Authorly Curiosity

Christina here. Authors are by nature inquisitive – some people might even say nosey – but that is a very necessary trait. We observe the people around us to get inspiration for characters, we listen in on conversations in cafés and on trains and buses to help create good dialogue, and we try to absorb all the details of the world around us and store them in our memories. Because you never know when it will come in useful, or what will spark the beginning of a story. It could be any or all of the above that suddenly results in that lightbulb moment when a novel is born. All authors have their own favourite triggers, but for me it’s very often a house, which means that I am extremely curious about other people’s homes. Not just because the way they are decorated shows the owner’s individual taste, but the buildings themselves – the style, the layout, the interior décor, the era it was built. It all feeds my imagination.

Brochure spread 2I’ve mentioned before that I go to stately homes and ruins to find inspiration, but not every character is going to live in a place like that. Therefore, I’m always on the lookout for suitable properties, and although I can, of course, check out houses in the local community, it’s good to have a greater choice. And obviously, you can’t just go and knock on someone’s door and ask to have a look around as that would seem rather suspicious (and rude!). But there is a better way – real estate agents’ websites and brochures. I have occasionally pretended to be an interested buyer, just to obtain the particulars of some magnificent house or other, and these are extremely useful!

Country LifeHere in the UK there is a magazine called Country Life which is known to have advertisements for all the most upmarket and expensive properties for sale each week. Long before I became an author, I used to buy this on a regular basis, just to see the houses. Or if I was feeling a bit low on funds that week, I might just sneak a quick look while browsing through it in the supermarket aisle (I know, very naughty of me). I longed to own one of those properties, and quite a few times I sent for the brochures just in order to daydream. I kept the best ones and they come in very handy when I’m seeking inspiration. Because these were exclusive houses, the brochures were expensively glossy and full of photos showing all the main rooms and the gardens. Helpfully, they also contained floor plans – what could be better when planning a story? If I decided that my characters lived there, I could see exactly where in the house they needed to be at any time, which would be their bedrooms, and where the hero and heroine could “accidentally” meet perhaps.

MagazinesThe choice of properties was endless and it was always exciting to see what would be on offer each week. A small castle or hunting lodge in Scotland, a Victorian Gothic mansion in Yorkshire, a golden sandstone beauty outside the city of Bath, or perhaps a summer estate in Devon or Cornwall? I ended up with quite a collection of property details as I wanted them all! These days, of course, it’s usually not necessary to send for any brochures at all as they are mostly available to download as PDFs on the internet. It’s not quite as exciting, but it does the job.

Having chosen a suitable house for the characters, of course I had to imagine how I wanted the interiors, and this is something I absolutely love doing. (In real life, I think it’s the best part of moving to a new house – so exciting!).

Wallpaper oneI have been told my taste is quite eccentric and, to be honest, I often itched to get my hands on some of those rooms in the brochures in order to revamp them or change the colour schemes. I’m not terribly handy when it comes to DIY, but I can wield a paintbrush and even hang wallpaper at a pinch – and I enjoy both. It’s a lot easier to do it in your imagination though and if, say, my heroine has just moved into one of those lovely properties, I could let her do the hard work (or hire a decorator).

ScrapbookThere are any number of stylish interior decorating magazines, and I have bought my fair share of those too over the years. At one time, I kept a scrap book where I’d paste in any interior features that particularly caught my fancy. Bits of furniture, curtains, ornaments and wallpaper. (Yes, I sent for wallpaper and fabric samples on occasion too – there’s nothing like being able to see it up close and holding it up to a wall to see the effect). I later used these scrap books to decide on decorations for our own home when we finally did buy a house in the country (we had lived in an apartment in London before that). So they came in handy for that too. These days most people would probably use Pinterest, rather than real scrap books and glue, but although I tried that, I didn’t find it anywhere near as satisfying as leafing through proper pages.

Sample and wallI’m sure we all have our preferences when it comes to colour schemes and designs. As authors, we obviously put a lot of our own tastes into our manuscripts. Of course, if we’re writing about the Regency for example, we have to try not to stray from prevailing tastes in interior decoration (and the known colours at the time – see Joanna’s excellent blog post here), but the colours can still be the ones we would prefer ourselves. (Or not, if we want someone to live in a particularly ghastly place.) I would struggle with the Victorian’s preferred choices, I have to say – their colours seem very dark and oppressive to me. Whereas I have no problem with the bright colours of the Regency. Eau-de-Nil sounds lovely, doesn’t it? As does aquamarine and jonquil yellow!

