It’s been a minute since I last blogged, so I thought I would just quickly get you up to speed on what’s being going on behind the scenes here at TCD so far this year.
So it turns out that taking on my first solo commercial project, moving country, buying and renovating a cottage and having twins is pretty exhausting …… who’d a thought eah!
Let’s start with the commercial project; last Summer I was approached by a lovely couple to design their new business venture. A beauty salon in the heart of Abu Dhabi, I was a little apprehensive at first as the self doubt crept in; but I put on big girl pants and had a little word with myself and put my proposal together. Due to covid restrictions this project was completed completely remotely, over email and zoom and it worked r wash well. It was shell and core so I had a completely blank canvas and an incredibly trusting client which was super exciting. The brand name was Backstage Beauty and the client wanted an Art Deco look with a touch of backstage theming to represent her time working in media. Here are the before photos with the key inspiration boards to give you a feel; stay tuned for the big reveal!
I have also been busy with 2 small residential projects; 2 guest bedrooms. The brief was simple, to create a comfy and calm bedroom where guests can feel relaxed, and a smaller box room that can be a reading room and convert into a bedroom when needed. I love showing people what they can achieve even with a modest budget. Stylish design doesn’t need to be expensive, the budget for the 2 rooms was £1000 and wait until you see the end results! The rooms are in progress right now, so until I have the final photos here are the mood boards.
We are all settled back in the U.K. now and Dubai somehow feels like a distant memory. Everyone keeps asking me if I miss it and of course I do, but I am now in a very very different chapter playing the most important role of my life as mummy, so my priorities have changed. I couldn’t imagine raising my girls away from my family and while Dubai has so many opportunities it can also be a very high pressured place to work and that does take its toll. We lived there 11 years; after saying that we were only going to go for a year or 2! and it certainly was an incredible experience and I am so so glad that I decided to apply for a job there and just go for it!
Over the 11 years I worked in retail design then onto high end residential projects (with amazing budgets!) and finally finished my Dubai career managing an award winning interior design studio, working mostly in hospitality design. I am so incredibly proud to say that I worked on the worlds first Warner Bros hotel and worked closely with the WB management team in LA which was such an amazing experience. The career opportunities that living in Dubai opened up for me took my career to the next level. I arrived in Dubai, nervous with little confidence in my skills and I left confident, having found my passion for project management and leading a team.
The UAE can be difficult and frustrating to get things done, so when it came to repatriating the thought of everything that had to be done and knowing the pain it would take to achieve it was almost enough to just make us stay!
We left in stages really, partly due to COVID, we ended up staying longer than we had planned. We had scheduled to be home last Summer and it ended up being Christmas that we got home in the end! The lease on our apartment was due to end in the July and so we boxed up our lives to be shipped back to the U.K. which was surprisingly straight forward. The not so straight forward part was trying to sell the stuff that we didn’t want to take home. Not only was COVID an issue but the ‘last price’ saga, silly offers and time wasters was unbearable! Then there was the cancelling of contracts and closing down accounts; which sounds simple right, nope! the amount of back and forth and being sent round in circles made us dolaly!
We got there in the end and moved into a hotel apartment for the summer, before then moving to an AirBnB for the last 4 months of our time in the UAE. After 2 months our shipment arrived in the U.K. and went into storage with family until we could decide where the hell we were going to put everything! It’s surprising how much shit you accumulate over 11 years, and it was only a one bedroom apartment!
During this time we had an offer accepted on a 2 bedroom cottage at home, then we just couldn’t wait to be back home with family and friends to start our new life in our first family home.
We brought a cottage!!
We always wanted a home with some history and character and it certainly looks like we ticked that box! It’s full of wonky walls and charm!
Let’s start with the backstory; the cottage dates as far back as the 1830s, possibly even earlier but this is as far back as we can place it from the records. It’s in the historic town of Dyserth in North Wales known for its waterfalls. It began life as a single story barn to the cottage next door and then another level was later built and it became the village shop.
We have made a good start with the renovation works, I was heavily pregnant for the first 2 months of it, so I did a spot of painting and became very good with delegating!! Which was incredible hard for me as I like to get really stuck in and I can be a little bit of a control freak! Now our little ladies are here the works have slowed down but we are ticking a couple of boxes here and there! What I am most excited about is the log burner installation, which we have just been told will be at the end of the month!
The renovation has been fully documented for my social media of course, so there will be much much more content on the cottage to come.
Right that about fills you in briefly and gets you up to date with my crazy life!