3 Minute Housekeeping with Mary

1. What’s one thing you’ve bought that’s instantly transformed your home? 

Lamps! I bought the most gorgeous ceramic lamps and fabric shades for my living room and honestly it just brought the room together. Plus, I love the soft glow that a lamp gives a room in the evening - it creates a totally different atmosphere than having the "big light" on. 

lamp

2. What do you spend the most money on in your home? 

Probably soft furnishings. A few years ago I spotted a Moroccan Handira and fell in love, so when we visited Morocco in 2017 this was the one and only thing I bought home. I love that we have souvenirs from our travels as part of our home. I also bought some beautiful silk ikat fabrics from Turkey and have plans for making cushions soon! 

handier

3. What’s a ‘must-have’ item that everyone needs in their home? 

A bookshelf! For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a 'wall of books' in my house. I love reading and there's something very comforting and welcoming about a bookshelf. 
If you're visiting friends, you can tell so much about their personalities from the books in their home so I love the idea of showcasing these little pearls of personality. When Colin and I first moved in together, this was our first purchase and he loves it as much as I do... I remember watching him after we built it - I'd catch him just staring at it from time to time and I said to my friends "oh to be a bookcase!". 

bookshelf

4. What’s one thing that you’ve done that completely transformed your home since moving in? 

Probably hanging a mirror in our living room. Mirrors are a fantastic way to reflect light and make a small space feel larger. I used to work for a bespoke mirror manufacturer and was lucky enough to be able to purchase one of their older styles. We hung this in our living room above the sofa and the room now feels a million times larger! You don't have to use an expensive mirror either - and in fact a clever trick would be to get an old frame from a charity or antique shop and fit a mirror into this. Ask your glass merchant to add a 25mm bevel around the edge for an expensive look !

5. If you  could live anywhere in the world... where would it be? 

This might surprise you, but I'd still choose to live in England! But more specifically, Cumbria. I first visited the Lake District in 1996 and have been going up, pretty much annually (sometimes more!) ever since. I guess you could say my heart is in the mountains and each time I visit, I discover a new path, a new town, or a new local delicacy I've never known before. My dream is to have a little stone built cottage with a wood burner, an AGA and muddy boots by the front door... 

If you’re looking for real-life guides for upcycling, DIY, and magic of a good ‘before and after’ Mary’s the one to turn to. Follow her journey to domestic bliss here. 

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