I went on my first trip to Brighton at the weekend for the wedding of one of my dear friends Shannon.
We have been friends since university, when seven of us shared a large, dilapidated house in Salford. That was an *ahem* experience which bonded us all together forever, as we are still as close 20 years on. We might not manage to meet up as often as we would like, largely due to most of us having children, all of us having busy lives and living in different parts of the country, but weddings (and funerals) have given us regular reason to see each other every year or so and we are in constant touch online in between.
The house I stayed in this weekend could not have been more different to that student house in Higher Broughton. Along with two of my close friends Bridget and Lucy, we booked a house in the Hanover area through Air BnB. It looked gorgeous online – but when I walked in I was blown away by the decor, how it was put together and how the rooms were styled.
It was my first time using Air BnB and couldn’t have been easier. Apart from, that is, getting a taxi from the station and asking to go the wrong street at the wrong side of town, then having to get a taxi back to where I was supposed to be going… I blame that on the fact I was slightly tired after going out to the MAD Blog Awards in London the night before!
Once I arrived though, I had an hour or so in the house to myself to relax and get ready before meeting the others. It’s a slightly strange feeling being in someone else’s house, loving the decor and wanting to Instagram the hell out of it while you’re there! I took a few photos, more for inspiration that anything else, but decided I’d share them on my blog so you could have a peek too.
You see this house, I discovered, belongs to an interior stylist and not only that, she writes a blog and it turns out we have friends in common. Maxine is behind the blog We Love Home and through reading that this week I have seen that she writes for several magazines like Ideal Home and Home Style, as well as working as a stylist on many TV shows.
I sent her a little message on Sunday night to ask if she wouldn’t mind me writing about her and luckily she said it was fine. Phew! I wonder how I would feel if someone stayed in my house overnight and took some photos for a blog post? I guess I would actually love it, not that that seems likely as my house is in a state of slight chaos after our major move this summer.
Anyway, Maxine’s home is so beautifully put together with some gorgeous and inventive touches from the shelving made from copper piping in the kitchen, to the painted grey armoir used for storage in the living room.
I’m not really one for print but one of favourite parts of the house was the wallpaper in the second bedroom, which I think is this one called Frontier from Cole and Son. I haven’t been brave enough to paper in my house yet as I’m not sure I could live with my choice, but I am considering it maybe in the playroom or or one of the children’s rooms.
Maxine told me she had just finished papering the day before we arrived, so we were pretty privileged to see the finished product.
Spending time in her home has inspired me with ideas for decorating my own home, and also given me a new blog to follow.
As for Brighton, well I loved it and just wish it didn’t take me six hours of travelling to get there! I met up with another friend while I was there too, Amanda, who I used to share a house with in Manchester and is now a swing-dancing twin mama. Lovely as ever to see her even after so many years. I feel lucky that I was able to take a few days away on my own to socialise, dress up and let my hair down a bit. Regular breaks are essential when you have kids, but even more so when you’re a single parent I would say.
If you live in or around Brighton, why don’t you check out my friend Shannon’s new blog Brighton Side of Life? She is a brilliant writer who has just started blogging as an aside to writing books and for magazines. Go on, you’ll love it!
PS Thank you all so much for voting for me as best writer at the MAD Blog Awards. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will have seen that I didn’t win, but I still had a great time! One day maybe, hey?