I’ve always been a homebody. When I was a child I would relish in knowing I had a six week school holiday in the summer to rearrange the furniture in my bedroom, play tennis against the garage wall and watch Wimbledon with my family. As an adult I am fortunate enough to travel frequently with my work and, in many ways similar to how I felt when I was younger, I always look forward to returning to my home to nest. Yet as I grow older I have found myself having a deeper connection to the four walls in which I live. Not because my creative career means I’m intrenched in the latest trends or seasonal collections. Rather, I mean a connection of considered feelings and tangible differences in my growth as a person beyond the material or superficial. Over the last few years I have been thinking about the significance of how the meaning of Home
has helped to shape the person I am, and the life I lead, today.
After my husband (then boyfriend) and I graduated we moved numerous times across the country, navigating our way in and out of different neighbourhoods and cities as graduate schemes took our work to various parts of the country. Truth be told it never felt like we belonged – we were never in one place long enough to put down roots, to create a routine or make meaningful connections with the local community. I found this period challenging as I had been so blissfully happy during the previous three years at university after trickier teenage years. In fact, at that point in my life those Uni years had undoubtably been the best years of my life to date. Home felt like Home and I felt I had the freedom to start living life free from external shackles; free from walking predetermined and expected paths. It was during my time at university, from my first little room in halls of residence to the tiny room in which my other half and I slept, ate and worked for a year, that I started to evolve from a confused and slightly suffocated teenager into a young adult.
However, it wasn’t until we moved into this apartment that I truly felt settled again like I had felt during my time at university. In fact, it was while I lived here that I found my feet: I learned hard lessons in business and friendship; I gained the confidence to quit a flourishing career in corporate communications to pursue my freelance work full-time
; I hired a book agent and subsequently signed a worldwide book deal
; our home ended up on the UK cover for the book
and I went on an American book tour
; my heartmate asked me to marry him
– I said yes, and we ended up marrying
just days before we moved out. I realise now that this was the perfect way to close out this chapter of our lives together, but when we both found out that we were going to have to move out of our home just days after getting married, it was a big shock. We both felt sick to our stomachs at the thought of saying goodbye to the home we had not only lovingly built together, but had grown so much in, both personally and together as a couple.
After a sleepless night we turned to one another, hugged tightly and both said: “Here’s to the next adventure”. From that moment we embraced the change and opportunity that had presented itself to us. Two days later we had found our new place, an oh-so-charming 17th Century cottage
, and have now moved in. It’s exciting to be starting our married life together in a house steeped in so much history; we often lie in bed at night musing about all the different families and generations that have called our ‘new’ four walls Home over hundreds of years gone by. I feel blessed to be building a new home with my husband in such a richly historic building, and realised that it’s because of our love for one another it already feels like a Home, not just a house. It’s because we’re here together. And nothing else in this world feels better than that.
See all of my apartment in my new book, along with fourteen other homes, which you can buy now from the following locations: Amazon USA / Barnes & Noble / Indiebound / Amazon UK.
// Photography by Andrew Boyd
Love your accent walls! Also the pillows are adorable.
@Kristin – So pleased you liked them, thanks! 🙂
Cheers to the next chapter in your life. xT
@Something Gorgeous – Thank you!
Great post, Will. I completely understand how you feel about your home and what it means to you, our homes are our sanctuaries. But, as you say, home is about you and your husband building your life together and wherever you do that is home as you two are the key ingredients! And a 17th century cottage sounds absolutely gorgeous! Has to be a second book in there… 😉
@Gabrielle – You are completely right, those two key ingredients are the core to making it a home! Thanks for the kind words!
Everything that happens is life has a reason behind it, your job is to make it a positive reason no matter what 🙂 Good Luck on your next adventures together xx
@Lisa – You are so right. Thanks for the supportive words.
So bummbed I never got to see your flat but excited to potentially see the new one! And of course , home is a feeling and I think you’ve got all the right elements to feel at home in your new space. Leaving doesn’t erase the memories – and that book is a fabulous memento!
