Kristine with a K

 

Hey! So those who follow me on Instagram might know I’ve been threatening to start a blog for a while. Good things come to those who wait etc etc, so now that you’ve waited let’s just hope it’s good.

I don’t tend to share a great deal about myself on the ‘gram, but I think it’s customary in debut blog posts to introduce yourself. So I’m going to give that a go, and then maybe I’ll tell you what you can expect on any subsequent visits to this here blog. And why it’ll be way more fun than whatever you’d be doing otherwise.

Photo credit: Bukky of    @lexden_home    fame. From the launch of my concept design at the    Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair    2018

Photo credit: Bukky of @lexden_home fame. From the launch of my concept design at the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2018

I’m Kristine - like ‘Christine’ but with a K. Although out of necessity I have been known to respond to Kristen, Kirsten, Christina and even occasionally Katherine.

I’m originally from just outside Chicago, an incredibly vibrant place with no shortage of amazing interiors and architecture. Winter visits, however, are not recommended (see #Chiberia and consider yourself warned).

Yes, Chicago is known as the Windy City, but no that’s not because it’s actually windy (although it is actually windy). And yes that’s in the American ‘Midwest’ but no that’s not actually in the middle of the west. Good, well I hope that clears things up?

The iconic Marina City towers in Chicago. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg

The iconic Marina City towers in Chicago. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg

I studied for a fine art degree in Boston, where I focused mainly on photography but also dabbled in printmaking, glass, sculpture, graphic design, enamelling, book-making and an assortment of other arty techniques. I spent my time doing up my tiny studio apartment, swooning over Boston’s many glorious Victorian houses and taking fairly frequent trips to NYC on the cheap as chips (um…fries) Chinatown bus, which was famous for catching fire en route.

At 23 I moved to beautiful Edinburgh, where I worked in visual merchandising at a furniture store, hanging heavy mirrors and, despite being the daughter of a Scottish father, struggling to work out why colleagues were constantly shouting ‘SQUINT!’ in my direction.

I worked for an estate agent on the weekends, which was a pretty perfect gig for someone who loved a good nosey round other people’s homes in the pre-Instagram days. And I may or may not have lived in a flat charmingly situated above a brothel called… wait for it…Fingerprints. Classy.

Edinburgh Old Town from Princes Street Gardens

Edinburgh Old Town from Princes Street Gardens

When I headed on down to London in search of opportunity my then-boyfriend found us an affordable flat near the delightfully nicknamed Murder Mile, much to my parents’ horror. But that was probably the start of my love affair with ramshackle Victorian terraces - something Clapton had in abundance.

Initially I was working in a corporate events team in the City as a temp and the next thing I knew I’d been working in banking for eight years, albeit in some pretty non-bankery roles.

By then I’d lived in Boundary Estate - the world’s oldest and most architecturally unique council estate, with its imposing Grade II listed red-brick blocks - and in the world’s noisiest flat overlooking Old Street. I met my husband outside the TEA building in Shoreditch just after midnight on one particularly boozy Friday just a few days after he’d returned from an 18-month trip around the world.

Not long after, we moved into lovely Lansdowne (although admittedly it was substantially less lovely back then), and by the time I set up my Instagram account towards the end of 2016, we were a good portion of the way through our very long renovation adventure. After years of deliberations, I left my City career to project manage the final phase and figure out once and for all what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I get asked a lot how I made the transition from a corporate career to launching my own business, so if you’re interested I can do a follow-up post specifically on that. But the short answer is that a rough patch in my life ended up being the catalyst I needed to take the leap.

Street art near Brick Lane, London

Street art near Brick Lane, London

So there you go - an abridged history of my life. But hmm that’s probably not really why you’re here, is it.

So what’s this blog all about? I wanted a spot to post content on interiors, homeware, design and renovations that’s more in-depth than an Instagram caption really allows. I’ll be sharing my own projects, but also inspiration from elsewhere and informative interiors-related stuff too. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to read about and I shall do my best to oblige.