Chinese bedroomPersonally, I don’t like modern buildings – I can see the appeal of clean lines and simplicity, but it’s not for me. For a modern day hero or heroine though, it could be ideal. Since I sometimes write time slip (or dual time) stories, my characters in the present won’t always live in a period property in the countryside, and might need an apartment somewhere in a city. I can still choose what appeals to me – perhaps something like an old warehouse that’s been converted to stylish apartments, retaining some of the original features, such as a bare brick wall or the overhead beams. The so called ‘industrial chic’ that’s been all the rage is quite fun! Or a small studio apartment in a former Victorian building, complete with ornate plasterwork and high ceilings. The choices are endless and I always have a great time looking for just the right place!

What would be your dream house or apartment? Have you ever sent for any property particulars just out of sheer curiosity, even when you knew you could never afford the house in question? Or do you keep scrapbooks/Pinterest pages of things that appeal to you? It’s fun to daydream!

90 thoughts on “Authorly Curiosity”

  1. What a great post Christina! I love that you keep scrapbooks for inspiration! I’m a scrapbooker myself and I find it so therapeutic. I basically scrapbook family gather and trips. If I was a writer, I would probably keep scrapbooks like your also. My dream house consists of a beautiful turret with a cozy window seat for reading.

    Reply
  2. What a great post Christina! I love that you keep scrapbooks for inspiration! I’m a scrapbooker myself and I find it so therapeutic. I basically scrapbook family gather and trips. If I was a writer, I would probably keep scrapbooks like your also. My dream house consists of a beautiful turret with a cozy window seat for reading.

    Reply
  3. What a great post Christina! I love that you keep scrapbooks for inspiration! I’m a scrapbooker myself and I find it so therapeutic. I basically scrapbook family gather and trips. If I was a writer, I would probably keep scrapbooks like your also. My dream house consists of a beautiful turret with a cozy window seat for reading.

    Reply
  4. What a great post Christina! I love that you keep scrapbooks for inspiration! I’m a scrapbooker myself and I find it so therapeutic. I basically scrapbook family gather and trips. If I was a writer, I would probably keep scrapbooks like your also. My dream house consists of a beautiful turret with a cozy window seat for reading.

    Reply
  5. What a great post Christina! I love that you keep scrapbooks for inspiration! I’m a scrapbooker myself and I find it so therapeutic. I basically scrapbook family gather and trips. If I was a writer, I would probably keep scrapbooks like your also. My dream house consists of a beautiful turret with a cozy window seat for reading.

    Reply
  6. Thank you Maryellen! I have scrapbooks for recipes, crochet patterns and cross stitch as well, and individual folders for each of my novels. It’s very satisfying and therapeutic, as you say. And I love the sound of your beautiful turret – window seats are a must!

    Reply
  7. Thank you Maryellen! I have scrapbooks for recipes, crochet patterns and cross stitch as well, and individual folders for each of my novels. It’s very satisfying and therapeutic, as you say. And I love the sound of your beautiful turret – window seats are a must!

    Reply
  8. Thank you Maryellen! I have scrapbooks for recipes, crochet patterns and cross stitch as well, and individual folders for each of my novels. It’s very satisfying and therapeutic, as you say. And I love the sound of your beautiful turret – window seats are a must!

    Reply
  9. Thank you Maryellen! I have scrapbooks for recipes, crochet patterns and cross stitch as well, and individual folders for each of my novels. It’s very satisfying and therapeutic, as you say. And I love the sound of your beautiful turret – window seats are a must!

    Reply
  10. Thank you Maryellen! I have scrapbooks for recipes, crochet patterns and cross stitch as well, and individual folders for each of my novels. It’s very satisfying and therapeutic, as you say. And I love the sound of your beautiful turret – window seats are a must!

    Reply
  11. Loved this post! I have a subscription to Country Life, which is hellishly expensive to deliver to the states, and sometimes arrives a month late. No matter. I love each issue, and until we moved last summer, kept every one. I’ve let the subscription lapse several times, but I keep going back. I justify the price by contributing an equal amount to a food bank and don’t feel as guilty.
    We wallpapered a tiny breakfast nook in the new house, and I must have 50 wallpaper samples. Every day a new packet would come and it was like Christmas. I taped them all to the wall and “lived” with them for a while and wound up buying the 1st one that caught my eye, LOL.
    As a former Realtor, I got to knock on peoples’ doors and inspect their closets. It was great fun, although I saw many, many things no one should ever see.
    I save inspiration stuff on Pinterest now, and have pages for a couple of my series. No glue required!

