Mar 3, 2013


So, the new house is in order, the books are all unpacked, and all that’s left to do is give you all a glimpse of what my new place looks like. I’ve done all the decorating I’m going to do for the time being: I’ve come to realise I don’t want too much new stuff, or too many things I specifically got to make the house look nice, or else I’d end up feeling like I was living in a stage set. What I want around me are objects with histories; objects that remind me of when and where I got them; gifts from people I love; objects that are little mementos of specific times in my life. That’s what makes a place more than just a flat but a place inscribed with my personal history – a place to call home.

And of course, my book collection fits the bill in almost every regard. While I was away M arranged for a few boxes of books I’d had in storage since after grad school to be delivered, so now I have more books with me than I’d had in quite a while, and I’m starting to feel like I have a real personal library again. Of course, there are still over 800 books that my parents are kindly keeping for me, but I don’t want to think about those for now.

Without further ado, allow me to give you the tour:

The house seen from the backyard. Yes, I have a backyard! And I’d love to put it to good use, as well as get a couple of potted plants for the kitchen windowsill. I know some of you are into gardening, so what do you recommend that’s resilient and low-maintenance?

The kitchen, which is probably my favourite room.

I have further fridge magnet plans, but all the ones I have now were either gifts or souvenirs I got when travelling, and I kind of want to keep it that way.

My modest cookbook collection.

The second bedroom, or as I like to call it, the book room:

My Eva Ibbotson collection now lives over the shelf. And because I know you all like your book porn, you can click on the pictures of the shelves to enlarge them.

The living room.

Wall-embedded shelves! All I have here so far are the Viragos and Persephones.

The bedroom.

Sewing kit in a jar.

So, who wants to come visit? One of the reasons why we were so thrilled to finally move to a place with lots of space is that our families and most of your friends are abroad, and it will be lovely to finally be able to have people come stay and receive them comfortably. If any of my bloggings friends ever find themselves in this part of the world, I’d be delighted to extent the invitation to them.

PS: In completely unrelated news, this happened and it made me happy and I wanted to share :D


  1. Your new home looks very nice! I hope you will be very happy there. And I envy you those wall-wmbedded shelves! :)

  2. Your house is so lovely! You've set it up beautifully in the time that you've had there already. And I like what you note about making everything meaningful. I try to do that too; we rarely buy decoration for decoration's sake. It's more little things that remind me of people and places.

    I can't wait to come visit next month! :)

  3. Your house is lovely! I know you're going to enjoy it!

  4. I do! I do! If I find myself in the area, I'll give you a shout. :)

    Your new abode looks darling! And the book porn is much appreciated. Happy housewarming!

  5. Congrats! What a lovely place. As far as gardening tips, even this gal couldn't kill a rosemary bush.

  6. It is lovely! And your apron is adorable!

  7. What a lovely home - so brightly lit, too!

    And SQUEEEE - Neil Gaiman!!!!

  8. Lovely! Your garden is pretty awesome and appropriately I love how you've bookshelves everywhere. Having your Kindle signed by Neil Gaiman is amazing!

  9. I love the sight of your house! It's so nice! Whenever I move to a new home, I always plant roses first. They're pretty hardy. You just need to trim them in winter.

  10. It looks so homey! Glad you see you've settled in. :)

  11. Looks very cozy! I'd be excited about the backyard, too. I don't know anything about gardening, though. Usually I just buy the plants that are on sale and see if they die or not. :p

  12. Your new house looks very cozy and inviting... love the backyard, too! I'm very happy for you :-)

  13. Your house is lovely! So cozy! I love your amigurumi birds in different colours.

  14. Happy house-warming! You are going to have such a magnificent time covering all those empty walls with books.

  15. Your home looks so lovely. And the book shelves are to die for!(Get yourself a ballerina apple tree for your garden! They don't take up much room (and can be grown in a pot if you need to) Juicy apples! Springtime blossom! Win win!)

  16. aw your house is amazingly lovely!

