We hit a bit of a "wow" moment this week when our original home renovation story @ahouselikethis on instagram reached 10,000 followers. Since we started our journey in December 2016 we have had the pleasure of turning the "living memory book" that is the story of our home into our business and a lifestyle page that has reached a greater audience than we could have ever imagined. With features in notable publications and our monthly series #MyHouseLikeThis that celebrates the stories of others making beautiful homes all over the world, we're feeling an overwhelming sense of achievement. So because we love to reflect we figured we'd look back and take you on a brief history to mark our 10k milestone with 10 magical moments of us building A House Like This...
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Way back in December 2016 we finally moved into our new home. We were against the clock to find our ideal property, finalise paperwork and move in ahead of our rental apartment in Shoreditch lease coming to an end. The search was kick started after our housemate had informed us she wanted to go travelling. Rather than live with a stranger after being spoilt with great housemates for a number of years we got our savings together and started making realistic house purchase decisions. In short, we started adulting. Through some miracle we managed to find a property that ticked all of the boxes and trust us, that wasn't easy by any stretch.
After years of being obsessed with New England style properties and dark interiors, we wanted a Victorian home that needed some TLC so that we could really put our stamp on it and add value whilst building our dream home. We spent hours trawling through Zoopla ad's and cross-referencing similar homes on social media that had gone through the renovation journey and it inspired us to seek our own project. That's where the phrase "I want A House Like This" was born.
We longed for a property with potential that boasted beautiful bay windows, original period features and high ceilings in an area that great transport links and the promise of gaining value. Quite a big list right? But we are pleased to say we didn't compromise on any of those points and found the perfect home in South Norwood, which is situated in between the sought after location of Crystal Palace and the somewhat unloved yet promising town of Croydon, South London.
On our first night in A House Like This, we ordered takeaway pizza, drank prosecco on the floor and listened to the album So Long Forever by Palace which we've since bought the vinyl pressing for and framed in our landing hallway.
WHEN THE WALLS FELL DOWN
One of the first things we tackled post cleaning and whitewashing was the main living spaces to make the house feel cleansed and to figure out how to utilise the space. Next up was the master bedroom.
What was meant to be a quick fix on a rare Friday afternoon off we discovered that the walls hadn't been re-plastered for years and as the layers of wallpaper came down so did the walls. It was clear we'd have to start all over to make this room our sanctuary during our renovation.
We enlisted the help of a professional to plaster the walls and ceiling and show us how to restore the original wood flooring. We've since taken these learnings and continued the floor restoration in our guest room landing and staircase.
Named after an iconic British soap character, who is similarly best known for being a little bit rough around the edges, our first pet arrived one stormy evening in February 2017. We'd barely even started the renovation and an unloved cat who turned out to be very old and unwell decided to move in and make A House Like This her final home. We had many highs and lows with Cat Slater and though she is no longer with us, she'll always be part of the fabric of our home in spirit.
After creating our own handcrafted candles for friends and family for gifts every Chrismas in March 2018 we finally started our business.
After years of dreaming of one day creating an interior inspired business we finally settled on one that put luxury, yet eco-conscious home fragrance first.
We loved scenting our home and tried to make the space feel "us" during the renovation yet discovered that both high end and cheaper brands used terribly sourced ingredients that were bad for the environment and personal health.
The first "guilt-free" home candle we created was our FYGGE blend with black fig, cedar and tonka bean. It was inspired by Ky's Dad's favourite scent (Turkish fig) and has since been an all year round best seller for us.
A MAGICAL HOLIDAY
We journeyed to San Francisco and L.A for the trip of a lifetime to recharge and take a break from the business and renovation.
It was a magical break celebrating Gay Pride in San Francisco and visiting places we never dreamt we'd be able to see.
To top it off we got engaged outside the old victorian house as featured in the hit tv show Charmed from the 90's which inspired our love for period homes.
EZRA THE PUGGLE
Once back on UK soil and after months of missing having a pet post Cat Slater's departure we we finally welcomed a puppy into A House Like This.
Ezra the puggle was born on the 6th June and came to live with us on the 16th August.
Ezra has been the source of many fits of laughter and is the closest we can imagine we'll get for some time to having a child (as crazy as that sounds he really is our baby!).
COME ON, VOGUE!
During the Summer of 2018 we had another pinch me moment!
AHLT was only a few months old in trading and the brand had not one, not two but three (!?) features in British Vogue last year which was a huge achievement for us.
We had some fabulous covers featuring Cara Delevigne, Arianna Grande and Oprah Winfrey promoting our ISLANDS collection of TONIC, CITRON and PARADISIA.
BLACK IS MY HAPPY COLOUR
After months of renovating and fixing, it was finally time to start adding those very important finishing touches.
When we embraced the dark side in our Living Room we knew we were onto a winner.
Our home started to feel like ours and everything began to feel connected and the addition of our customised neon sign from Aoos neon really made the space feel personalised and homely, referencing our favourite movie "Practical Magic".
One of the most memorable design choices in this space is our Ruben Ireland print of The Mound II which is a stunning piece.
LETS GO OUTSIDE
And then it was 2019, we'd spent much of 2018 growing ahouselikethis.com and preparing for our biggest project yet - the garden renovation.
The garden had its own problems with poorly designed paving and a pond that needed ripping out. Throw in a serious issue with invasive weeds and our dreams of the perfect outdoor space almost felt unattainable.
As soon as Spring 2019 was upon us we began clearing the garden space and sourcing inspiration for our design. Our final choice was heavily inspired by the Atlantic Hotel in Byron bay and we couldn't be happier with the finished look of our brand new pergola and planters. We were also incredibly lucky to partner with Iconic Lights who gifted us some incredible indoor and outdoor lights to help us illuminate our home and garden with affordable luxury statement lighting.
Whilst success shouldn't be determined by how many likes or follows you have it's really more about recognising that we've managed to reach so many people with our story so far. We could have told you about the bathroom project too or the trials and tribulations of replacing the staircase but this one felt a key moment in itself that deserved acknowledgement. All of the elements that have brought our story together so far have opened up doors for us we would have never expected and it's been a hell of a ride...
So there you have it, that's our 10 magical moments building A House Like This so far. When we're not busy creating our ranges of hand-poured 100% natural soy wax scented candles, scent solutions and reed diffusers our home is a still a big ongoing project. Our home continues to evolve as an extension of us and will always be a source of inspiration for our business, we never imagined it would also inspire so many others or give us the opportunity to meet so many like-minded people who love to create beautiful interiors that not only look good but make you feel good too. Whilst this milestone is a great achievement the truth is the story has only really just begun and we're excited to see what happens next at A House Like This!