    Reply
  12. Loved this post! I have a subscription to Country Life, which is hellishly expensive to deliver to the states, and sometimes arrives a month late. No matter. I love each issue, and until we moved last summer, kept every one. I’ve let the subscription lapse several times, but I keep going back. I justify the price by contributing an equal amount to a food bank and don’t feel as guilty.
    We wallpapered a tiny breakfast nook in the new house, and I must have 50 wallpaper samples. Every day a new packet would come and it was like Christmas. I taped them all to the wall and “lived” with them for a while and wound up buying the 1st one that caught my eye, LOL.
    As a former Realtor, I got to knock on peoples’ doors and inspect their closets. It was great fun, although I saw many, many things no one should ever see.
    I save inspiration stuff on Pinterest now, and have pages for a couple of my series. No glue required!

    Reply
  13. Loved this post! I have a subscription to Country Life, which is hellishly expensive to deliver to the states, and sometimes arrives a month late. No matter. I love each issue, and until we moved last summer, kept every one. I’ve let the subscription lapse several times, but I keep going back. I justify the price by contributing an equal amount to a food bank and don’t feel as guilty.
    We wallpapered a tiny breakfast nook in the new house, and I must have 50 wallpaper samples. Every day a new packet would come and it was like Christmas. I taped them all to the wall and “lived” with them for a while and wound up buying the 1st one that caught my eye, LOL.
    As a former Realtor, I got to knock on peoples’ doors and inspect their closets. It was great fun, although I saw many, many things no one should ever see.
    I save inspiration stuff on Pinterest now, and have pages for a couple of my series. No glue required!

    Reply
  14. Loved this post! I have a subscription to Country Life, which is hellishly expensive to deliver to the states, and sometimes arrives a month late. No matter. I love each issue, and until we moved last summer, kept every one. I’ve let the subscription lapse several times, but I keep going back. I justify the price by contributing an equal amount to a food bank and don’t feel as guilty.
    We wallpapered a tiny breakfast nook in the new house, and I must have 50 wallpaper samples. Every day a new packet would come and it was like Christmas. I taped them all to the wall and “lived” with them for a while and wound up buying the 1st one that caught my eye, LOL.
    As a former Realtor, I got to knock on peoples’ doors and inspect their closets. It was great fun, although I saw many, many things no one should ever see.
    I save inspiration stuff on Pinterest now, and have pages for a couple of my series. No glue required!

    Reply
  15. Loved this post! I have a subscription to Country Life, which is hellishly expensive to deliver to the states, and sometimes arrives a month late. No matter. I love each issue, and until we moved last summer, kept every one. I’ve let the subscription lapse several times, but I keep going back. I justify the price by contributing an equal amount to a food bank and don’t feel as guilty.
    We wallpapered a tiny breakfast nook in the new house, and I must have 50 wallpaper samples. Every day a new packet would come and it was like Christmas. I taped them all to the wall and “lived” with them for a while and wound up buying the 1st one that caught my eye, LOL.
    As a former Realtor, I got to knock on peoples’ doors and inspect their closets. It was great fun, although I saw many, many things no one should ever see.
    I save inspiration stuff on Pinterest now, and have pages for a couple of my series. No glue required!

    Reply
  16. I already live in my dream house. When we moved here, I asked the agent for a house that was “big enough to be considered small by Better Homes and Gardens.:” and that is where we live: living room, dining room kitchen, bath and bedroom on the main floor and an additional den/bedroom/workroom with bath plus the utility room on the lower floor.
    The decorating style is what I call “Great American Hand-me-down” because there are family pieces, pieces we’ve bought for other homes we’ve had, and a bedroom with matching furniture.

    Reply
  17. I already live in my dream house. When we moved here, I asked the agent for a house that was “big enough to be considered small by Better Homes and Gardens.:” and that is where we live: living room, dining room kitchen, bath and bedroom on the main floor and an additional den/bedroom/workroom with bath plus the utility room on the lower floor.
    The decorating style is what I call “Great American Hand-me-down” because there are family pieces, pieces we’ve bought for other homes we’ve had, and a bedroom with matching furniture.

    Reply
  18. I already live in my dream house. When we moved here, I asked the agent for a house that was “big enough to be considered small by Better Homes and Gardens.:” and that is where we live: living room, dining room kitchen, bath and bedroom on the main floor and an additional den/bedroom/workroom with bath plus the utility room on the lower floor.
    The decorating style is what I call “Great American Hand-me-down” because there are family pieces, pieces we’ve bought for other homes we’ve had, and a bedroom with matching furniture.

    Reply
  19. I already live in my dream house. When we moved here, I asked the agent for a house that was “big enough to be considered small by Better Homes and Gardens.:” and that is where we live: living room, dining room kitchen, bath and bedroom on the main floor and an additional den/bedroom/workroom with bath plus the utility room on the lower floor.
    The decorating style is what I call “Great American Hand-me-down” because there are family pieces, pieces we’ve bought for other homes we’ve had, and a bedroom with matching furniture.

