A new home…

For me, the number one priority when moving in to a new home is the flooring…you need to get it right before you put any furniture down really! Ooh, hang on, are you not meant to decorate before you do the floors? So you don’t damage your lovely floors while you’re decorating??

Ouch, that’s when renovating a house gets quite boring – you sort of have to do everything properly, and in the right order, before you can actually start having fun (unless of course you enjoy stripping and sanding walls and floors..!) For me though, the fun part is what you put on the walls…


This beautiful apartment in Glasgow was designed by Catherine Henderson. The art collection makes it really special and personal for the owner.

In my job I get to see a lot of lovely homes – people have often worked tirelessly – stripping wallpaper, sanding floors, knocking walls down even, until, finally, they find themselves in a lovely, but rather bare space. I sometimes suspect that they have worked sooo hard sanding and filling those walls, that in the end, they can’t actually bear to put anything on them!


However, the fact is, art works make a house a home, I have written recently about the pleasure of displaying family photographs creatively, a subject I feel passionate about, but there is a bit of an art to displaying photographs well and not everyone has that skill. However, we can all buy art work. I think this is a habit we should acquire as young as possible. Look out for work that is a bit different and really reflects your taste and feelings.


A point when people often move is retirement – you are no longer beholden to a commute, you may wish to move nearer to your children, or other family members and friends. Imagine the joy of being able to hang, in your new home, a lifetime’s collection of art work, recalling memories and experiences from your twenties onwards. You might have bought paintings or prints on holiday, for special birthdays or anniversaries…

I collect images of paintings that I love on a Pinterest board. It really helps me work out what I like and don’t like…giving me the confidence to buy original artwork occasionally. You might want to do the same. These are two of my favourites:

Eleanor Carlingford

‘On the Ridges of the Wide-Lying sea’
Oil on canvas, Eleanor Carlingford

Carolyn Bailey

Mixed Media, Caroline Bailey

Anyone buying a McCarthy & Stone property will not have the painful process of stripping and sanding walls, these light, spacious properties are in move-in condition…All you will need to do is place your furniture, a few favourite family photographs and some well chosen artwork – it might be a lifetime’s collection, or you might be starting afresh completely and be able to splash out on some new and really different pieces. It is worth having a look at what is available on Surface View, a great way of making a statement – a marvellous array of art work and images can be printed on to canvas, window blinds, tiles, table tops…to amazing effect!


Ceramic tile frieze from the album entitled ‘Japanese Flowers vol.2’ by Ogawa Kazuma, Japan, late 19th century.

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