It’s been ages since I last posted, and it’s good to be back. A lot has happened in the last few months months, from shoulder-healing yoga (still a work in progress) to moving and swapping our top floor flat in Edinburgh for ground floor living just outside the city. This has been such a long process, and emotional – even more so than I expected. I’d been in our last flat for 13 years and living in the area for 23 years, so it really was a wrench to go. But hopefully the new place will start to feel like home in time too. Even though I’ve been a city person for most of my life, maybe life will be better without the background buzz that comes with city living. And, yes, there’s a project to do! Watch this space…
I’ve interviewed many people over the years who have taken on massive refurbishment projects, and always wondered, how do they live through it? As in, live in their homes while major work is being done. I’ve had so many conversations about this process that I think it’s scared me off for life, as I just can’t imagine living in a space that’s also a building site, with all the mess and stress that brings.
But then I see projects like this and the results make the effort – and dust! – seem very worthwhile. I came across this ground and garden level property on Eglinton Crescent in Edinburgh’s West End when it was on the market with the Edinburgh office of Knight Frank, with photography by SquareFoot. Owner Barry MacLennan had the vision to transform this property and tackled a substantial refurbishment and reconfiguration project to create the spaces you see today. I chatted to Barry about the process, the design decisions, and the challenges along the way.
In my last post I mentioned about how I’ve shifted into product sourcing mode, and I have to admit, when thinking about a shower room redesign, this new collection from Crosswater has pretty much defined what I want to do. In a word: black – black tap, black shower fittings, all black, against crisp subway tiling. I’ve had my eye on this style for a while – since I wrote about a bathroom in Edinburgh where the owner wanted black fittings and had been challenged to source them online at the time – and while I’m wary of trends as such, especially with a kitchen or bathroom where you want a design approach that won’t date, this aesthetic has stuck with me.
It has indeed been a while since I’ve been here, and I wasn’t expecting to be taking such a lengthy break, but sometimes a break does you good. I’ve been taking a break from typing, other than for work, while my frozen shoulder slowly unfreezes. If you’d asked me what a frozen shoulder was last November, I’d have looked a little… non-plussed. “Tight muscles?” I’d have guessed. “Something you can stretch out?” And I’d have been wrong, as I discovered a few weeks later.
So I’ve spent less time typing, which meant a break from the blog, and more time on my yoga mat. And, looking ahead, I’m intending to continue this with more yoga and less time at my desk – although I’m excited to be back here again. I have a gorgeous Edinburgh home to share with you very soon, and some new interior products that have caught my eye.
If, like me, you’re already an admirer of the Copenhagen-based Norm Architects – the home of Norm’s co-founder Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen has been a favourite of mine since I first laid eyes on its restrained and elegant interior – then any new project from the practice is going to demand attention. And, as these photos show, the Gjøvik House in Norway is another beautiful example of Norm Architects’ understated approach.