2018 highlights and looking ahead

My mum has often compared me to a Hummingbird  – a very small, brightly coloured bird that is constantly on the go and whose wings move so fast that they make a mild humming noise (although, in my case hopefully minus the humming noise as I’m sure that would drive everyone mad if I constantly did that!). She says that I move at a hundred miles an hour and somehow manage to squeeze so much into my life. Looking back at 2018, I think I can see why she has come to this analogy!

Those who watched my Instagram 2018 story highlights will have seen that we had a pretty busy year… We made lots of improvements down at Leat House, formed some magical family memories whilst on holiday, hit some birthday milestones, I hosted two Instameet events, was shortlisted for a blog award and completed a few room transformations. Amongst all of this, I shared everything with you guys! My blog and Instagram account have been the backbone to my freelance career path and have allowed me to achieve a work-life balance for us as a family. It’s a been a pleasure sharing our year with you all and I am truly grateful for each and every follow, like, comment and direct message. Thank you for being a part of my ‘Just A Little Build’ journey so far!

Here are just a few of 2018’s highlights;

  • Leat House was given a full paint facelift, some new bespoke windows were installed, the master bedroom was transformed and the middle lounge was giving a little revamp
  • Matt and I celebrated his 40th birthday with a blow-out masquerade style party
  • An intimate experience with wild dolphins off the north coast of Cornwall (my highlight of the year!)
  • Scarlett learnt to walk
  • Completed my very own Ikea hack by creating my a miniature Tom Howley kitchen for the children
  • Riley’s bedroom had a little makeover with a new feature corner wall
  • Transformed my friend’s little boy’s bedroom
  • Shortlisted for an Amaras Interiors Lifestyle blog award
  • Hosted two of my own events – ‘Just A Little Instameet’ and ‘Just A Little Christmas’
  • Entered the world of IGTV
  • More than doubled my Instagram following to 78K followers – I am so overwhelmed by this!!
  • Wrote 34 blog posts and achieved over 400,000 views on my blog!
  • Worked with some fantastic brands and championed small independent businesses

Looking ahead, what will 2019 have to offer?

Aside from my own personal goals for the year I thought I would share some of the projects/aspects that we hope to achieve in 2019…

Re-design of a staircase and kitchen at Leat House

To kick start the year I will be working with a structural designer to reconfigure one of the staircases in Leat House. Formerly two cottages, the property has two staircases – one in the kitchen and one in the living room. The staircase in the kitchen currently divides the cooking area and dining area which naturally interferes with the flow of the room and doesn’t allow for optimal use of the space. The plan is to alter the design of the staircase so it spirals up to the first floor as opposed to going straight and starts from a different position within the room. This will allow for an open plan kitchen diner with a larger cooking area and perhaps even a kitchen island.

Log cabin/5th bedroom annex

This was actually on our list of things to do for 2018 but we never got round to doing it!! 2019 will be the year that we install a log cabin at the bottom of the garden to suffice our need for additional space and a 5th bedroom for when guests come to visit. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come without the need for planning permission as the cabin will be over 10m from the house and we have no permitted development rights for the property. However, we do already have two large sheds in the location that we hope to place the cabin so it will just be a structural replacement (albeit with a change of use).

Strive to get people offline with the creation of further Instameet events

After two successful Instameets last year, I hope to continue to host more throughout 2019. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity to bring like-minded individuals together, to learn new skills, new ideas and to be introduced to new concepts, but it is also a fantastic way to get people to meet face-to-face offline.

I am currently in midst of planning my third ‘Just A Little Instameet’ which aims to provide Interior design advice, concepts to achieve health and happiness and the ability to meet the people behind some of my favourite small businesses. The date for your diaries is Thursday 28th March but more information on this event will follow very shortly!

Transform our master bedroom

Our master bedroom has been one of those rooms that fall to the back of your mind and you forget all about, which is such a shame as we spend every single day in there! When we moved back into the house (almost two years ago) we simply brought in all our old furniture and hung up our old curtains. The only new things we added to this room were the wall lights and ceiling pendant, both from Wayfair, and a large rug from Modern Rugs UK.

The plan for this room is to source all new furniture, a bed and some new window dressings. We currently don’t have any bedside units as these went down to Leat House. Instead, we have our spare dining room ghost chairs so we definitely need to buy some of these! The colour on the walls is Pavilion Gray which will serve as the foundation to my room design. Through the introduction of statement colours, some wall art and varying furniture shapes, I hope to achieve a master bedroom to be proud of! If you fancy taking a look at my recent pins on Pinterest for inspiration on this room, click here.

Website redesign for www.leathouse.com

After almost two years live on the Web, leathouse.com deserves a facelift. I hope to develop a logo for the site and redesign its existing layout. The house is slowly changing to suit our tastes so it only feels right to give the website the same treatment!

Charity Work

Something close to my heart is the desire to do something good for 2019. I would like to give something back to the world through the involvement of some charity work. Life is about caring and sharing and helping those who need it most. So watch this space for updates on this…

Brand Collaborations

Working with brands has been a highlight to my solo career so far. It has given me the opportunity to share my love of interiors, food and family life, to inspire others and to create new and exciting content. My Instagram platform has been the springboard to ‘Just A Little Build’ and through passion, hard work, creativity and dedication, I have managed to make this my job. I am a self-employed blogger, Instagrammer, wife and mum of three – something I am extremely proud of!

As such, this is an area that I hope to expand upon this year. I am excited by the prospect of collaborating with both big and small brands and especially with brands that fit my ideals, my style and that naturally fit into my way of life.

I have been flattered by the interest some of these brands have shown so far in me, but moreover, I have been inspired by some extraordinary products and designs that I have been lucky enough to work with so far. The entrepreneurial spirit and courage that many smaller businesses show, simply blows me away! I am a huge advocate for championing small businesses as they often have some of the best products/concepts out there but just get lost in the world of retail. In 2019 I hope to continue to work closely with more small businesses.

Who knows how 2019 and will pan out, it may take us down a completely different path altogether! Either way, here’s to a new year of life, adventure and enjoyment! Thank you all for your support, for reading, for liking and commenting on our journey. I hope you will continue to follow me/us into the new year and wish you all a very happy 2019!

Thanks for reading x



  1. my.victorian.house
    January 13, 2019 / 6:45 pm

    What a great first blog of the year SJ. Looking forward to what the new year brings. I’m optimistic it’s going to be a fabulous, busy year. I’m quite new to instagram but the I love the positive community and I’m excited about the future. xxx

  2. January 14, 2019 / 9:16 am

    Really enjoyed reading this .. both from what you have achieved (total goals on the blog viewing & insta following .. maybe one day! .. I’m very excited to see all the plans you have come to life … I’ve also penciled in the 28th March .. Happy 2019

    • justalittlebuild
      January 14, 2019 / 9:46 am

      Thank you so much Niki!

  3. Fiona Bailey
    January 14, 2019 / 5:03 pm

    You really are a inspration to others !!! The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. I hope to join you on the 28th March . You inspire me when I read your lovely post’s keep up the great work.

  4. Jenny
    January 27, 2019 / 10:37 am

    We have a log cabin/ 5th bedroom which was luckily already built when we bought our house. It needs a makeover though so looking forward to seeing what you do with yours!

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