    Reply
  20. I already live in my dream house. When we moved here, I asked the agent for a house that was “big enough to be considered small by Better Homes and Gardens.:” and that is where we live: living room, dining room kitchen, bath and bedroom on the main floor and an additional den/bedroom/workroom with bath plus the utility room on the lower floor.
    The decorating style is what I call “Great American Hand-me-down” because there are family pieces, pieces we’ve bought for other homes we’ve had, and a bedroom with matching furniture.

    Reply
  21. I love looking at the Country Life houses on my computer—such gorgeous pictures. And I love looking at various real estate listings on line too. One of my favorites is searching for multi-million dollar co-ops in Manhattan, complete with maid’s rooms. 🙂
    Actually, my dream home is an apartment, not that elaborate, but in a well-run building where somebody else takes care of the maintenance, and where I can just call up the super if the faucet is leaking.
    My decorating style is what a friend of mine once called “Salvation Army Eclectic.”

    Reply
  22. I love looking at the Country Life houses on my computer—such gorgeous pictures. And I love looking at various real estate listings on line too. One of my favorites is searching for multi-million dollar co-ops in Manhattan, complete with maid’s rooms. 🙂
    Actually, my dream home is an apartment, not that elaborate, but in a well-run building where somebody else takes care of the maintenance, and where I can just call up the super if the faucet is leaking.
    My decorating style is what a friend of mine once called “Salvation Army Eclectic.”

    Reply
  23. I love looking at the Country Life houses on my computer—such gorgeous pictures. And I love looking at various real estate listings on line too. One of my favorites is searching for multi-million dollar co-ops in Manhattan, complete with maid’s rooms. 🙂
    Actually, my dream home is an apartment, not that elaborate, but in a well-run building where somebody else takes care of the maintenance, and where I can just call up the super if the faucet is leaking.
    My decorating style is what a friend of mine once called “Salvation Army Eclectic.”

    Reply
  24. I love looking at the Country Life houses on my computer—such gorgeous pictures. And I love looking at various real estate listings on line too. One of my favorites is searching for multi-million dollar co-ops in Manhattan, complete with maid’s rooms. 🙂
    Actually, my dream home is an apartment, not that elaborate, but in a well-run building where somebody else takes care of the maintenance, and where I can just call up the super if the faucet is leaking.
    My decorating style is what a friend of mine once called “Salvation Army Eclectic.”

    Reply
  25. I love looking at the Country Life houses on my computer—such gorgeous pictures. And I love looking at various real estate listings on line too. One of my favorites is searching for multi-million dollar co-ops in Manhattan, complete with maid’s rooms. 🙂
    Actually, my dream home is an apartment, not that elaborate, but in a well-run building where somebody else takes care of the maintenance, and where I can just call up the super if the faucet is leaking.
    My decorating style is what a friend of mine once called “Salvation Army Eclectic.”

    Reply
  26. Thank you, Maggie, and I’m so glad you love Country Life magazine too! I didn’t realise it was possible to get it sent to the States. It’s always such fun to look through it, isn’t it. LOL re: the wallpaper samples – I can definitely relate to that! And I envy you having been a Realtor (even if you did see a few unsavoury sights) – must have been great!

    Reply
  27. Thank you, Maggie, and I’m so glad you love Country Life magazine too! I didn’t realise it was possible to get it sent to the States. It’s always such fun to look through it, isn’t it. LOL re: the wallpaper samples – I can definitely relate to that! And I envy you having been a Realtor (even if you did see a few unsavoury sights) – must have been great!

    Reply
  28. Thank you, Maggie, and I’m so glad you love Country Life magazine too! I didn’t realise it was possible to get it sent to the States. It’s always such fun to look through it, isn’t it. LOL re: the wallpaper samples – I can definitely relate to that! And I envy you having been a Realtor (even if you did see a few unsavoury sights) – must have been great!

    Reply
  29. Thank you, Maggie, and I’m so glad you love Country Life magazine too! I didn’t realise it was possible to get it sent to the States. It’s always such fun to look through it, isn’t it. LOL re: the wallpaper samples – I can definitely relate to that! And I envy you having been a Realtor (even if you did see a few unsavoury sights) – must have been great!

    Reply
  30. Thank you, Maggie, and I’m so glad you love Country Life magazine too! I didn’t realise it was possible to get it sent to the States. It’s always such fun to look through it, isn’t it. LOL re: the wallpaper samples – I can definitely relate to that! And I envy you having been a Realtor (even if you did see a few unsavoury sights) – must have been great!

    Reply
  31. That sounds wonderful, Sue! I love having family pieces in my house too. They all have a history and I associate them with different people I know or have known. That makes them very special and even more cherished!

