I'm in Paris again at the moment, but when I return to the UK in mid-March there are some exciting changes taking place.
As some of you may know, since splitting with my long-term boyfriend in early 2009, I left the home we bought together - and lived in for eight years - and moved back to my mum's house. At the time, my brother was also living there too, so space was limited. I had to take the smallest bedroom, which is a decent size, but when you consider I've been using it to sleep and work in...well, you can imagine the problems this causes. Since July 2010, I've been dividing my time between the house in Suffolk and my (new) boyfriend's apartment in Paris.
I would love love LOVE a home of my own again, but that's not happening in the near future. I could probably afford a small place of my own in Suffolk - but do you know what? I don't really want to live on my own (especially as I already spend the majority of my time working on my own), and I also don't feel like using my 'nest egg' savings to help pay for it. It's expensive to live alone, even in a small place, and I'm only going to be there some of the time (but I'd have to pay the rent all of the time, obviously). It's also pretty costly travelling back and forth to Paris every few weeks, and at the moment I can't imagine paying for both things.
(The images below are interiors I've found via the internet over the past few days - I'll be using these as inspiration for my rooms.)
Image via www.furnnish.wordpress.com
Anyway, long story short - my brother has now moved out and into an apartment of his own - so his large room is now available again. It's a beautiful room with wooden floorboards, two windows, and sloping ceilings, and PLENTY OF SPACE! So mum and I have hatched a plan: I will now rent two rooms from her - Cris's large room, and the smaller room I'm currently occupying. The large room will become my bedroom and living space and the smaller will be my studio and workspace. You have no idea how much this will change my life at the moment. I can work on really large canvases again! I can have all of my possessions around me for the first time in three years! I can organise my life so that I'll be able to work more efficiently! I will finally have a place that I can truly call 'my studio'. There will be space for my easel, my art supplies, my packaging materials - heck, I'm even going to have a designated work table in there too! (This is particularly exciting because it means I will no longer have to work on the stones or smaller paintings on the kitchen table, fending off cats who like paintbrushes and jars of water every few minutes...)
The artist Cathy McMurray's home via the Etsy Blog.
Before you ask, "What's going on here - don't you and Leon want to live together?!" Let me tell you: Yes, we do. We are in a situation at the moment that doesn' t allow for that for several reasons, and it's part of our long-term plan of course, but not right now. So renting two rooms to live and work in whenever I'm in England - and keeping my costs as low as possible - is the ideal interim solution.
Image via Apartment Therapy.
Sooooo...you know what I'm loving about this scenario? THE CHANCE TO DECORATE! I haven't been able to get my hands on a paint roller for several years (I used to be a prolific decorator when I had a house) and I can't wait to get started again.
Image via www.homeklondike.com
Both rooms are going to be massively freshened-up and given a totally new look. Over the past week or so I've been thinking about what I want to do with them, and at the moment I'm in love with grey walls for both rooms. A lighter grey for the studio space and a darker, dramatic grey for the large room. There's plenty of white (both rooms have white ceilings and sloping walls), which will look great with the grey, and in the case of the larger room, it should mean that the dark grey I want to use won't be too overpowering.
Image via www.indecorat.com
I have most of the furniture I need (but I do have to buy a new mattress for my iron (double) bed - could be expensive) so I'm hoping I can renovate the two rooms without it becoming too spendy-spendy. I know how quickly things like lampshades, bed linen, throws, cushion covers etc. etc. can add up though, so I'm aware that this is likely to take a fair chunk of my hard-earned dough. I'm not going to stress about the cost too much - if I feel like splurging on a couple of items I will. After all, it's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to have a space that totally reflects my tastes and who I am. That kind of thing is important to me.
Image via www.ollieroseblog.com.au
I'm going to document the redecoration of the two rooms here on the blog, with 'before', 'during', and 'after' photos, because I know how people love that stuff. Ok, I know how I love that stuff, and judging by the amount of interior design blogs out there, I'm guessing I'm not alone. ;)
Image via www.forme-foryou.com
After finding so many inspiring images of grey walls (just Google 'grey walls' and you'll see what I mean) on the internet, I'm now ready to go! Now I just have to find the perfect shades for my rooms...