Sometimes I think New Year can be a bit anti-climactic after the excitement of Christmas, but I have to say that after a bit of a stressful end to 2016, I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring.

They say that a change is as good as a rest, and in December we really put this into practice; we took the plunge and uprooted our family home from the picturesque Hampshire to stunning Dartmoor.

Dartmoor view

Beautiful view of Dartmoor

I am a Devonshire girl at heart, having spent most of my childhood growing up here, and for years there has been something drawing me back.  As I have mentioned in a previous post, every few years I get the bug to move home, and as much as I loved our beautiful Hampshire thatch it was time for a new project, something completely different.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to go back to my roots, and embark on a new journey.

I have bought and sold a good number of houses, and I won’t lie that this was far from a pain and disappointment free process (it included the purchase of 2 properties falling through) but I am a firm believer of the old cliche that everything happens for a reason, and the house we finally purchased confirmed this to be true. Completely different to my last house, our new home is an old Victorian hunting lodge, up on the high moor on Dartmoor. The area of Dartmoor National Park is considered an area of “Natural Beauty”, and the views are breath-taking, something that you can truly never tire of. This is something I have long sought after and I am lucky to be able to experience them everyday.

Dartmoor sunrise

A stunning sunrise

From a personal perspective, this house is completely different to anything we have ever renovated for ourselves before. In typical Victorian style, we are lucky to have high ceilings and gorgeous huge sash windows amongst many other period features – something which I always look for. This house will certainly prove to be a challenge and needs a complete renovation top to bottom. As a designer, it is vital to look for fresh inspiration, and the moor certainly is not lacking in this! With new surroundings brings new textures, moods, and colours, and renovating the property to suit the mood of the moor is of paramount importance to me. I am looking forward to sharing the progress and inspiration!

A walk on Dartmoor

Most people have asked how I can manage running a business from Devon, but the reality is that 2-3 days a week I am in Hampshire either in the studio or visiting clients, and the 2 hour journey twice a week is not any worse than the daily commute of many. I am lucky that I also have great members of staff I can really rely on, on the days I am not there. Even though we have projects from a large area, due to the continued success of Squirrels in Stockbridge, I think this is a great opportunity to expand and have an additional Squirrels hub in the South West. It is safe to say I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to offer, and I look forward to sharing the progress with you in the near future!