• Sue Chalmers

SAFE, HAPPY AND GROUNDED - WHO AM I?

Hi everybody and welcome to my latest blog, in this post I thought I would give you a little insight into who I am and why I feel it is so important to feel happy, safe and grounded in your home.


ME AND THE QUALITY CONTROL MANAGER

As many of you know I moved into my barn in July this year and I absolutely love it here, as soon as I drive up the little road to my gate it feels like home, I can feel all my anxieties and fears disappearing and it doesn’t matter what the weather or what the day has held I know that once I am through that gate nobody can disturb my peace unless I want them to. I don’t care that the boiler is noisy and probably needs replacing, I don’t care that the showers trickle out and that my shower is so small you have to strategically place the shampoo and shower cream. I don’t care that something is leaking from the water cylinder in the small toilet and that it is leaving a mark on the wall. All these things I can take care of and work through and being a Home Stylist I know that they will look amazing when I have worked my magic on them, but what is most important to me is the feeling I have living in this house, it feels like home – a warm, cosy, safe and grounded place where I can kick off my shoes and chill.


BARN AS SEEN FROM DRIVE

This is because over the last 3 months I have put my mark on it with the furniture, soft furnishings, pictures and I have made this house into a home for me, my son, the dogs and chicken. Two of the biggest compliments I have had recently was from somebody who couldn’t believe I had only lived here 3 months and from a neighbour who was astounded how different the barn looked and she is now looking at my current collections for her barn.


Previous to this I lived in a four bedroom house in a small village near Brackley, this house had the real wow factor but the previous owners had styled it very modern, impersonal, industrial and cold it definitely didn’t feel like home when I moved in in October 2015.


PREVIOUS HOUSE JUST OUTSIDE BRACKLEY

By Jauary 2016 I had ripped out the modern fire and replaced with a woodburning stove and slate tiles, the downstairs carpets had been replaced with wooden floors. One wall which previously had had a very funky wallpaper was now covered in what resembled wood planks and the cinema room had now become a very cosy and warm tv room. I had been able to turn a house that had been on the market for well over 18 months when I bought it into a lovely, happy, cosy home which I sold within 48 hours of putting it on the market. There was so much more I could have done to that house but the barn came on the market and I fell in love with it straight away.


WOODBURNING STOVE WITH SLATE TILE CHIMNEY

NEW WOOD FLOORS AND FEELING WARM AND COSY

From the outside the house above looked just like any other 1970s conversion and if I’m honest had very little character from the front but that soon changed when you walked into the hall and I honestly believe you can turn any house into the home you want with the right help from the right person.


I have been able to do this with all my previous homes, 1 of which was nearly inhabitable when I moved in, I wouldn’t have washed the dog in the bathroom and couldn’t wait to rip it out, the finished pic is below. The kitchen cabinets were also extremely bad but instead of rushing to replace the kitchen I actually painted all the cupboards and it totally transformed the feel of the room.


THIS BATHROOM WAS INHABITABLE WHEN I MOVED IN.


THIS KITCHEN WAS REPAINTED AND THE GRANITE ADDED TO THE ISLAND

Again my aim with all these houses has been to make them feel like somewhere the family can just relax, feel safe and be themselves, whatever stage of their lives they are at.


To achieve these results doesn't have to cost a fortune, the kitchen was painted by me and took 1/2 a large tin of Autentico chalk paint, this picture has been used over and over by the lady who supplied the paint as an example of what you can achieve. At the moment I am in the middle of replacing most of the light fittings in the barn which I have sourced from Dunelm Mill at a total cost of £22 per light fitting, I love them and they have transformed the feel of the bedrooms.


NEW LIGHTS IN MY BEDROOM

These are just some examples of what I have done over the last 20 or so years, so what can I do for you? The answer is I can give you the home you deserve to come home to everyday after a long day at work, a home where everybody in the household can kick back and chill. I am not looking to create a show home I am very much of the mindset that a home is for living in and needs to accommodate the lifestyle of everybody who lives there, including the animals. If you are interested in having an informal chat over a cup of coffee to discuss how I may be able to help you then give me a shout at sue@willowandhen.co.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.

SUE AND THE GANG X

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