Rock n Renovation: The Plans

Thank you for all your enthusiasm about this new series! My Instagram especially has BLOWN up ever since I started posting about the house and I don’t think I’ve ever had as many messages as I did when I asked if I should start blogging about the renovation.

Today I thought I’d talk you through our overall plans for the house.  Obviously there’s about a billion decor things I want to do (rainbow front door, pink sofa, fabulous wallpaper), but this post is about the more major plans. Build in 1906, it’s pretty damn old, and our survey brought up quite a few things that needed fixing immediately. Namely the joists on the ground floor that all need replacing (most of them are quite rotten) and the sagging lintel above the bay window in the snug which is making it look like it’s about to detach from the house. There are two slightly terrifying cracks next to it, one on either side. FUN!

We’ve already rewired downstairs, and the electrician who came to install the new consumer unit and smoke detectors said our upstairs wiring is actually really good. We’ll still replace it as it is old but its good to know that it’s not urgent.

We’ve also had some drain problems since we moved in. A few weeks ago there was a massive storm and the garage flooded, ARGH! Luckily we didn’t lose anything important, but its just another big job that Gareth now needs to figure out!

The ground floor


Apart from the things I’ve mentioned above our main plans for the ground floor are:

Knock a door (or maybe the entire wall) through from the dining room to the kitchen.

I really want to replace the window in the dining room with patio doors, but Gareth isn’t convinced because…

 Eventually we want to get rid of the lean to and extend out the back and create a huge kitchen/ diner. As you can see the kitchen is pretty small for the size of the house which isn’t ideal. We are planning to rip out and redo the current kitchen (on the cheap) as soon as because it’s incredibly ugly and badly laid out. In all honestly, I don’t think we’ll be able to afford any major building work for a good few years but there’s no way I can live with the kitchen as it is for longer then a few months (fingers crossed!)

Continue reading

1960s Working Man’s Club Meets a 1920s Speakeasy

The theme for Katie and Jimmy’s informal winter wedding was a mixture of a 1960s working man’s club with a 1920s speakeasy. They were married at Hackney Town Hall and hosted their reception at Earl Haig Hall, an old British Legion social club in Crouch End.

“We did it our way”, began the bride. “We met in the pub beforehand, we didn’t walk down the aisle and we had no music or readings at the ceremony. The ceremony was just for immediate family and close friends. There were just 20 of us there. At the reception there was no sit down dinner or table plan, we also had no posh cars and no bouquets. It was just informal and fun.”

The bride’s dress came from eBay and cost her £25! “It was purchased on a whim two weeks after getting engaged”, she said. “Wedding dress shopping wasn’t for me. I’m not very confident so found the whole process very stressful and I didn’t feel great in anything I tried. But I loved my eBay dress and was so pleased with it. I made my veil myself with materials that cost less than a fiver. I also bought some amazing leopard print shoes from Topshop.”

Continue reading

Why Every Bride Should do a Boudoir Shoot

Boudoir shoots are nothing new. Hell, I had one when I was engaged in 2007 (and no I’m not going to show you them!) While lots of brides might consider doing them, I’d have to hasten a guess that a lot of you reading this might have dismissed the idea as something silly, vein and super embarrassing. While in 2007 the main marketing push for boudoir photos was an “a gift for your man” (vom) ten years later and I’d still like to encourage you to consider doing one, but as a gift for YOURSELF.

A boudoir shoot is a great way to celebrate what a gorgeous bad ass you are and to create some amazing photographs to reflect that. It’s often easy to get swept up with work, life and current insecurities and not celebrate who we are. It’s a cliche, but when you’re much older I guarantee you’ll look back at photos of yourself now and think “Wow what a babe I was back then!” This is your chance to take some photos for you, but also for future you!

I was submitted this gorgeous set of images by Italian wedding photographer Ludovica Lanzafami recently, and I thought as well as sharing them, I’d use this post to share some things to think about if you’re considering your own boudoir shoot.

Choose the right photographer

This is obviously really important. You want to find a photographer you feel happy with, who will make you feel comfortable. You also want someone who’s on the same wavelength, who understands the style of imagery you want to produce.

Meet them in advance

If possible, I think its always a good idea to meet any photographer before you hire them (whatever the shoot) but especially if you’re doing a boudoir session. It doesn’t matter if the shoot is going to be tame or risque, you’re going to be in a potentially vulnerable situation so you need to be sure you feel good about who you’re hiring.

Continue reading

Modern & Minimal Wedding with Pops of Orange & a Jumpsuit Wearing Bride!

