Years ago, when I first started blogging in the days before Copperline, I had a property blog called The Property Files. I used to write about property every week for two newspapers, and when work stopped with one (budgets, budgets) and was reduced by over a half with the other (yes, also budgets) I found myself itching to still be sharing properties. So I started a blog about Scottish properties, and every week I’d feature something national, and then on Fridays, something international. I called this slot International Fridays as it always felt like a nice way to end the week, virtually strolling through a lovely house or apartment somewhere.
As we find ourselves in week four of the UK’s lockdown, knowing that there will be more weeks stretching ahead – and many more with some level of restrictions even once this lockdown has been eased – I realise that I feel very differently about my home these days. I appreciate it differently. I’ve always appreciated it. The recession taught me never to take home for granted – indeed, my youth taught me this – but still, my perspective has shifted. I’m glad that I don’t live in the city any more; that I can walk to our local beach or around the ash lagoons, a place where I walked as a child, when the landscape looked very different, and that I’m rediscovering now, unexpectedly. I’m so glad that we have a garden, even though it’s tiny, as that slice of outdoor space has never felt more important. Just knowing you have some space beyond your walls.
And when I’m scrolling through interiors, while I’m always drawn to spaces that exude an uncluttered sense of calm, I’m also looking at houses that I could imagine escaping to. Places that are connected to nature in some way.
So hello again. It’s been a while. Of all the things that I imagined might draw me back here to blog again, a global pandemic wasn’t one of them. But look at how much our lives have changed in a few short weeks. Short weeks that feel so much longer. Two weekends back we were in Fife visiting Cambo Estate; having a bite of lunch in their café and walking in the walled garden; visiting the glasshouses before winding through the woodland with its carpet of snowdrops. We walked along Kingsbarns beach in the low, late afternoon light, enjoying the peace and emptiness of the scene. Two weeks ago, we couldn’t even have imagined the rules of social distancing; friends losing all their work and closing the doors to their businesses, unsure of when they might open again. A country in lockdown with all the restrictions this brings. A world in crisis.
It’s been a stressful week between work (the least stressful bit as I’ve had some great interiors to write about) and family, plus a small hound who’s been reacting badly (I think) to some anti-anxiety meds, so neither of us have been sleeping. Yes, today requires a steady supply of caffeine and Montezuma’s dark chocolate. So before diving into another interview and another print deadline, I wanted to share this beautiful, serene interior that I happened across on Pinterest, which led me to this post on Krone Kern. This is the home of Elin Kickén, who is one half of the Swedish stylist duo Sundling-Kickén, and the interior was photographed by Mikael Lundblad for Residence Magazine.
One of the main things that made me want to get back here after a break was simply blogging about things that catch my eye. Design I love and houses to get excited about. You know when you see something interesting and just want to write about it? That’s why I blog. And one of my favourite houses that I’ve shared here was back in 2013 when I came across the C/Z House in the Portuguese Azores, designed by SAMI Arquitectos – a minimal and contemporary black timber-clad house with flowing open plan spaces designed for family living, and with large windows and glazed walls creating an indoor-outdoor flow. While simple and graphic, the house also blended with its natural environment, as if hugging the rugged landscape.
So hello. It’s been a while – since September last year to be precise. I took a blog break that became an extended blog break, and then I wasn’t sure when or indeed if I was coming back here. I’d been working on some other ideas – hopefully a new venture this year. I decided to spend less time at my desk. But I kept bookmarking ideas for blog posts. And occasionally an email would arrive with a great product range and I’d immediately think, ‘I have to blog about this…’ So I’ve been saving ideas waiting for the time when I wanted to sit down and write – and if I decided not to, well, that was fine too.
And then yesterday I was browsing Dezeen and I spotted this house. Random, but interesting, and it reminded me that I used to enjoy blogging about random and interesting things. Not planned posts as such. Just things I liked. Wasn’t that why I started Copperline in the first place? So, the best way to start writing anything again is just to start.