Start Small

When we moved to this house from our previous large newbuild home, we were overwhelmed by all the work that was required.  On the day that we moved into the house we dropped Jacob off at school and the twins to nursery then with the help of some very good friends we set to work moving in.

The first thing I had to do before any furniture was taken off the removals van was to have the men rip up all the filthy stained carpets. I couldn’t bare the though of my 6 month old babies touching those floors.

 I found my friend upstairs in the bathroom sitting in the bath sobbing her heart out and scrubbing away at the dirt !  “Karen , what have you done !  You can’t live in this filthy house”  She was beside herself, she knew how we lived and the beautiful home we had come from.  But we had no choice, we had to make this house work, there was no going back.

I have found the way to cope when a situation seems overwhelming, is to start with something small.  Something you can control and make an immediate difference to (this goes for all aspects of my life and not just decorating).   For me it was important to get rid of the carpets, even if it mean bare, cold floorboards. I knew I would freak out if I had to put my children and furniture down on those carpets.  We lived with those cold bare (but clean) boards for 4 years.

and  all down to my husbands hard work we went from this ……

to this ……..



  1. Rosalind Adam
    February 8, 2011 / 2:37 pm

    A white house! What a beautiful idea. I always try so hard to be stylish but my house is a mix of every colour and pattern imaginable. I do admire you having such wonderful taste.

  2. Vintage Amethyst
    February 8, 2011 / 3:00 pm

    Oh it sounds so like our house when we moved in! It was disgraceful! My family couldn't believe it! They all helped for a full week, just to clean & give quick coats of paint on everything just so it seemed more livable. It took us a few years to fully renovate but we too have a lovely white house now that we love! LoveAlisonx

  3. Karen Jones
    February 8, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    Hello Rosalind, thank you for your kind comment. You can be stylish with colour and pattern too you know xx

  4. Karen Jones
    February 8, 2011 / 3:09 pm

    Hi Alison, Somehow I knew you would live in a white house too LOL! xxx

  5. carole
    February 8, 2011 / 7:22 pm

    Wow Karen your floorboards are wonderful!! As much as I love your white house, I know that I am not a white person, but thanks to your advice and encouragement I have decided to take the journey on transforming my house into a beautiful home and I now have a clear image in my mind how I would like it to look. I am going to start a scrapbook and include in it all the colours and types of furniture I dream of. I so agree that taking small steps is the way forward, I think this is why I have put off for so long trying to achieve the look that I want…I think the thought of doing the whole house was just far to overwhelming. And so I have decided that even on a limited budget I will be able to get the look that I am after as long as I concentrate on one room at a time.Thank you you have inspired me! xxx

  6. Sharon
    February 8, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    Beautiful. Very calm and stylish. Where is your 'Family Rules' board from?

  7. Bec (
    February 9, 2011 / 11:44 am

    Stunning. I have black painted floorboards. They'd be white if it wasn't for the black labrador so it was my next best thing. I am such a big fan of painted floorboards. Cheap, and BEAUTIFUL!

  8. SusanKMann
    February 9, 2011 / 1:35 pm

    Wow looks fantastic. x

  9. Crystal Jigsaw
    February 9, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    The before looks like the bare floorboards in one of our downstairs rooms. I desperately want to get the room renovated and might get my way this year. You and your husband have done an amazing job. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us.CJ xx

  10. Karen Jones
    February 10, 2011 / 8:28 am

    Hi Carole, Hope the email was useful, thank you so much for your interest in our home. Look forward to seeing what you do with your house xx

  11. Karen Jones
    February 10, 2011 / 8:29 am

    Hi Sharon, thank you : ) The family rules board is from Etsy , very expensive from America : ( My hubby is making us one, you never know we may start selling them xx

  12. icklebabe_com
    February 10, 2011 / 10:54 am


  13. Alison
    February 10, 2011 / 1:04 pm

    I had a dream room which was all white, with green glass. I also had twins and a 3 yo and a ftime job. We moved onto narrowboats, 2, the kids lived next door! Mine are having babies of their own now and I got ill so we moved to a house for winter but will be back on our boat in Spring. It got burgled last year and trashed and we had to strip it out. Was great and I finally went all white! Then both my sons announced babies. I've gone cream, green and brown now!I adore you house it is beautiful and I look forward to reading about your family:)

  14. (mostly) yummy mummy
    February 10, 2011 / 2:24 pm

    They look amazing! I can't imagine the amount of hard work that must have gone into them but all worth it I'm sure! Such a beautiful home x

  15. Karen Jones
    February 10, 2011 / 4:39 pm

    Alison, thank you so much for visiting and sharing your life with me. A fellow twin mummy too xx

  16. Karen Jones
    February 10, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    Hi Mostly, thank you lovely. Yes a LOT of hard work and even more for me trying to keep them clean : ) xx

  17. Ipshita
    February 11, 2011 / 9:14 am

    Karen what a beautiful house ! Loved your new blog -fantastic

  18. notSupermum
    February 14, 2011 / 11:16 am

    Awww, I love this blog. So aspirational. I'll never achieve what you have but I like looking at your gorgeous home. And I love the family rules board, I'd love to buy one from you!

  19. Karen Jones
    February 14, 2011 / 12:02 pm

    Hi notSupermum Thank you "beams" . You could do it though, its much easier to keep clean (you can see the dirt ) LOL. I have had lots of interest in the board. Trying to get hubby to get it set up. Will keep you posted xx

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