A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Through the Keyhole: Inside Highclere Castle, Location of Downton Abbey

This has to be one of the grandest Through the Keyhole’s we have had at A Residence. Highclere Castle, location of Downton Abbey, is also a home that is open to the public should this tour pique your interest!

Through the Keyhole: Inside Highclere Castle, Location of Downton Abbey

The castle’s history is fascinating, the current Earl’s great Grandmother turned Highclere into a war hospital with Kitchner’s permission. His great grandfather discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb, so the house also has an Egyptian exhibition which tells the story and includes many incredible replica objects.

Highclere Castle was the location of Downton Abbey for over 6 years, with filming occupying 13 hour days from February to July. Two members of castle staff were always on hand to supervise the use of the property and it’s delicate contents during filming, one of their tasks involved continually resetting the castle’s clocks to maintain continuity. Continue reading

Travel – Eco Hotel Interior Inspiration, Conscious Hotels, Amsterdam

Looking for an eco and family friendly hotel? Conscious Hotels, Museumplein, Amsterdam

Have you ever stayed in an eco hotel, or given much consideration to eco design? We recently travelled to Amsterdam with KLM airlines and stayed in an eco hotel with so much character, and as someone who is generally happier outdoors than indoors, it really inspired me.

A Hip Eco Hotel

Conscious Hotels aim to make their hotels green but fun, to be hip rather than hippy, in other words they make all the eco hotel decisions, so you can relax. All the energy comes from renewable sources, you can see the windmill that provides the power on the website and there are lots of clever eco design features too. Continue reading

My Happy Room: #MyHomeRocks Leafy Cheshire



I am really pleased to be able to share a home from my home shire, Cheshire today, in fact I am typing this from lovely leafy Cheshire, as I am visiting my Dad this week. I know today’s guest blogger really enjoyed looking at their home in a new light to take the pictures for this, and that is really what My Home Rocks is all about.

It was a gorgeous sunny day when our guest took these pics, and the sun and love really flood into this house. All homes rock in their own ways, but sometimes we are so busy looking at pictures in magazines, that we forget to love what we already have in our own homes. This really is a happy room.




This is my home in beautiful leafy Cheshire. Its a beautiful 1950’s semi in the suburbs. We moved in 18 months ago and we love it hear. Bear has settled in to preschool and we have just found out we have a school place jus around the corner. Were very lucky to live where we do, it has close links to major cities like Stoke on Trent and Crewe but its close enough to the likes of Wilmslow and Knutsford with both just a 20 minute car journey away.

When Penny and Wayfair asked me to show off my favourite room the choice was easy. The one room I love in our home is our back room / dinning room / play room. It has so much light in it, which streams through the doors and the little windows above , this is my happy room that has already brought so many memories, all good ones.




I love how bear can just get out his toys and plays for hours. I love our table and chairs it was from Henry’s late father’s house, so it means a lot to Henry. You can find something similar here at Wayfair.




Bear loves this corner as its where all his toys are kept he also loves looking up at the photos.

The one thing missing from this corner is a clock it drives me crazy I think something like this clock from Wayfair would go very well.




This is our view from the back room doors. Eventually we want to get rid of the rockery and get a summer house but I guess for now that’s a dream. We love sitting and watching bear playing in his play house and slide. It’s such a nice room , especially in summer when we have BBQs.

Once the play toys have gone we would love something like this bistro set to fill the space.




We love having the doors open in to the main lounge, when it’s sunny it completely changes the light in both rooms at different times of the day. I love sitting on this sofa it was a freebie from my sister when we lived in our old house. I can curl up on this sofa like a cat whose got the cream, for hours on end , it’s also my favourite place to blog or spend hours on social media. I would love a new sofa and i would go for something like this sofa. I love 1950’s style and think it would go very well.




Here are the sky lights that let so much beautiful light in, its an extension to our beautiful home which also makes our kitchen so much bigger.



I love the way this kitchen space has zoned areas for relaxing, dining and play, how the light floods in, and how the garden becomes an extension of the space.

Emma lives, as you now know, in leafy Cheshire, with her husband and son. She blogs at The Cheshire Wife, and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook. Do say hello and let her know you have been snooping round!


Emma’s Picks at Wayfair UK

Here are some of Emma’s favourite Wayfair picks, as mentioned in the post, perfect for creating compact zones in a multi functional space.


Through The Keyhole – How to Excel at an Eclectic Home


I am so excited about today’s eclectic home, it just has so many lovely treasures, and really shows that by collecting the things you love, that truly speak to you, and by arranging them with care, you can make your home truly come alive.

I love the way colour is used, the eclectic mix of objects and the playful sense of humour in this home. White walls makes the objects truly come alive and pop, like exhibits in an art gallery.


An Emotional Magpie…

It’d be fair to say my taste is a bit eclectic and wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking. I get that, I like to collect things that make me smile or inspire me, I’m an emotional magpie picking up mostly weird and some wonderful trinkets and bits and bobs. I don’t like things to match, so I just cross my fingers really hard and hope that it all works together. Somehow. Maybe. Continue reading

Through The Keyhole: Opening My Heart

I asked for some festive Through The Keyholes and I am really glad that this one landed in my inbox ready for the night’s just before Christmas. I think tonight it is good to remember that while Christmas is a wonderful, happy time, it can also be a challenging time for those facing obstacles. Today’s Through the Keyhole participant explains how her home helped her to heal and to open her heart once more. A lovely Christmas message.

 Opening My Heart

Christmas Hallway

As soon as I found the house, I knew I needed to live there. After a devastating separation, I wanted somewhere to hide away and lick my wounds. I managed to drive past it a couple of times before I found the turning tucked away and then as I drove past the farm into the old saddlery, I just knew. Continue reading

Through The Keyhole: Talking of Sparkle!

Today’s Through the Keyhole promised me some Christmas sparkle, turns out she is in fact the year round, Queen of Sparkle. I should have known, her wit and way with words sparkles on her blog too, I do hope you will click the keyhole icon when you have read the post, and drop by!

Talking of Sparkle


Warm and twinkly living room

This room kind of sums me up. It is definitely my room. I chose the colours, the twinklyness of the lights (and yes, it still is twinkly even once the Christmas tree comes down) and the statement wallpaper. My husband came home and stared. It is pink. But it’s pink in a really good way. Continue reading

Through the Keyhole – Building Our Forever Home

Through the Keyhole Building Our Forever Home

I’ve been following today’s Through the Keyhole on Instagram, she has a timeline that immediately draws you into her little world. I have to admit, and who wouldn’t be, I was teeny bit envious at first, what a beautiful home. However, nothing is ever that simple is it, and there is a really emotional story behind bringing this forever home together, which I encourage you to read.

Building Our Forever Home

We sourced these radiators from a local reclamation yard. I adore the old, schoolhouse look of them and the way they fit perfectly under our kitchen windows. They also make a really cosy seat on a cold day!

Continue reading

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