  17. Your home looks so beautiful, Ana! Thanks for sharing the pictures! The yard is so beautiful! A nice place to have evening tea, English style :) And I love your library! Will come back and look at the books in detail. I love 'spying' into my friends' libraries :) I love your phrase 'book porn' :)

  18. Oh wow, that is such an amazing and happy-looking house!

  19. Oh I love the sunlight in your kitchen. No wonder it's a favorite place. And room for your books. I love the bright colors.

  20. Your new home looks great! I'm so jealous of those bookshelves in your living room!

  21. I love the paper roses, I'd forgotten about these I learnt to make them a few years back. Will have to find my glue and old craft books now

  22. Bright & beautiful! I love the kitchen.

    I do so wish I could visit and peruse those book shelves!

  23. Those embedded shelves (we call them built-in around here) are really great. I intend to take you up on your invitation the next time I get back to England, and I hope you and any of my other blogging friends will plan to stay with me if you ever get near my little end of nowhere! I just met another "imaginary friend" yesterday--one I've talked to daily for years--and it was wonderful, as it always is.

  24. You have so much space! I love it. Everything is coming together nicely. Congratulations!

  25. Oh my goodness, Ana!!!!! It's perfect!!!! I am in love, in love, in love!!!! With everything!!!! But I think most with that fact that it looks so YOU!!!! I can't believe how much you and M have already turned this into's just beyond lovely!!!! (And I apologize for the exclamation overload...but Ana, I seriously am just IN LOVE!)

    Here's to a million special moments for you and M in your new home!!!!

  26. By the way, did you made all the text flowers? LOVE THEM!

  27. I'm so glad to hear you've settled in well. Thank you for sharing all these lovely photos of your new home, and all your great nick-nacks and books!!

  28. Your new home is wonderful Ana! What a lovely light-filled kitchen! That would be my favorite room too. And congrats on meeting Neil Gaiman and getting him to sign your Kindle!

  29. Tiina: Thank you! I hope I will be, too :)

    Meghan: I can't wait either - super excited to have you :D

    Kathy: Thank you so much!

    Clare: Please do :D

    MJ: *adds rosemary to suggestions list* I've never really gardened before, but somehow I don't expect to have green fingers, so it's best to play it safe :P

    Jill: Thank you! I'm very fond of it :D

    Aarti: I love the French windows in the kitchen. And I KNOW :D Now I'm saving the space at the bottom of my kindle for Patrick Ness :P

    Charlie: I can't wait to spend afternoons reading in the garden once the weather is nicer :D

    Vasilly: That's good to know! I do love me some roses.

    Ali: Thank you! I love that it's not taking me long at all to feel at home.

    Tasha: Well, trial and error is always a good method :P

    JoAnn: Thank you :D

    Chris: I really love them too :D And they're a good reminder than one of these days I need to make time to learn to crochet.

    Vicki: I'm very much looking forward to it :D

  30. Celine: Oooh, apple blossoms AND juicy apples! Sounds perfect :D

    Amy: Aw, thank you! I know it's a very long and pricey trip for you, but if you eventually make it across the pond I'd so love to have you.

    Vishy: Yes, and also to read in the summer and spring :D I think we all love getting a good look at other people's bookshelves, which is why I wanted to do you the favour :P

    Valentina: PLEASE COME VISIT! We can have cake and talk about books and swap library stories. Seriously, I'd love nothing better!

    Beth F: The kitchen has the best sun exposure in the house. I just want to be there all day :P

    Heather: Aren't they lovely? So much room :D Of course, it probably won't be that long until I find myself wanting more room :P

    Katrina: These were bought and not made because the tutorials I looked at made it sound complicated. But that's probably just me :P

    Debbie: It would be lovely to show them to bookish friends!

    Jeanne: I promise I will! If my life stays on track I should be able to finally make it across the pond next year or so. And I hope you come back to England before too long!

    Picky: Yes! That's what I keep thinking lately, not only about the house but about life in general. It's a nice feeling :D

    Debi: Thank you so much! I did do my best to make it "me". Sadly I didn't make the paper flowers because I'm useless at that sort of thing, but I'm really glad I found them because I LOVE how they look. PS: So, when are you and Rich coming to visit? :P

    Jessica: I'm really glad everyone enjoyed the virtual tour!