@Lindsey – Potentially? Scrap that, it’s happening – we can’t wait to have you both stay with us. And you are right: the book is the best memento! 🙂 x
I have just moved house from my lovely little flat into a cottage and it was a truly painful experience initially however I am happy to say that my new home feels like home. All my things fit into the places I had planned and it feels like I’ve been here for years. I’m taking your advise for hanging my pictures etc and am so pleased nothing’s fallen down lol. Your book is on my coffee table for tips and ideas and I am loving nesting.
I am so glad you are both loving ur new home too and I can’t wait to see how ur new married nest grows and develops with you
@Jo – I’m pleased you are feeling settled in your new place! Thanks for having my book on your coffee table, too! 🙂
Will, I love this post. I can relate so much. You turned your apartment into a little gem and I have no doubt you will do it again. Good luck in your new pad, starting the next stage of your lives! I can’t wait to watch it all take shape xx
@Lisa – Cheers for the well wishes. Here’s to the next chapter! x
To a bright, new beautiful inspiring life together Will. Your new home will be all the more yours because you are bringing all those collected pieces of memories there. It can be your something new, something yellow (blue) and something true. With lots of love from Dublin, Rincy xxx
@Rincy – Thanks for your kind words! x
I just know that your new place will hold just as much love, happiness, joy and magic as your old flat and am so happy you already feel it is “home” – I cannot wait to come to tea! Love you boys so much xx
@Kate – Can’t wait for you to come for tea! Yay! Xx
The best of look in your new home you two!
@Matthew – Cheers, Mat!
Wishing you much happiness in your new home. I am a home bird too, but am gradually coming to realize that as amazing as I try to make my home, its the people I share it with that truly make it ‘home’. Now you have a new home to start a fresh on.
@Chichi – I agree, the people are the beating heart of the home!
Will – What a gorgeous, well-written post! It’s resonating so much with me at the moment – we are just about to put our first flat on the market, and while the idea of having a house to decorate (and hopefully fill with people…….) is insanely exciting, that little flat is where we spent the first four years of our marriage. Like you and your partner, we grew SO much… Anyway, I can imagine that mix of emotions you’ve been feeling… And I’m so excited to see how you put your stamp on your new cottage! Jealous!
@Nicole – Thank you so much! All the best with your new chapter, too.
hi Will, can’t wait to see you and your husband make a new life in your new cottage. Thanks for always sharing. If you add cabinets or built-ins, you should hide photos, drawings or notes behind the walls so future generations can find glimpse of those who came before them. It makes me happy to know my now-grown children’s drawings are behind our walls and even under our floorboards! 🙂
@Mary Beth – I love this idea to leave pictures behind cupboards, I will try that! Thank you for your warm, kind words. x
It just can get better, Will, and as you say chapters are there to be closed and opened up again. If you can leave with a grateful feeling, that is fantastic. Moving on is always such as gift! xx
@Gudy – Yes, I agree! Onto the next chapter! x
What an amazing recap of the major milestones of your life (both professionally and personally)! Thanks a lot for the house tour and how both you and Toby together had built this lovely home.
Excited for the next chapter of Mr. Bazaar and I can’t wait to hear all about it! Now I really need for a visit and see this 17th Century Cottage! Have I mentioned before my dream retire home one day is a stone english country home?
@Tim – Thank you! That is a lovely retirement idea! xx
Wish you both tons of happiness in your new place! I’m sure you’ll make it feel like home for everyone, including the visitors, hehe. <3
@Bruna – We’ll sure try! 🙂
So gorgeous, and I spy you Home Barn stools!
@Candy Pop – YES! Well spotted! 🙂
This was beautifully written, Will. I’m so excited to see what you do with the new place!
@Kerry – Thank you!
