Hello — I’m back! For my first post after the 3 week blog-break, I’m happy to share a bit more about what’s been going on behind the scenes here at HPH. It’s certainly been an eventful couple of weeks. Long story short, at long last, I’ve just moved house + as there had never been an internet connection in the building before (more on that later…), I needed to get one wired in. But then a day later, most of my village had their connection cut off for routine works as the road was dug up + things were re-wired…for over two weeks! Anyway, connection troubles aside, I’m happy to say that I’ll be resuming regular posting here on the website + on my social media platforms too.

I’ve used photographs taken in the cottage over the last 18 months to punctuate the piece — as a close to that chapter now that I’ve moved. Even when living in a chaotic state, I still photographed every day. I think it helped me to find a sense of calm — how the wonky, old plastered walls looked like undulating waves of light + shadow — it was these observations of the little details of the everyday that allowed me to shift focus somewhat.

Some of you might know that when I re-located to the North last year, I was just meaning to stay in the little cottage temporarily whilst looking for somewhere more suitable to live. I went to see one place just a few days after I’d moved in but it wasn’t quite right. Then after a few short weeks, lockdown happened + all of a sudden, the prospect of another move became rather tricky. Everything shut down + we all had to stay at home. But the cottage didn’t feel at all like home — there were quite a few ‘surprise guests’ running riot + a string of problems, plus there was no space to unpack so I was living out of a suitcase surrounded by moving boxes! In this time, I inadvertently found that a pile of moving boxes made for excellent plant stands for my trailing plants + I could stack two together as a ‘side table’ of sorts! Let’s just say I had to improvise for a few months + set up a corner in which I could work + write the website from. Doing the photography side of things in this confined space was also a bit of a challenge, but I did what I could to continue to keep HPH running as smoothly as possible. Now you know why there were only a few angles appearing on my feed for the last 18 months!

Anyway, aside from the shoddy accommodation setup, I stumbled upon a ‘project’ that I couldn’t get out of my head… 

There was this little building that I’d passed a few times, it sat behind railings + was well-proportioned… a little tired-looking, but made out of old Yorkshire brick that is so typical of many structures in this area. Side note: these bricks were actually one of the first things I noticed to be different in this area when I first visited a few years ago — I distinctly remember saying to people that asked about the area ‘the bricks are really nice there!’ A funny observation, I know. Anyway, it wasn’t a conventional residence + it hadn’t been lived in before, nor did it have proper heating, water or any plumbing…! It would be a bigger project than I had initially anticipated but after drawing out a myriad of hypothetical floor plans, I started see that it might just actually work! 

And to cut a very long story short, after a protracted period of planning + paperwork, of pipes + permissions, over the next 18months I set about doing something with it… 

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing the process here + over on my social media too. It’s by no means complete but it’s habitable + as I’ve just moved in, it seems like the right time to introduce my new live/work space! It’s been something that has preoccupied me for many months + it’s so exciting to see things come to fruition at last. I’ve not wanted to share anything about it until now because in all honesty, it’s been quite a rollercoaster of an experience + very precarious at times! As the dust is starting to settle (literally), I’ve been bringing my plants into the building + starting to unpack a bit which has made it feel like a habitable space at last — it’s just felt like a building site for a long time now! I hope you enjoy seeing the process of HOUSEPLANTHOUSE renovates — I’ve created a tab on my homepage for these posts under ‘HPH renovates’.

This will mean that HOUSEPLANTHOUSE will open up once more to encompass all the aspects of how we live with houseplants — from the pivotal aspect of plant care that will remain central to the website, to the related aspects of interior plant design. I’ve missed sharing more design-based posts these last 18 months! ‘Styling your houseplants on cardboard boxes’ was hardly going to be an interesting read now was it…!

There’s also another aspect that made this particular space such a brilliant opportunity to take on in terms of the LIVE / WORK aspect. This element is very much still a work in progress which will reveal itself over the next few months… for now though, I’ll leave it there + share some photos of moving with my plants…

Finally, I thought I’d conclude things with a trio from my (mini) series ‘what you can fit in a MINI…’. This time around I didn’t use a removals company as I wasn’t moving that far + opted to do the process slowly over 2 weeks. I’ll link my previous blogposts about moving with houseplants here FYI. Some of my favourite items that made it were a 7ft G-Plan sideboard, my grandma’s old cabinet + my mattress — what a trooper of a car! Things that didn’t make it were my Ercol studio couch, my bath + my two big Monsteras. I walked those from my old place to my new place… much to my neighbours’ amusement I might add!

Thanks for reading + as always for your continued support + welcome back to HOUSEPLANTHOUSE.

Posted by:Laura HPH

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