Make your house a real home right from the start

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I started planning and building our own house. We mostly planned everything out ourselves, from the room division to the front appearance, and the materials we wanted to have. You can imagine this is/was no easy job. We had to make sure all the little details fit both our taste and our budget (I have to say my taste usually exceeds my budget by far so I had a tough time planning right there!), and we had to be aware of the fact that some of our decisions would really affect our lives for many years to come.

Last year, when I was thinking about what I would want my own house to look like, the first thing that came to mind was “home, I want my house to look like a home”, somewhere friends and family can happily gather, somewhere other people and not only us would feel comfortable, somewhere my personality is reflected in the little things… I wanted my house to be welcoming, and not because of the nice decorations, nope… I wanted the grounds to be welcoming, the walls, the basement ..everything… And to add that little extra I already had to know what I wanted before we started and as we went along, and not only once we were at the furniture picking stage.

house-2609484I have to add that we were lucky enough to have the chance to actually design things from the very beginning (even if we had some legal requirements to follow through – which did not entirely allow us a 100% freedom) and therefore we could add a personal touch to everything we did, we even told the architect how to draw our dream home.

I will talk to you about our journey once we actually move in and things are more or less ready,  but for now, I can definitely give you one or the other advice on how to start turning your house into a home already while building it.this requires a lot of work, time, nerves and patience as a house is not only about the fabrics and interiors, but is a lot of raw work as well… but it is well worth it, and here are my top 5 bits of advice on how to turn your dream house into your dream home from the very beginning.

bathroom-2541163Be aware that this requires a lot of work, time, nerves, and patience as a house is not only about the fabrics and interiors, but it consists of a lot of raw work, and a lot of little accidents and bumpers… but it is well worth it! So here are my top 5 bits of advice on how to turn your dream house into your dream home from the very beginning.

All of this requires a lot of work, time, nerves and patience as a house is not only about the fabrics and interiors, but is a lot of raw work as well… but it is well worth it, and here are my top 5 bits of advice on how to turn your dream house into your dream home from the very beginning.

  • Build in indirect lighting (find some ideas on Pinterest here: Pinterest´s best indirect lights
  • Plan a cosy fireplace in the living room
  • Make sure you have enough natural light coming into the house from outside (so plan bigger windows for instance or more of them)
  • Turn your bathroom into your own personal SPA
  • Try to use real wood elements

Have you tried any of these? Write to me your ideas either in a comment or per Email and stay tuned for updates and make sure to check out my Instagram page 🙂

Cheers

Pete x

PS: the following sites gave me a lot of inspiration, you might want to check them out 🙂 Housebeautiful / westwingnowBolia

Air B&B – Hype or Gain?

So being sick at home does have one advantage, I figured. I get time to read alll sort of stuff and articles I otherwise would not have the time to look at.

Today I came across an interesting one on a Hungarian news site – unfortunately it is only in Hungarian (14M Hungarian speakers right on – see here:  Index.hu : Air B&B!) , and since I am originally from Hungary it was not so hard to read.  The content got me pretty much hooked up, as tt explores and offers insights on the reasons why Air B&B is not as popular (in Budapest, Hungary)among real estate owners as it used to be.

Before going into that, let me briefly tell you what Air B&B actually is, hopefully most of you know this already cause if not I would start wondering where you have been living for the past 8 years or so. Anyhow; AIR B&B is a homestay network giving people a  chance to rent out rooms, apartments and the like for a relatively short period of time (whatever your definition of short term is) instead of having to book a hotel room for probably much more money or less privacy during a holiday or a work related stay (read more about it here: Wikipedia Air B&B or here Air B&B Official ).

So practically imagine you listing a room in your own house or your holiday cottage on a web site for people to rent for a few days or week. Would you do it? Would you trust your house to be out there on the internet for people to see, for anyone to rent? I know lots of people would probably be reluctant and just not do it, but in favour of this service I have to say there is a whole identification process through ID / Passport before being able to register, and on top of that the tenants can just say no.

According to the article, Air B&B is facing a drop which will show on a long term rather than in the short term. Owners are usually worried about the value of their property dropping due to misuse and parties. All very valid reasons, I also would never ever rent out my property to strangers on such a short term, but maybe that is just me being skeptical. I can fully understand why the business is dropping, even though I think this might rather be the case in big central cities. On coastal areas people own beach houses and lodges, so I would imagine those are rented out to families with kids (think Fincas in Spain 🙂 ) who usually cause less problems than young bachelors looking for a one night stand in Eastern Countries.

Going forward, lets take a look at the interesting side to me, that of the consumers, in this case that of those booking the places.