    Reply
  32. That sounds wonderful, Sue! I love having family pieces in my house too. They all have a history and I associate them with different people I know or have known. That makes them very special and even more cherished!

    Reply
  33. That sounds wonderful, Sue! I love having family pieces in my house too. They all have a history and I associate them with different people I know or have known. That makes them very special and even more cherished!

    Reply
  34. That sounds wonderful, Sue! I love having family pieces in my house too. They all have a history and I associate them with different people I know or have known. That makes them very special and even more cherished!

    Reply
  35. That sounds wonderful, Sue! I love having family pieces in my house too. They all have a history and I associate them with different people I know or have known. That makes them very special and even more cherished!

    Reply
  36. Love the sound of that and I’m all for eclectic, Lil! My taste is definitely both eclectic and eccentric and I think it’s great when our interior designs reflect our characters. You have a point about the apartment – it would be lovely to be able to just call someone up when something goes wrong. And there wouldn’t be any flowerbeds to weed either … I hadn’t thought of looking for Country Life online – will go and do that now, thank you!

    Reply
  37. Love the sound of that and I’m all for eclectic, Lil! My taste is definitely both eclectic and eccentric and I think it’s great when our interior designs reflect our characters. You have a point about the apartment – it would be lovely to be able to just call someone up when something goes wrong. And there wouldn’t be any flowerbeds to weed either … I hadn’t thought of looking for Country Life online – will go and do that now, thank you!

    Reply
  38. Love the sound of that and I’m all for eclectic, Lil! My taste is definitely both eclectic and eccentric and I think it’s great when our interior designs reflect our characters. You have a point about the apartment – it would be lovely to be able to just call someone up when something goes wrong. And there wouldn’t be any flowerbeds to weed either … I hadn’t thought of looking for Country Life online – will go and do that now, thank you!

    Reply
  39. Love the sound of that and I’m all for eclectic, Lil! My taste is definitely both eclectic and eccentric and I think it’s great when our interior designs reflect our characters. You have a point about the apartment – it would be lovely to be able to just call someone up when something goes wrong. And there wouldn’t be any flowerbeds to weed either … I hadn’t thought of looking for Country Life online – will go and do that now, thank you!

    Reply
  40. Love the sound of that and I’m all for eclectic, Lil! My taste is definitely both eclectic and eccentric and I think it’s great when our interior designs reflect our characters. You have a point about the apartment – it would be lovely to be able to just call someone up when something goes wrong. And there wouldn’t be any flowerbeds to weed either … I hadn’t thought of looking for Country Life online – will go and do that now, thank you!

    Reply
  41. I subscribe to several magazines and then save pages that have things which appeal to me….paints – fabrics – furniture.
    I also receive a French Magazine which has homes for sale. I love to see all the pictures of the interiors…..I think of what I would do to rooms which need to be refurbished. I look at the outside and try to imagine how I would have a cup of coffee and look out over the scenery.
    I will never move to France. But, I believe dreaming and imagining is a lovely thing.
    I am not into modern or mid-century modern. I want fabrics with flowers and soft furniture and little things around on surfaces. I want to walk into a room in my home and see comfort and coziness all around me. I want people who come into my home to feel a sense of warmth and care immediately.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  42. I subscribe to several magazines and then save pages that have things which appeal to me….paints – fabrics – furniture.
    I also receive a French Magazine which has homes for sale. I love to see all the pictures of the interiors…..I think of what I would do to rooms which need to be refurbished. I look at the outside and try to imagine how I would have a cup of coffee and look out over the scenery.
    I will never move to France. But, I believe dreaming and imagining is a lovely thing.
    I am not into modern or mid-century modern. I want fabrics with flowers and soft furniture and little things around on surfaces. I want to walk into a room in my home and see comfort and coziness all around me. I want people who come into my home to feel a sense of warmth and care immediately.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  43. I subscribe to several magazines and then save pages that have things which appeal to me….paints – fabrics – furniture.
    I also receive a French Magazine which has homes for sale. I love to see all the pictures of the interiors…..I think of what I would do to rooms which need to be refurbished. I look at the outside and try to imagine how I would have a cup of coffee and look out over the scenery.
    I will never move to France. But, I believe dreaming and imagining is a lovely thing.
    I am not into modern or mid-century modern. I want fabrics with flowers and soft furniture and little things around on surfaces. I want to walk into a room in my home and see comfort and coziness all around me. I want people who come into my home to feel a sense of warmth and care immediately.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  44. I subscribe to several magazines and then save pages that have things which appeal to me….paints – fabrics – furniture.
    I also receive a French Magazine which has homes for sale. I love to see all the pictures of the interiors…..I think of what I would do to rooms which need to be refurbished. I look at the outside and try to imagine how I would have a cup of coffee and look out over the scenery.
    I will never move to France. But, I believe dreaming and imagining is a lovely thing.
    I am not into modern or mid-century modern. I want fabrics with flowers and soft furniture and little things around on surfaces. I want to walk into a room in my home and see comfort and coziness all around me. I want people who come into my home to feel a sense of warmth and care immediately.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  45. I subscribe to several magazines and then save pages that have things which appeal to me….paints – fabrics – furniture.
    I also receive a French Magazine which has homes for sale. I love to see all the pictures of the interiors…..I think of what I would do to rooms which need to be refurbished. I look at the outside and try to imagine how I would have a cup of coffee and look out over the scenery.
    I will never move to France. But, I believe dreaming and imagining is a lovely thing.
    I am not into modern or mid-century modern. I want fabrics with flowers and soft furniture and little things around on surfaces. I want to walk into a room in my home and see comfort and coziness all around me. I want people who come into my home to feel a sense of warmth and care immediately.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

