I woke in a pool of sunlight, sleepily opening my eyes, I watch as the beams of light play against the old stone wall. I live in a spacious stone cottage, at the very edge of a large village. My closest neighbour is a solid 10minute walk away. On one side of my home is a newly refurbished greenhouse after which is my rambling garden, in both I grow a variety of wildflowers and herbs for both medicinal and gourmet purposes. The garden is separated from the surrounding forested by an old orchard which merges into the large cedars, hemlocks, pines, firs and oaks of the ancient woods. The verdant forest covering Cima di Forjorina spans out for hundreds of acres behind my home. To the right of my home stretching beyond the horizon are the sparkling blue waters Lago di Lugano. I live in a beautiful sheltered spot with my own small cove. The cove is a beautiful swimming spot during the warm seasons and the lake is good for fishing all year round. Brambles of blackberries and raspberries and various wild roses grace my home in a riot of colour, and my pantry with a rich stock of jams and preserves. I have converted the attic into my bedroom and added a large solarium style bathing chamber closest to the lake. The house proper is large and airy and holds a large open plan living area and kitchen. On the opposite side of the cottage to the solarium I added a large library. The library and solarium are the same size and shape of each other on the outside, both being constructed of reinforced glass, although the solarium is 80% whilst the library is 40%.


The walls are bare river stone and mortar, the floor is made from reclaimed oaken floorboards I found in a shop in town which sells old building materials that still have use left in them. The thick boards were worn smooth from wear and feel wonderful on bare feet.


My bedroom is furnished simply; a large king bed, white linens, an old French style padded headboard and side table set. I stripped the op-shop score down to bare wood, which I painted warm-white to match the linen (white works for me all year round; warm in winter, cool in summer. I replaced the headboard’s padding and recovered it with a simple hemp clothe using the same fabric to cover buttons to complete the project. This is secured to the wall from a wooden staircase leading down to the rest of the house. The ceiling on either side slopes down from the roof apex, creating a triangle shaped room. I installed a pair of French doors and small balcony giving me a view out over both the forest and a sliver of the lake to open the space up.  A large fireplace sits right next to the left of my bed between the French doors and the wall.


A large chest rests at the end of my bed which holds my extra linen and a thick knitted blue blanket I’ve had since I was 5. The wool used is half as thick as my forearm, the weight adds an extra layer of comfort during winter. An added bonus: the abstractly large size makes my soul snuggly(er).


My clothes, shoes and assorted paraphernalia are arranged along the right-hand side of my room, across from the balcony. The clothes racks are made from reclaimed industrial steel pipes, secured to the ceiling with thick sailing rope (thank you Pinterest). My clothes were hung up coordinated by colour beginning with white on the left, through to red on the right. I built shelves to store my shoes and bags with a similar colour system although after taking note I seem to have a definite preference for old brown leather bags.


A simple wooden staircase leading to my main living area is partially obscured by balustrading on the furthest end from the bed. Trailing vines of jasmine wind around the framework from the potted plants downstairs. Their gentle fragrance delicately spreading through the room. A gold armoire sat snug in the far right corner between the back of the staircase and my clothes racks. The armoire was filled with my obsession, custom made lingerie by Lovechild Boudoir and Julia Bremble. My obsession with these 2 creators knows no bounds, I spend more on the contents of my armoire than my clothes and kicks combined.

Rolling out of bed was hard, the warm blanket nest I had created in my sleep, fit me perfectly. My sheets and duvet were the softest, warmest white, hand sewn by myself after an exasperating trip to town and several online searches yielded nothing that caught my fancy. However, the thought of a hot coffee overcame the inclination to sleep in. Making my bed properly before beginning my day is part of my daily ritual.

Chapter 2>>