I personally have no full experience with Air B&B yet, but I did book 2 apartments already for part of my stay during my next holidays (which I will share once 100% confirmed). I am a bit skeptical about this as I said, and I am the kind of person who would rather travel less but fully pamper herself.. So yes, I like nice dinners and nice hotels. Don´t get me wrong, I would go for a lodge in the middle in the jungle too, but I would extend my encounter with nation to a nice place on the beach afterwards. I would also go to a retreat in some temple for a while, but I wouldn´t go on a “weeks long” backpacking trip. And this really shouldn’t be seen a critique to those doing that, but I need that extra bathroom hygiene. Paranoia and all. But anyway, back to the booking part. We are building a house this year, which, let me tell you, does decrease that travel budget a whole lot, and so I told my husband I was in for the compromise. This, translated, means booking a bit from Booking.com, a bit from LHW and a bit from Air B&B. Fair enough.

To my surprise Air B&B is very easy to navigate you have LOTS of detailed information and it is super easy to communicate with the owners of the apartments. Prices may vary, it all depends on what you are looking for. I think overall it is still less than a hotel, you can even choose for a place with towels, hairdryers and all sort of things a woman can’t really live without. The only problem with the listed prices is that at check out you do get extra costs such as cleaning and booking fees, I wonder why these hidden costs are not calculated in the listed price anyway. I think it would be better to have the listed price being the check out price, and at check out to have the price break down so you can see the split.

Overall I am not sure I would book a holiday entirely through Air B&B, on one hand I like the feeling of being home away from home, but on the other I like to treat myself with a few extras during those days of the year I don´t actually have to work !

So guys, I don´t want to revel too much about my next trips as things are just not fixed yet, but I am very excited and I will for sure write a few words down, might even need some help. Stop 1 is in a couple of weeks!

Please do share your experience with me and let me know how it went, I am very curious and excited at the same time!

Love

xoxo

Pete

ps: don´t forget to check out @thepeteway

2017: Make this a better one

Hi guys!

I hope you had an incredible Christmas this year, with those you love the most close to you and lots and lots of cookies and presents 🙂

As of me yup, I can say I had the usual hectically fun and filled with family and friends Christmas. We had the usual extended family Christmas Eve dinner, on the next day we went to eat out (yeah well as if we didn´t have enough left overs at home to feed half of the country, but whatever) and on Boxing day we had brunch altogether. Somehow we had a small gathering on the day after Christmas as well, just to make sure we didn’t miss out on anyone this year either. Sometimes I wonder why people have to pack their yearly family visits in 3 days, don’t we have another like 362 available for this kind of stuff? Well anyway, the fun and the stress are kind of over now as I am back to work 🙂

NYE was 2 days ago. Wow, 2016 is officially over. I usually take this time of the year to look back for a second and contemplate (as if I don’t contemplate enough anyway :). So how was this 2016?

Well, musically seen, a catastrophe. How many deaths did we have? Let me see…let´s list them..

  • George Michael (December)
  • Sharon Jones (November)
  • Leon Russell (November)
  • Leonard Cohen (November)
  • John Berry – Beastie Boys (May)
  • Prince (April)
  • Merle Haggard (April)
  • Phife Dawg (March)
  • Frank Sinatra Jr. (March)
  • Joey Feek (March)
  • Denise Matthews (February)
  • Maurice White (February)
  • Paul Kantner – Jefferson Airplane (January)
  • Glenn Frey – Eagles (January)
  • David Bowie (January)

SO yes we can´t really say it has been a good year from this point of view, but hmm What else happened? Trump happened. Yes, Obama will be followed by him, I don´t think there is a need to comment this one.

Brexit happened. No comment on this one either.

In Europe we didn´t have an easy year either, terror attacks were , Nizza and Berlin are just two of a longer list of examples. If you are curiour to see the whole list you can click on this link:

Terror Attacks – 2016

If I think about this I still get goosebumps. So many innocent souls have gone and who knows how many more will do if this doesn’t stop. I am not sure about you but I feel so helpless, all we can do is try to stand up for our beliefs and show we have no fear. But do we really have no fear? I am not so sure about this one either. I got mixed feedbacks while talking about it to different people (of various ages, and backgrounds), some of them are actually scared and are worried about their future. Not only because of the terror attacks but also because of the immigrants ‘situation in the continent, people are starting to feel uneasy, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I guess this is a normal reaction to the unknown. As for me, I do believe it is our responsibility to help those in need if we can, yet I am saddened by fact that many people do fake their identities to get asylum, and therefore take away a share from what is for those really in need.