    Reply
  46. I think you and I must have very similar tastes, Annette! I would love to look through your cuttings files to see what you have collected. And the French magazines to check out the properties for sale. There seem to be an abundance of tiny “chateaux” over there in need of refurbishing – wouldn’t that be a fun project?! And some of the Parisian apartments are absolutely fabulous, so big and sumptuous. Yes, it’s wonderful to dream!

    Reply
  47. I think you and I must have very similar tastes, Annette! I would love to look through your cuttings files to see what you have collected. And the French magazines to check out the properties for sale. There seem to be an abundance of tiny “chateaux” over there in need of refurbishing – wouldn’t that be a fun project?! And some of the Parisian apartments are absolutely fabulous, so big and sumptuous. Yes, it’s wonderful to dream!

    Reply
  48. I think you and I must have very similar tastes, Annette! I would love to look through your cuttings files to see what you have collected. And the French magazines to check out the properties for sale. There seem to be an abundance of tiny “chateaux” over there in need of refurbishing – wouldn’t that be a fun project?! And some of the Parisian apartments are absolutely fabulous, so big and sumptuous. Yes, it’s wonderful to dream!

    Reply
  49. I think you and I must have very similar tastes, Annette! I would love to look through your cuttings files to see what you have collected. And the French magazines to check out the properties for sale. There seem to be an abundance of tiny “chateaux” over there in need of refurbishing – wouldn’t that be a fun project?! And some of the Parisian apartments are absolutely fabulous, so big and sumptuous. Yes, it’s wonderful to dream!

    Reply
  50. I think you and I must have very similar tastes, Annette! I would love to look through your cuttings files to see what you have collected. And the French magazines to check out the properties for sale. There seem to be an abundance of tiny “chateaux” over there in need of refurbishing – wouldn’t that be a fun project?! And some of the Parisian apartments are absolutely fabulous, so big and sumptuous. Yes, it’s wonderful to dream!

    Reply
  51. Lovely post, Christina. I don’t buy magazines for my house fix, and I live too far away to be able to pop into some of the great houses of the UK or Europe — I trawl the web. For every book, I find a house for my characters to live in. Sometimes it’s just one house but sometimes it’s a combination of features from several houses. And often I’ll also add in the countryside around them. I used to print them off and make collages out of them, but these days I mainly just keep them in a digital file.

    Reply
  52. Lovely post, Christina. I don’t buy magazines for my house fix, and I live too far away to be able to pop into some of the great houses of the UK or Europe — I trawl the web. For every book, I find a house for my characters to live in. Sometimes it’s just one house but sometimes it’s a combination of features from several houses. And often I’ll also add in the countryside around them. I used to print them off and make collages out of them, but these days I mainly just keep them in a digital file.

    Reply
  53. Lovely post, Christina. I don’t buy magazines for my house fix, and I live too far away to be able to pop into some of the great houses of the UK or Europe — I trawl the web. For every book, I find a house for my characters to live in. Sometimes it’s just one house but sometimes it’s a combination of features from several houses. And often I’ll also add in the countryside around them. I used to print them off and make collages out of them, but these days I mainly just keep them in a digital file.

    Reply
  54. Lovely post, Christina. I don’t buy magazines for my house fix, and I live too far away to be able to pop into some of the great houses of the UK or Europe — I trawl the web. For every book, I find a house for my characters to live in. Sometimes it’s just one house but sometimes it’s a combination of features from several houses. And often I’ll also add in the countryside around them. I used to print them off and make collages out of them, but these days I mainly just keep them in a digital file.

    Reply
  55. Lovely post, Christina. I don’t buy magazines for my house fix, and I live too far away to be able to pop into some of the great houses of the UK or Europe — I trawl the web. For every book, I find a house for my characters to live in. Sometimes it’s just one house but sometimes it’s a combination of features from several houses. And often I’ll also add in the countryside around them. I used to print them off and make collages out of them, but these days I mainly just keep them in a digital file.