Célie and Jonathan’s French wedding is so damn stylish I don’t even know where to begin! The were hitched in Strasbourg at the city hall, followed by a reception at Le Villa Mathis.

“We were inspired by industrial style and the idea that we wanted to keep it simple”, began the bride. “I also loved looking at Pinterest and Solange Knowles’ wedding really inspired my outfit!”

The bride’s jumpsuit came from ASOS and she wore it with orange shoes to match their modern colour scheme. All the reception decor was homemade. “All the industrial details that we handmade by ourselves. The fact that I wore a jumpsuit was pretty unique. Also, we got dressed and prepared in front of each other and did everything together. It was also really special that we were able to have our son with us. We got married after eight years together and, above all, we wanted to celebrate our love story.”

Continue reading

Modern Community Art Wedding in Savannah

Artists Stephanie and Nick wanted a modern wedding that was influenced by their love of art and the community. The couple live in New York, but were marred in Savannah. They hired wedding planners Ivory & Beau to make sure the day went off without a hitch.

“Having wedding planners was a pretty crucial expense for us as we were planning a Savannah wedding from NYC and have really crazy schedules ourselves being freelance artists”, Stephanie began. “They helped keep us on schedule and roughly close to our budget ha! Plus they let us be creative and didn’t shoehorn us into a wedding style we didn’t want which can be difficult in the wedding industry where every vendor tries to push you into what THEY think you want.”

The day was held at Eden Village Church in Savannah, GA. They loved that it was a church, but not a traditional wedding venue. “The church building is actually in an old motor factory. I believe we were only the 3rd wedding to ever take place there. Also a good friend of ours built the wooden altar at the church, which was very special for us as well.”

The bride designed her own dress with help from her friend, Kourtney Wilson. She wanted to feel like herself and that meant nothing too girly. “I always knew I wanted to design my own dress but the possibilities were endless. As an androgynous girl wedding dresses have never felt like my style, so we decided to bring menswear elements into the dress. A high collar and my favourite part, suspenders in the back, all with a super form fitted bodice. If you’ve got it flaunt it, especially on your wedding day. I also made my own headpiece.”

Continue reading

Your Size Has Nothing to do with How Happy You’ll be on Your Wedding Day

Many brides-to-be spend months obsessing about losing weight for their weddings. But size 24 fashion blogger, Callie Thorpe, has an inspirational message for us all.

On the 6th of August last year I married my boy. We shared our day with 45 close friends and family in a London warehouse venue. The sun shone bright, we ate ice cream sandwiches for dessert and danced the night away. My dress was a champagne, lace, trumpet gown from Oleg Cassini and (at size 24) I felt more beautiful than ever.

Our wedding ended up going viral, from one important statement I made about my decision to not lose weight for my wedding. The likes of Cosmopolitan, Instyle, Marie Claire and many others featured my story and today I want to share it with you.

The reality is I am a rarity, the wedding industry doesn’t often cater for women that look like me, women with lumps and bumps and thighs that touch. The women on the front of bridal magazines are visions of perfection, perfectly slender, skin so flawless, hair so soft. When you are a plus size bride the idea is that you don’t stay plus size for long because rule number one when planning a wedding: Lose weight.

It’s just the thing you do, almost like a rite of passage, you have one day to look your absolute best and weight loss is deemed the way to get that. You only have to click on Pinterest to see the many wedding diet plans plastered all over the page. ‘Become the woman you want to be for your wedding’ ‘How to lose 14 stone in day’ (well maybe not quite that much but you get my drift).

But what if you are the woman you want to be? What if you and your significant other love you for exactly who you already are?

Early on into planning I began to search for my dream dress, I had no idea what style I wanted so I looked online and called a few boutiques in London to try and find somewhere to try on some dresses. Whilst most were lovely, many told me that they just didn’t stock samples in my size. The only way to try on a dress would be to pin it to me meaning I would simply have to imagine how a dress would look on me instead of seeing it for myself. My heart broke a little, my wedding dreams were crushed, I wanted to experience the trying on of dresses, I wanted to see what it felt like to feel like an actual bride. Annoyed that in one of the best places for shopping in the world I couldn’t get a dress in my size, I asked on Twitter if other plus size women had experienced the same issues. So many people responded with equal disappointment. Some spoke of bad treatment in stores by staff, some described being pinned into dresses much too small for them, some refused to even subject themselves to the experience at all in fear of feeling bad about their bodies. It really shocked me. How could something which is meant to be about celebrating love contribute to making people feel low?

Continue reading