Real Life vs Insta Life • February #HouseGoals Garden Room

Over the winter working from home is a tricky business. Especially tricky when the majority of your work involves taking photographs! I shoot in natural light and there have been days over the last 3 months that I've wanted to sit in a heap of tears, when the sun barely showed it's face. 

My absolute saviour has been our leaking conservatory, bolted onto the family room and kitchen. It's important you know it leaks because I want to set the scene for this latest behind the scenes post and see if you can help me with some ideas for making the most of it.

The space is fantastic, it doubles as a playroom for the boys and a work space for me, you can just about see the steps to our offices above the garage in the background of the photo below - which I must show you soon - and the most perfect diffused natural light pours in all day long.

I move furniture in and out, drag armchairs in and set up a coffee table scenario, wheel the marble topped console which acts as a makeshift kitchen island in and out, pin fabric to the wall to the house and over the course of a week my desk over flows with props and table cloths and anything else that has been featured.

I can work well into the afternoon, even when the rest of the house feels like a bat cave and at the end of a day I try to clear away all the petals and props and the boys takeover after school. I've hung masses of bunting from the ceiling to try and hide the plastic roof panels that really need replacing and even though the Lego heads often double up as rain catchers when the water pours in during a heavy storm, I feel so lucky to have this extra room. 

It's like having a home photo studio. When I have to dodge the golden hour sun rays I just pop everything on the floor! I use a reflector too to block out light when I need to and the boy's desk chairs come in handy for still life compositions and stools for overhead shots.

So many of my Instagram gallery photos are taken in here but this month I have also made the most of outdoors too and my sideboard was the perfect backdrop to my Pantone Colours of the Year post over on the Roost blog

Our garden is always strewn with toys and balls but for this blossom snap I turned a blind eye and cropped them out, focussing just on the blossom itself! And there are a couple of extras in this post that I will be sharing tomorrow. 

What I hope these posts do is highlight how you only have to tell a little of a story. Little details can be just as engaging as a full picture. And I move the rubbish out of the way when I need to! The tidy surface in a new Mother's Day afternoon tea feature I am writing for Laura Ashley this week is so much prettier than the mangled bags and plastic pots and Sammy walked in just at the moment I was taking the photo! I took it again without his cheeky hand but actually loved it more when I loaded all the images onto the laptop. 

You can take something quite ordinary and make it seem extraordinary just by cropping out the rest of the scene!

In dream land we'd replace the conservatory with a beautiful orangery kitchen extension but that's a fair few more pennies than we have, this decade at least!

I adore the idea of keeping a glass roof, in an old house with low ceilings having a view to the sky and vaulted ceiling makes such a difference to the feel of a room. Ours is pre fancy glass that keeps it cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but all we do is keep a small fan heater handy in the colder months and use baskets and boxes for toys in the summer to stop them being bleached by the sun.

The local listed building officer agrees there is the potential to one day do something special and knock through the wall of the kitchen and incorporate the footprint of the conservatory into a modern family kitchen and dining room. Isn't this house is West Sussex the ultimate inspiration?!

You can find all our dream plans on my For our forever home Pin Board, so pop and have a peek.

Image credit deVOL Kitchens

Imagine the windows at the back of the house are all in the same style as the french doors... painted grey like the front door. Do you think it would be worth painting the exterior and interior woodwork to match?

I spotted some tile paint the other day and thought that could be a good way to freshen up the red window ledge too - anyone ever tried tile paint before and could give me some tips?!

This year the basic foundations of the house are our top priority, a new heating system and new electrics, so it's needs to be a quick fix type job. Replacing some seals around the really drafty windows and go crazy with some sealant in the leaky patches!

But I believe a lick of paint could transform it, maybe whitewashing the stone under the window cills? What do you reckon?!

Joining in with The Ordinary Moments