In my next post I’ll be sharing a refresh of my blush and black dressing room (v exciting!), but first, here are some never before published (and completely non-interiors-related) facts about yours truly.

My guilty and guilt-free pleasures, in no particular order:

Cats. Lovable little jerks.

The Restoring Lansdowne fuzzy mischief duo. Much cuteness. Many destructions.

The Restoring Lansdowne fuzzy mischief duo. Much cuteness. Many destructions.

Strong coffee. I have at least four cafetières and I’m generally skeptical of people who don’t rely on caffeine to make mornings happen.

Festivals. Especially smaller, folkier ones like End of the Road and Green Man. Although I did do Glastonbury once in the mad, famed year when not a drop of rain did fall and I spent the week in my camping chair in the shade of an umbrella shielding my fair self from the relentless rays of a beating, English summer sun. No, seriously.

End of the Road Festival 2018, Dorset

End of the Road Festival 2018, Dorset

Comfort. My uniform is a well cut t-shirt, skinny jeans and biker boots. I’m also loving big woolly cape/poncho/wrap things because let’s be honest, they’re effectively just blankets you’re allowed to wear out in public.

Cultural and foodie stuff. Six years of renovations put a real damper on my free time / social life / will to live but I’m always up for checking out London’s vast contemporary art, theatre, restaurant and cocktail bar offering. And if Iron & Wine is in town you can bet your pantaloupes I’ll be there.

One of my new foodie favourites this year -    Pidgin    in Hackney

One of my new foodie favourites this year - Pidgin in Hackney

Cheese. Most kinds, am not fussy.

Wine. Most kinds, am not fussy.

My husband Dan, aka Husby. I’m not going to get all mushy about it, but he really is great and this list wouldn’t be complete without him on it. There would have been no restoring of Lansdowne without his top DIY skills and that’s just one of the many awesome things about him. He has charm for miles and he hates peas.

Husby in Aguas Calientes, Peru after we hiked the Inca trail in 2012. He wanted me to mention that he does normally wash his hair when plumbing is available.

Husby in Aguas Calientes, Peru after we hiked the Inca trail in 2012. He wanted me to mention that he does normally wash his hair when plumbing is available.

Kindness. I try to live by the motto that you really never know what someone else is going through. And hey, what’s the worst than can happen if you’re kind.

Travelling. To pretty places and then, ideally, taking pictures of them.

Moody Venice at night. Husby and I spent 3 weeks in Italy on honeymoon, where I ate butter and sage ravioli at least once a day and gained a dress size at least once a week #noregrets

Moody Venice at night. Husby and I spent 3 weeks in Italy on honeymoon, where I ate butter and sage ravioli at least once a day and gained a dress size at least once a week #noregrets

Beliefs based on legitimate, peer-reviewed research, science or facts. Lookin’ at you anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers and diet pill hockers. Well that escalated quickly.

Baking. Mainly because it usually leads to eating the tasty fruits of your baking labour. Which also explains why I’ve been doing less of it lately.

Triple chocolate cheesecake with raspberry coulis. Mmm.

Triple chocolate cheesecake with raspberry coulis. Mmm.

Documentary programmes. Especially anything medical. Give me 24 Hours in the A&E or Hospital over Love Island any day.

And, recently, running the Couch to 5k app. I’m on week 4 and my usual soundtrack is Social Distortion and/or Hey Ya! on repeat.

Things I actively avoid:

Slugs. BLEURGH. But then who doesn’t.

Tonic water. I like gin but tonic I can’t do. Tasty gin cocktail recipes sans tonic always graciously accepted.

When the word assuming is pronounced ‘uh-SHooming’. No, no, nooo. Please stop.

Oh and the word quirky. Which gives me hives.

Gyms. If you ever see the quite magnificent shade of scarlet my face turns when I get my heart rate going you’ll understand why physical exertion is best done solitarily if you’re me.

Oxford Street. Way too peopley.