    Stefanie: Thank you! It was really fun :D

  31. Oh we definitely are coming! Our serious plan is for our 25th anniversary, so sometime in 2015. Seriously. I swear it's this money pit of a house's secret goal to make sure we never have enough money to go anywhere--but I'm taking out a frickin' loan if I have to. :P Rich is totally in love with your place, too, btw.

  32. I love it! Wow, I am incredibly envious. I love everything about your place. The living room especially and the kitchen especially -- they look so comfy and homey and nice to be in. Well done you!

  33. So pretty, happy new house to you! I love the embedded shelves, I've never lived anywhere with them but would love to put some into the next house.

  34. Your house is lovely. I love the knitted cakes!

  35. How fantastic! It definitely looks like a home. I have the same philosophy but it's gotten a bit out of control now that we've been in our house for ten years. I am slowly getting rid of things, rearranging things and going for meaningful and simple again. :)

  36. Simply lovely, Ana! I don't have a lot of clutter in my house either. I love the sentimentality of keeping on those things that are most precious to you near at hand.

    Enjoy your new house!

  37. Your new home is just beautiful. I love this reminder that our books are what really make a place home.

    As for the gardening, I don't have any plants to recommend, but it's winter-heading-into-spring here, which means it's Henry Mitchell time in my life. He's my all-time favourite garden writer (The Essential Earthman, Henry Mitchell on Gardening and One Man's Garden) and reading him on a cold winter day is like inviting a bit of spring into your life. The books are collections of his newspaper columns and he lived in Virginia in the U.S. so would be in a different gardening zone than you, but it's always such a pleasure to read him!

  38. It's gorgeous! It just looks perfect for you. I'm so glad you're settled in ok!

  39. What lovely shiny new bookshelves! And I couldn't help but noticing other walls where more shelves could go...

    Rosemary does well, when potted, and thyme...

  40. Thanks so much for the tour: I loved every minute of it. I can imagine how much fun you're already having, filling in those gaps on the shelves: enjoy!

  41. Sadly, I'm about to "mark all as read" in my google reader, but before I did that I HAD to come over here and finally tell you CONGRATULATIONS on the house!!!! OMG Ana it is just so perfect and so beautiful and I'm in LOVE with it!!! And its so you :) I'll gladly give you some gardening advice ;) If I get some time over the weekend, I'll shoot you an email with some easy to care for plants and who knows...maybe the gardening bug will take over and you'll be planting more :p But seriously, I just love it all so much and I'm so very happy happy for you!!!!!

  42. Congratulations on the new house! Your place looks really nice!

  43. Lovely, lovely, lovely. A house with a space for a garden, a kitchen with a cat apron, built-in bookshelves that already have some books on it....your house is perfectly you, as Debi said :-) I love all the light in it too, and the personal touches that make it feel like home for you. I wish you and M so many happy times and memories in your new home, Ana. Thank you for letting us see it, and the invite!

    Can I confess that I have a crick in my neck from trying to read the titles on your shelves? and that I gave a little squee at seeing John Arne Lindqvist there (even if I don't think it's one of his best ones) and Connie Willis?? :-D

  44. Debi: Hooray! Looking forward to it :)

    Jenny: Thank you, thank you! Also, let me just say that I think it's time for another Jenny and Mumsy UK trip :P

    Alex: Thanks! I had no idea where would he embedded shelves when I came to view it, so that was a lovely surprise.

    Sarah: Thank you :D

    Kristen: Yeah, I don't know what my current minimalism will survive if we stay in one place for too long. I'll have to be disciplined to keep it this way!

    Michelle: Thank you! Having to move a lot definitely trains you to only keep the things that matter to you.

    Belle: Thank you so much for the recommendation! I'm going to see if we have any of his book at work.

    Melissa: Thank you so much!

    Charlotte: Ha - I like the way you think :P

    Buried in Print: So far I've been good, but when I wander into a bookshop I can't help but think that now I actually have space :P

    Chris: Thank you for taking the time to stop by :D

    Thalita: Thank you so much!

    Susan: I've not read any Lindqvist yet, can you believe it? I don't own Let The Right One In, but I'll definitely pick it up one of these days. Also, thank you so much for the good wishes!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.