mabel managed to happily cover her entire left side in ‘Chanel’, that I realised where the smell was coming from. I’m learning these country-ways folks, but wherever you are, be it a city or a town or at the seaside, I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the oncoming spring. x
© Carnival Of Colour 2020