    Reply
  56. Thank you and that sounds great, Anne! I love looking at websites too and combining several houses into one in order to get the best of each is a good idea. After all, it’s really difficult to find a house that has everything you want – in real life we usually have to compromise, but in fiction we don’t have to!

    Reply
  57. Thank you and that sounds great, Anne! I love looking at websites too and combining several houses into one in order to get the best of each is a good idea. After all, it’s really difficult to find a house that has everything you want – in real life we usually have to compromise, but in fiction we don’t have to!

    Reply
  58. Thank you and that sounds great, Anne! I love looking at websites too and combining several houses into one in order to get the best of each is a good idea. After all, it’s really difficult to find a house that has everything you want – in real life we usually have to compromise, but in fiction we don’t have to!

    Reply
  59. Thank you and that sounds great, Anne! I love looking at websites too and combining several houses into one in order to get the best of each is a good idea. After all, it’s really difficult to find a house that has everything you want – in real life we usually have to compromise, but in fiction we don’t have to!

    Reply
  60. Thank you and that sounds great, Anne! I love looking at websites too and combining several houses into one in order to get the best of each is a good idea. After all, it’s really difficult to find a house that has everything you want – in real life we usually have to compromise, but in fiction we don’t have to!

    Reply
  61. What a fun post, Christina … thank you! We live in a 1950s era home that is, according to my husband, poorly built (floors are not level, for example); we’ve made a few improvements such as a new roof and windows, but there is MUCH that could/ought be done. I’m looking forward to new carpet and interior paint one day. If I were really dreaming, I’d add a half bathroom. The house is that sort of in-between age — not old enough to be interesting, but too old to be new.

    Reply
  62. What a fun post, Christina … thank you! We live in a 1950s era home that is, according to my husband, poorly built (floors are not level, for example); we’ve made a few improvements such as a new roof and windows, but there is MUCH that could/ought be done. I’m looking forward to new carpet and interior paint one day. If I were really dreaming, I’d add a half bathroom. The house is that sort of in-between age — not old enough to be interesting, but too old to be new.

    Reply
  63. What a fun post, Christina … thank you! We live in a 1950s era home that is, according to my husband, poorly built (floors are not level, for example); we’ve made a few improvements such as a new roof and windows, but there is MUCH that could/ought be done. I’m looking forward to new carpet and interior paint one day. If I were really dreaming, I’d add a half bathroom. The house is that sort of in-between age — not old enough to be interesting, but too old to be new.

    Reply
  64. What a fun post, Christina … thank you! We live in a 1950s era home that is, according to my husband, poorly built (floors are not level, for example); we’ve made a few improvements such as a new roof and windows, but there is MUCH that could/ought be done. I’m looking forward to new carpet and interior paint one day. If I were really dreaming, I’d add a half bathroom. The house is that sort of in-between age — not old enough to be interesting, but too old to be new.

    Reply
  65. What a fun post, Christina … thank you! We live in a 1950s era home that is, according to my husband, poorly built (floors are not level, for example); we’ve made a few improvements such as a new roof and windows, but there is MUCH that could/ought be done. I’m looking forward to new carpet and interior paint one day. If I were really dreaming, I’d add a half bathroom. The house is that sort of in-between age — not old enough to be interesting, but too old to be new.

    Reply
  66. Thank you! It sounds fascinating, Kareni, and level floors are overrated ! I love houses that are uneven in some way, much more interesting. I think most eras have their own intriguing aspects and I guess a hundred years from now what we call new-builds are going to be antique and “quaint”. I hope you have fun choosing a carpet when the time comes – all those lovely swatches to check out! (I’ve never sent for carpet swatches but I want to now!)

    Reply
  67. Thank you! It sounds fascinating, Kareni, and level floors are overrated ! I love houses that are uneven in some way, much more interesting. I think most eras have their own intriguing aspects and I guess a hundred years from now what we call new-builds are going to be antique and “quaint”. I hope you have fun choosing a carpet when the time comes – all those lovely swatches to check out! (I’ve never sent for carpet swatches but I want to now!)

    Reply
  68. Thank you! It sounds fascinating, Kareni, and level floors are overrated ! I love houses that are uneven in some way, much more interesting. I think most eras have their own intriguing aspects and I guess a hundred years from now what we call new-builds are going to be antique and “quaint”. I hope you have fun choosing a carpet when the time comes – all those lovely swatches to check out! (I’ve never sent for carpet swatches but I want to now!)

