Wednesday, 5 September 2012

How to make a house back into a home

So here we are - a new blog and a new beginning. A very warm welcome to NEUTRAL TERRITORY - my English blog. Many of you will know that I have recently returned from Australia to spend a year or so back in England in our little cottage.  Most of the time the dear cottage has been empty. Friends and family have used it and my daughter has stayed here on occasions too but for the main part it has been a little unloved and dare I say it, neglected.  Well, that's what it felt like when I put my key into the front door on my return. So, what to do...? First of all I put the heating on (high) to give the house a thorough warm through and also at the same time flung open all the windows.
Flowers were added - these actually were sent from my husband (now will be known as Mr NT!) who is back in Australia - he knows exactly what I like.
Plenty of fruit in the fruit bowl too, always makes a house more homey....
And more flowers still, 'more is more' I say....
Scented candles were lit.  This one I bought when we visited Paris last November from Astier de Villette.
 So with these small changes the cottage soon felt like home again and more like our place.  Of course we also aired the beds (with warm hot water bottles) and I have thoroughly cleaned into every nook and cranny and have used lemon oil on dusters high into the corners to help deter any spiders from returning... Did you know that spiders hate lemon? I read this handy hint somewhere.

Anyway, please adjust your blogs to this new one and follow me if you so desire - the more the merrier and I wonder who will be my first follower?  And thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming with me back to England.
Have you got any wonderful ideas (well, I know you will have) for turning a house into a home?

37 comments:

  1. Hi there - I just wanted to welcome you back and wish you all the best with your new blog!

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    1. Thank you Patricia - so kind of you and you are the first to comment too!

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  2. Bonjour Sarah,

    Unfortunately I mlissed out on the No.1 position and will have to settle for No.2 :-)

    Re turning a house into a home I am a big fan of ivy and moth orchids and have a few of each dotted around the house. I too adore a lovely smelling house and use a lot of scented candles and room sprays to keep the house smelling fresh.

    Lucky you having a new project to keep yourself occupied and I am sure that you will adore being cosy in the UK.

    amicalement, Leeann x

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    1. You're here though Leeann which is all that matters - thank you! I also love orchids and they last a long time too.

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  3. Wishing you a happy new year and blog. My Mum told me when I moved into my first home, friends over for fun leave memories and atmosphere x

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    1. What a lovely sentiment. Will be having friends over soon.

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  4. I just knew there was a reason I was going to turn the computer on earlier (out of battery and couldn't find the cord!!!!!!) Now I am only your third follower!!!! Sarah of course I am overjoyed to follow your adventures 'over there' enjoy this time with your daughter. xxx

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    1. Lovely to have you over Jules and thank you.

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  5. Leave you, never! I'm looking forward to your posts.

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    1. Ahh thank you James. What a gentleman!

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  6. Happy to join you Sarah and love to read all about your life in your cottage.
    Fresh flowers and fluffy white towels are my suggestions for feathering the nest.

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    1. Have some new fluffy white towels at the ready we were given last Christmas... time to get them out and not keep on hoarding them "for best" - why do I do that I wonder??!! And love the 'feathering the nest' comment !

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  7. Hi lovely! Looking forward to catching up with you on the new blog here. x

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    1. Thank you Belinda and welcome.

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  8. Welcome back and happy to follow on this blog too! Your cottage sounds lovely, looking forward to more pics. Also a quick question, how do you keep spiders away with lemon oil? We have many in our house and would love an alternative to calling the exterminator!

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  9. Well Diane I have put a few drops of lemon oil on my fluffy duster and reached into the corners after cleaning with the hope that this will work.... have to admit that there has been the odd one that has sneaked back! However it is meant to DETER so I will carry on using the lemon oil. Good luck.

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  10. Lemon oil, what a good idea. I like all things lemony, and although I am tolerant of spiders the house has got a bit webby lately. Your place is looking very cosy and inviting. (Really appreciated your Celtic Sheepskin tip!)

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    1. Thanks Mise and glad the Celtic Sheepskin tip was useful.. I was sent a catalogue - lots of snuggly jumpers!

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  11. I'm lucky #10!!! Of course, I'd follow you Mrs NT ... no matter where your globe trotting adventures take you!!! Love the new look ... and your little cottage, which you whipped into shape in no time! I do all the things you've done around the house when it needs a freshen up. Eucalyptus oil is a great cleaner and is fantastic on my hardwood floors!!! PS: Love your photo in the LBD ... bird's nest so you! xxx

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    1. Thank you dear Ms Maple... and your ideas were so brilliant ! Glad you like the new look.

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  12. Bake cookies Saturday and roast a chicken on Sunday. Deliver cookies to a few neighbors and invite friends over to share the chicken. You'll be all set.

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    1. Good idea Kim although cottage too teeny to fit them all in - however, could bake the cookies and it would smell delis!

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  13. So happy to read that you have a new blog. I followed your old blog and enjoyed it very much, especially the posts about your visits back to England. This will be a special treat. I'm looking forward to every post. Kathy

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    1. Thank you Kathy, that's really kind of you - glad you enjoyed the old blog. I had better get cracking on the next post then!

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  14. Lovely! I can't make the follower widget work - if you have an RSS feed I will try it that way.

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    1. Think there was a bit of trouble yesterday with "blogger" sorry you could not get it to work but I will consider you a follower Lisa!

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  15. Loving the flowers and am sure you will make your gorgeous cottage cosy in no time.

    I couldn't get the follower thing to work either...

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    1. Thank you so much AFW... see you did manage to follow though eventually?

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  16. Didn't take you long to settle in at all! Can't see all the touches you add... I've been doing a bit of a spring clean (or a lot of a spring clean)... exhausting!

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    1. Welcome to the new blog! And yes hasn't taken long to settle back into life in UK. Autumn cleaning here for me...

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  17. Love the view of the garden through your beautiful window.

    S
    xo

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    1. Thank you! I never tire of looking out that window.

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  18. Yes, beautiful view from the window. And no, had no ideas about spiders & lemon.
    One of the first things I do to create the feeling of home is to get the kettle on.
    Looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Pauline - hello and welcome. Glad you found me here and hope all is ok... Yes, kettle on and a nice cuppa = perfection!

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  19. Just found your blog. My theory is fill your home with furniture you love and it will be your sanctuary.

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    1. Thank you Indi C and welcome to the blog...x

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  20. Ok...I am now connected again! Slowly but surely, I get there. I blame in on the heat of Vietnam... xx

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So lovely to hear from you....