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Friday, March 12, 2010
Have You visited Sarah over at a Beach Cottage Yet? Well if you haven't yet you are going to want to. All these pictures are from the talented Sarah's home over at a Beach Cottage. I am always so inspired when I visit her blog. I asked Sarah if I could share a few pictures of her home on my blog, and she was kind enough to say yes. I also asked her if she could share a little something about herself with all of you.
You are all in for a real treat!
I would like to share Sarah's story with you!
Sarah is An advocate for winging it and not worrying about perfection Sarah loves to combine coastal, cottage and country for her unique Beach Cottage style - she shares her projects, decorating ideas and ways to achieve a comfortable and casual home without spending a fortune.
"I started blogging to document the journey of our fixer-upper cottage but it has become so much more than a blog for me, it has provided me with a place to fulfill my passion for casual, laid-back decor, vintage coastal style and more has become for me a cathartic outlet at the end of the day"
Sarah loves old furniture, vintage things and the faded patina of the past mixed together with a healthy dose of modern white for a fresh take on hectic modern life.
In 2005, a young mum with three children she and her husband set out on a huge sea change, upping sticks and moving to the other side of the world, 17,000 miles away from her family and friends.
Just over two years later, in 2008 she purchased her first Australian home, a tatty old cottage near the sea, sadly neglected but on the beaches of Sydney, bathed in sunshine and heaving with potential (wood floors, sash windows, old fig trees, a summer house and a battered old deck).
She embarked on a mission to decorate the cottage-near-the-sea with a mixture of old vintage finds scoured from the beach-side suburbs and painted everything she could in a tried and tested hand mixed beach white, added piles of white linens, striped cotton rugs and heaps of vintage china...
Her blog has become a firm favourite with a large and loyal bunch of visitors logging in and commenting daily to see her latest find and gathering inspiration to re-use, re-purpose and re-invent for a comfy, easy home. She motivates her readers to source old cast-offs, browse flea markets and garage sales and turn them into much loved pieces with a past.
Eschewing the beach-themed look she combines bare floorboards, coir rugs, white cotton, neutral stripes, wicker baskets, Adirondack chairs, fresh flowers, and large puffy white sofas with the odd sea shell and displays a few interesting finds tumbled by the sea and washed up on the beach...
In less than a year the popularity of her blog has grown quickly, acknowledged by Apartment Therapy for her individual style and noted by the Washington Post as one to watch.
Recently showcased in the blogger's bible Artful Blogging for her take on creating coastal chic in a real home and real living by real women and about to embark on a new journey as a writer...
Born in London and raised in a very small house in Kent, England, Sarah, her husband, three children and goldfish now call Sydney, Australia home.
I’m a thirty-something (okay I'm nearer 40 than 30) owner of a tatty old beach cottage in a beautiful seaside town in Australia, mother of three, wife to one, seaside taxi driver...
But I haven't always lived here, for nearly my whole life I resided in the same, very pretty village in England. Life was quite comfortable, filled with country pubs, cricket on the village green, walks in the woods, lots of drizzle and warm beer. Our children went to a good school, we had a good income, nice holidays, two expensive cars and some cash floating around for a nice life.
Something was missing though, and I was beginning to wonder what life was all about.. and as we flew into London in 2005, after a Christmas holiday we embarked on a mission to find a new life by the sea. We ummed and ahhhed on where we would go, re-locate to the coast of Britain or warmer climes - Europe, France, Florida, Australia?
We knew absolutely nothing about Australia, apart from that it was a long, long way from home, it had sun & beaches that were part of everyday life and an old friend of ours had sent us pictures of his commute to work on a very nice ferry and his life on a very nice beach.
So we put the feelers out Down Under and we started hatching plans, long late phone calls in the middle of the freezing English winter nights, extended internet searches on Australian cities, reams of reading, heaps of books and strange conversations on ex-pat forums about life the Aussie way.
Six months later and things were moving on, we had built connections and networked with enough business contacts for him to start job negotiations.
So in August 2005 we came to Sydney for a holiday. We'd told not a single soul of our late night Down Under dealings, so the whole covert operation was shrouded in secrecy, a kinda clandestine excitement circled the whole devious thing. But the funny thing was that the moment we landed in Australia, I felt like I'd come home.
After two weeks of shaking our heads in wonder at the wonderful Aussie lifestyle (& this people was WINTER), we flew home to London, overflowing with the amazing lucky country that is Australia and absolutely desperate for a visa and a new life by the sea.
A few weeks later & we got an offer we liked the look of and shortly after started the visa application process, including attending medicals and filling in forms, forms and forms. Surprisingly, two months later and much quicker than we had anticipated the big fat envelope from the Australian Department of Immigration arrived, our visas granted.
Oh. My. Goodness. We could go.
We quickly decided we wanted to get out here before Christmas, so what followed was a total frenzied operation to get our English house rented out, our belongings shipped, our life sorted out and to say goodbye to our friends.
It was a manic time, but on the second December 2005 we arrived, 5 suitcases, a holiday apartment, brimming with anticipation and one job in hand.
My days are now spent dealing with the same old things family life brings - but a little differently than before. And it's a pretty nice way to live. I only wish I came here sooner.
The move though has brought a few other changes, ones I didn't expect. Not everything turned out as we thought it would and the inevitable challenges of emmigrating and has meant making do, in more ways than one, in lots of areas of life.
It did lead us to this sad old cottage, that has needed bundles of love and attention to get it feeling good. And led me to start logging it all in my blog A Beach Cottage. I write about my escapades in finding things for our cottage, chronicle the makeovers and remodeling projects we take on ourselves, that don't always turn out so good...oh and living by the sea
You'll find it here on this site, I hope you enjoy surfing through my antics in this old place...