    Reply
  69. Thank you! It sounds fascinating, Kareni, and level floors are overrated ! I love houses that are uneven in some way, much more interesting. I think most eras have their own intriguing aspects and I guess a hundred years from now what we call new-builds are going to be antique and “quaint”. I hope you have fun choosing a carpet when the time comes – all those lovely swatches to check out! (I’ve never sent for carpet swatches but I want to now!)

    Reply
  70. Thank you! It sounds fascinating, Kareni, and level floors are overrated ! I love houses that are uneven in some way, much more interesting. I think most eras have their own intriguing aspects and I guess a hundred years from now what we call new-builds are going to be antique and “quaint”. I hope you have fun choosing a carpet when the time comes – all those lovely swatches to check out! (I’ve never sent for carpet swatches but I want to now!)

    Reply
  71. I remember that Susanna Kearsley in one of her blogs here described how she liked to live in the location of her novels to authenticate detail and absorb atmosphere. I also seem to recall that Maggie Robinson lived in the Cotswolds while writing her Cotswold based series. This sounds like a great way of combining business and pleasure, rather like scientists organizing conferences in interesting locales. The only magazine that I buy is MoneyWeek which always includes a list of interesting (and expensive) property. What I would really like though is a house with a very large garden with a (friendly) ghost who prunes the roses.
    Great post Christina!

    Reply
  72. I remember that Susanna Kearsley in one of her blogs here described how she liked to live in the location of her novels to authenticate detail and absorb atmosphere. I also seem to recall that Maggie Robinson lived in the Cotswolds while writing her Cotswold based series. This sounds like a great way of combining business and pleasure, rather like scientists organizing conferences in interesting locales. The only magazine that I buy is MoneyWeek which always includes a list of interesting (and expensive) property. What I would really like though is a house with a very large garden with a (friendly) ghost who prunes the roses.
    Great post Christina!

    Reply
  73. I remember that Susanna Kearsley in one of her blogs here described how she liked to live in the location of her novels to authenticate detail and absorb atmosphere. I also seem to recall that Maggie Robinson lived in the Cotswolds while writing her Cotswold based series. This sounds like a great way of combining business and pleasure, rather like scientists organizing conferences in interesting locales. The only magazine that I buy is MoneyWeek which always includes a list of interesting (and expensive) property. What I would really like though is a house with a very large garden with a (friendly) ghost who prunes the roses.
    Great post Christina!

    Reply
  74. I remember that Susanna Kearsley in one of her blogs here described how she liked to live in the location of her novels to authenticate detail and absorb atmosphere. I also seem to recall that Maggie Robinson lived in the Cotswolds while writing her Cotswold based series. This sounds like a great way of combining business and pleasure, rather like scientists organizing conferences in interesting locales. The only magazine that I buy is MoneyWeek which always includes a list of interesting (and expensive) property. What I would really like though is a house with a very large garden with a (friendly) ghost who prunes the roses.
    Great post Christina!

    Reply
  75. I remember that Susanna Kearsley in one of her blogs here described how she liked to live in the location of her novels to authenticate detail and absorb atmosphere. I also seem to recall that Maggie Robinson lived in the Cotswolds while writing her Cotswold based series. This sounds like a great way of combining business and pleasure, rather like scientists organizing conferences in interesting locales. The only magazine that I buy is MoneyWeek which always includes a list of interesting (and expensive) property. What I would really like though is a house with a very large garden with a (friendly) ghost who prunes the roses.
    Great post Christina!

    Reply
  76. Thank you Quantum! Living in the house you’re writing about would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, the glossy brochures are the next best thing. I didn’t know there were property details in MoneyWeek – will have to check that out. And yes, a gardening ghost would be very handy indeed – I could definitely do with one of those!

    Reply
  77. Thank you Quantum! Living in the house you’re writing about would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, the glossy brochures are the next best thing. I didn’t know there were property details in MoneyWeek – will have to check that out. And yes, a gardening ghost would be very handy indeed – I could definitely do with one of those!

    Reply
  78. Thank you Quantum! Living in the house you’re writing about would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, the glossy brochures are the next best thing. I didn’t know there were property details in MoneyWeek – will have to check that out. And yes, a gardening ghost would be very handy indeed – I could definitely do with one of those!

    Reply
  79. Thank you Quantum! Living in the house you’re writing about would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, the glossy brochures are the next best thing. I didn’t know there were property details in MoneyWeek – will have to check that out. And yes, a gardening ghost would be very handy indeed – I could definitely do with one of those!

    Reply
  80. Thank you Quantum! Living in the house you’re writing about would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, the glossy brochures are the next best thing. I didn’t know there were property details in MoneyWeek – will have to check that out. And yes, a gardening ghost would be very handy indeed – I could definitely do with one of those!

    Reply

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