As a design and property enthusiast, new to the realm of blogging, I find it beneficial to pick the brains of creative and prolific bloggers. This is both to gain insights and tips for creating my own virtual design space, and also to highlight fellow bloggers whom I admire. I recently had a virtual sit down with Christine from Little House on the Corner. She and Jan share their DIY and renovation journey through creative and informative stories and images. They recently have moved from Manchester, and purchased a new home in Berlin.
I love the way you added to the stained glass in your hallway at the Manchester home, instead of removing it in favor of a more modern look. Do you think it is important to keep original features of the homes you renovate? How do you decide which features will add to the space, and which need to go?
If you’re lucky enough to live in a period home I think you almost have a duty to keep any period features you have. We went the extra mile and replaced a lot of features that were missing. Period features will add value to your home but they can also be really expensive add. As always when renovating a house it’s about balance – both from an interior design and financial point of view.
I agree. Keeping the history of a home alive is important, and I think it adds to the value and warmth of the house as well. It can be difficult to decide which projects merit splurging! What are some of the things you look for in a new house project?
The messier the better for us! We’ll take on almost any project but ideally, it’ll be structurally sound, have lots of potential, and be affordable. Our new home actually needs less work than we would have ideally liked but it’s my dream home any having to do less work isn’t exactly a compromise, is it?!
I think that some DIYers may shy away from messy projects…it is great to hear that you dive right in! The final results of your projects make the effort well worth it. Perhaps the fact that your new home needs less work is a blessing. You will be able to spend the time (and money) to make your dream come alive! Speaking of new projects, where do you pull design inspiration from?
Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, day to day life. You never know when inspiration may strike!
What new project are you most excited about in your Berlin home?
The kitchen! Replacing the kitchen is a project we never got round to in our last home (although it was right at the top of my priority list when we moved in). After years of living with dodgy kitchens, I’m really looking forward to having a space that’s exactly how I want it to be. Replacing the kitchen will a fairly large project as we’re planning on moving it from one side of the apartment to the other!
Oh wow! Moving all that plumbing will certainly be an undertaking. I can empathize, I am living with a dodgy cooking space right now, and it can be frustrating! Now let’s talk about the actual business of your blog for a bit. What does a typical work day look like for you?
I usually Start work at about 7.45. First I try to catch up on emails and answer comments before checking that the post for the day (we try to post Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8 am) is properly set up and scheduled. At this time of year it’s still fairly dark for most of the day so, depending on the light, I’ll try to get blog photos taken whenever possible. If I have time, I’ll then try to visit the gym and usually, I’ll grab myself some lunch on the way back.
After lunch, the “real” work starts. I’ll spend a couple of hours writing, editing photos and setting up future posts. Ideally, I’ll also spend some time actually working on a home improvement project or two.
At around 6 pm I usually take a break and Jan and I will have our evening meal together. Sometimes that’ll be it for the day but mostly this is the time to start planning new projects. Working on new ideas and projects takes up a huge chunk of time and a lot of my ideas don’t even make it past the first few stages of planning as they turn out to be too expensive, too complicated or just not particularly good! We shared an “A Day In The Life” post where I documented a full day over on the blog if you’d like to read more.
It seems like you have a good routine worked out. I think that is a key to success with any venture. Since starting this blog five years ago, in 2012, what are three of the most important things you have learned about sharing your journey?
- You can do more than you think.
- Blogging is much more work than you think.
- Sharing our DIY journey gives us the necessary push and motivation to try new things and get projects done.
So true, there is no quick fix, but I am so glad that you have found the motivation and drive to share your renovation stories with us. Is advertising a major consideration for your blog? How do you get sponsors/advertisers to work with you?
We’re super picky about who we work with and decline well over 90% of any advertising requests – it really has to be a perfect fit! Usually, advertisers email us to see if we would be interested in a collaboration but we’ll sometimes get in touch with companies if we think they have a product or service that our followers would enjoy reading about.
What is the most enjoyable part of running a blog? The least enjoyable?
The best part of blogging is when people leave you a lovely comment. It totally makes my day when someone takes the time to message us! There’s no better feeling than knowing you were able to help someone or see the great projects that our readers were able to achieve as a result of one our guides or tutorials!
The least enjoyable is easily the behind the scenes blog maintenance which is a complete pain and never quite works how you think it will!
What are your top tips for someone trying to break into the home blogging arena?
I know it sounds cliche, but the most important thing has to be “be yourself”. The only way you’ll ever be able to stand the test of time and find the necessary motivation to keep going is by being authentic and doing what you truly love.
Finding your unique writing voice, sharing the ups and downs of your unique projects, and putting out content regularly are all important aspects of home renovation blogging. Thank you, Christine, for taking the time to talk with me, and my readers can find you here to read more about the Little House on the Corner.