Saturday, 26 April 2014

The #GreatBritishHome Challenge with Victoria Plumb

You are Mr or Mrs ELEGANT Your style is most like Lady Mary or Lord Gillingham from Downton Abbey.
Wish list: The Camberley bathroom range from Victoria Plumb. A stunning high level toilet and a chunky, square basin embody all the best features of days gone by

 That was my result from a fun little quiz about styles and preferences.  I've never actually watched Downton Abbey, although I am, of course, familiar with period dramas and I've often said that if I had  lived in a previous life, it would have been as some sort of maid in a Big House, such is the affinity I feel for the period. The centrepiece - the thing that catches everyone's eye when they walk in my living room - is my three storey Victorian-style doll's house. That is furnished in the Downton Abbey style - or at least, partly. It's an ongoing project......but the bathroom suite does, eerily, resemble the quiz-recommended Camberley bathroom suite. 

The #GreatBritishHomw Quiz (which you can take yourself by clicking the magic linky, below) got me thinking about what "home" actually means, not what the singers and cliché writers say it means.

Primarily, it's where I can relax and be myself - not have to keep up appearances or worry about what others think or want - and the ideal place for relaxing is of course the bathroom. There's nothing like a hot bath for soaking away the stress and cares and this Harding roll-top from Victoria Plumb is, I think, the bath of my dreams.

A glass of wine, a candle or two and a good book and this traditional yet modern bathtub would be my own little soothing sanctuary.

The rest of the #GreatBritishHome, to me, is both a sanctuary and a canvas - somewhere I can be myself and stamp my own style on the place. I like to relax and to throw off the outside airs and graces that society expects from you and being in a room that I furnished myself to my own tastes does just that. Dressing up to sit in a posh restaurant and worry about which knife and fork to use first is all very well,  but sometimes there's nothing like curling up in my dressing gown, sinking into my chocolate brown, overstuffed sofa and watching a film with my dinner on my lap. The walls are hung with photos taken by myself and evoke happy memories - little knick knacks and souvenirs are dotted around the room and the first word that spring to mind when I enter it are comfort and familiarity.

I love cooking - I find it infinitely relaxing and soothing to bake or cook something. My kitchen contains every gadget imaginable - everything from spring loaded egg toppers to colour changing egg timers - much of it infrequently used but it all still adds up to creating what is commonly described as the heart of the home. I don't like the word cluttered - I prefer "equipped" and my kitchen is certainly that!

I don't cook many fancy foods - traditional British foods are my forté - meat and potato pie, stew and dumplings, Victoria sponges, rock  buns and the like and there's nothing like the smell of traditional British baking for adding ambience to a home. You can keep your air fresheners - I think my home smells nicest when filled with the aroma of a delicious, home made cake.  It's welcoming and people gravitate to it. Interestingly, the only room in my dolls house that is finished is the kitchen - like mine, it is full to the saucepan-laden rafters with Downton Abbey-esque furnishings and period kitchen paraphernalia.

My bedroom is probably the closest to fitting the Downton Abbey era of decorating quiz result although it's probably more Addams Family than  Gillingham family. It's not to everybody's tastes, I admit. The linen is black, the curtains are black, the lamp is black wrought iron as is the curtain rail and the various candlesticks dotted about the room. The furniture is a dark wood with antique-style wrought iron handles I spent weeks hunting down black vases and black artificial roses to give it the final gothic touch - in fact, the only splash of colour is the huge pile of "waiting to be read" books piled beside the bed.  It's relaxing, welcoming, soothing and I couldn't improve it if I tried.

Reading back, I see that my whole #GreatBritishHome ideal is about comfort and relaxation - and isn't that what the home is all about? "Home" to me means "I'm done! I can sit down, relax and do what I want to do". I don't think I can improve on that.

“This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge  sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.”

Great British Home Quiz


  1. Love the idea of home as a sanctuary and you sound so comfy in yours. Commenting on behalf of myself and BritMums and thanking you for taking part.


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