Anyway, on the brigher side..

 if you think back and you push all of this negativity away from your aura, what comes to your mind? What made you happy this year? What did you improve? Did you do something good to yourself and those around you? Did you help a stranger in need?

On a personal level I have to say my 2016 was pretty much packed with things to do, trips and organizational things.

This year I have been in Italy, Spain (twice), Hungary (twice), Emirates, Seychelles, and probably some other place I can´t remember as of now… I got married and got to see my family and friends altogether (which does not happen very often by the way) and I got to see some really good friends I haven’t seen in a very long time! I learnt to appreciate myself, and to listen to my heart. Well sometimes to my head too.

I did some charity work, I turned thirty (love this age by the way) and last, but not least, I will become an aunty in summer J (my brother in law and his fiancée are having a baby !)

So yes, I can definitely say I had a good year. Really good year. And I am looking forward to having an even better 2017.

I will not make a bucket list this time, instead, each time something really good happens to me, I will write a note and throw it in a jar. At the end of 2017 I will take my notes out of the jar and remind myself that good things happen. Did you consider the idea as well?

If you didn´t, you definitely should!

Have a blessed 2017 beautiful people ❤

xoxo

Pete

ps: Don´t forget to check out my Instagram page @thepeteway

HalloWHAT?

Sunday, October 30th. The western world is going crazy looking for scary costumes, reserving tickets in clubs for theme parties and to be honest looking mostly quite ridiculous. Tomorrow is Halloween. Or actually, “All Hallows Day”, or like we call it in Europe, “All Saints´Day” (in Hungary and Germany – as well as some other Countries in Europe –  this is celebrated on November 1st).

But what does that really represent? Most people link the festivity to trick or treating, costume parties, skulls and pumpkins. In reality Halloween represents the beginning of a three day observance of the death. It is a time on which people in most of the Catholic countries take time to remember the lost ones. Even though I believe our lost, loved ones should be (and are) constantly in our hearts, this period of the year is a good one to bring families together.

img_7236Unfortunately I think the real meaning of this celebration has been lost, and it turned more pagan then spiritual. Sure it is fun and I think it is a very nice evening / night for the kids. If I will have kids I might bring them all over the place as well, funnily dressed looking for sweets in the neighbourhood. But let´s go one step back and see what All Saint´s Day is.

All Saints, in Catholic communities, is celebrated on November 1st and commemorates all the Saints “living in heaven”. On November 2nd however, the commemoration extends to the death.

I have seen many celebrations, but my favourite cult (in the sense that I find it interesting, not that I would do it myself) of the death is the Mexican one. In 2014 I visited a Mexican cemetery in Merida, and I have to say I was impressed by the colours and the flair it had. Some of the graves are painted in the deaths´favourite colour, and the bones are visible for all to see. The family waits for the decomposition process of the body to be over,extracts and cleans the remaining bones from the grave, and places them in a box right next to it. I don´t know the spiritual meaning of this, but if you do know pls comment below or send me an Email through the contact form. I would love to have more insights on this practise.

Among others, here you can see the picture of a sculpture in which a woman checks the pulse of her dead husband (picture taken in Merida, Mexico). This symbolises hope. The corpse is left at home for about 24 hours for the family to mourn, after that the heart rate is checked again to make sure the person did really pass away. I am not sure this is a tradition all over Mexico, but I really found interesting when I saw it in Merida.

 

dsc00540
Sculpture of a woman checking the heart rate of her husband, to make sure he really passed away.

 


On All Saints day, the cemetery fills up with people and donations to the death are made, sometimes their favourite meals are cooked or favourite objects are brought over. I find this very interesting, even though I would like to gain more insights as per the meaning of this ritual. Family and friends gather together on the Dia de Muertos, remembering all the lost ones. Personally I find the meaning of such gatherings more powerful than those of Halloween, which, as I said, has been turned into more of a pagan than a religious celebration.

Anyway, I am personally not at against Halloween at all, I find it interesting to see what kind of costumes people come up with and I did attend enough parties of the sort in my life. I did go trick or treating as well, but having spent most of my childhood in Italy I have rather celebrated Carnival (usually in February). There I always had a costume, my favourite one was a Sailor Moon costume self made by my mother, too bad I don´t have a picture to show (or maybe it is better this way hehe).

img_7234
Outside decoration of a café in an industrial area of Munich, Germany

If I had to put on a costume again, I would probably copy (oh wow copy cat) one from Adriana Lima (click on the link below to see the look!) – Love it !

Best celebrity Halloween costumes of all time

What are you wearing this year? Share it with us and comment in the below fields, or send me an E-mail 🙂

To all the kids (and parents) out there, happy trick or treating tomorrow !

Lots of love

Pete xx