Beautiful post. I know that you’ve moved on emotionally, but feel totally what you would have felt in those days. So much energy and love in a home is just that and it’s still there for someone else to enjoy a little. I’m sure the new occupants will feel it somewhat and they probably won’t quite know what it is only that it feels good to be home. So you left them a great gift before you moved on to your future. Mel xx
@Mel – That’s such a lovely way to think of it, Mel. Thank you for leaving such warm words. x
It’s the first time I’ve comment but please know that I have come to love your home through your designs and I’m wishing you the best on the next chapter and can’t wait for more things to come! xo
@Mye – Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂 x
I can’t believe you managed to do all of these major life events so close together! Very excited to see the new place once you’ve settled in. Congrats on everything!
@Trude – Thank you for your kind congratulations!
These photos are gorgeous! I can understand why you’d be sad to leave. But I’m sure the next chapter will be even more wonderful.
@Hannah – Thank you so much!
Aww, Will! I like it best when you talk about your life, a place works best in context, the why, how and when add so much to the what that we see in the pics. Thank you for sharing so openly with us and best wishes for your new home. Can’t wait to see what experiences you have there x
@Ash – I totally agree, A! Thanks for all your support x
I’m so excited to see what this new chapter brings for you…what a successful whirlwind year for you!
@Susan – Thank you so much for all your support! 🙂
Awww…so many emotions and so many memories are associated with our home…but more than anything, it is the person we share it with. I am sure you guys will make this home as gorgeous and beautiful, as warm as your last home. Cant wait to see the magic 🙂
Congratulations again 🙂 and have a happiiee happiiiee life together 🙂
I love this post. My fiancee and I finally found our perfect home by the sea last August and have settled in really comfortably. We’re getting married on 18 August, and I was picturing our married life there, plugging away at getting a deposit to actually buy a similar property.
But not any more, as we’re now moving 380 miles to Mumbles two days after the wedding. It was a real shock to the system and every time I rounded the corner to home after work, and saw the view of the sea, I became close to tears. I’ve lived on Tyneside for seven years now, through uni and after, my fiancee for nine, and we’ve been here together for four.
But, I’m now seeing it as perfect timing – beginning married life in a new place we’ve never been, in a new home, by a different sea. So two days after the wedding we’re packing up and moving off. It’s not the best timing from a financial POV, but we’ll have a goodbye party and a wedding rolled into one, and a mini moon to Portugal to recover a bit too before beginning work.
I hope you’re both blissfully happy in the new place, and look forward to seeing it come together.
hi! this is my first time to your blog and i’m instantly captivated! i love everything. i have had this living room pinned for a year and have searched and searched for those bike prints in your living room. i am so glad i finally found the source! do you ever say where those were purchased? i would love to know. i am so glad to have found this blog. 🙂 have a great day.
hello! this is my first time to your website and i am instantly captivated and obsessed! i love every detail. i have had your living room pinned for a year and have searched high and low for the bike prints you had up. is there any place i c an find them? i would love to know the source! thank you so much. i can’t wait to read more. have a happy day.
Love this heartfelt post – thank you for sharing. I feel much the same about our home at the moment and past spaces, but I have found that having a husband who is truly ‘the one’ makes any place my home. Being with him makes it easier to feel settled even in the unfamiliar. x
@Nadia – Yes, I totally agree. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
What a beautiful home you made and no doubt will make again in your new abode….a beautiful post…. I can relate as I have moved so many times in my life for various reasons, but somehow I always love the challenge of finding new spaces and places for all our things…. I always tell my children that home is where we are together….. Have fun decorating!
@Rochelle – “Home is where we are together” couldn’t have said it better myself!
Hi Will. I am new to your blog and have just been having a lovely long look around. I just wanted to say what a beautiful post I thought this was, and how much I agree with you. Home is where the people we love are. (And nice cushions.)
@Gillian – Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for your kind words. 🙂
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Please tell me where you got those pillows! I have been looking all over for the geometric ones in the last picture.
Where did You got those pillows? I loved!!
@Sarah – The animal pillows were from Donna Wilson. 🙂
Tudo muito lindo!