Welcome to Green Plum Design’s First Official Blog Entry!

Hi Everyone, welcome to Green Plum Design.  My name is Ros Wyatt and I live right across the bay from San Francisco.  I am an interior decorator and a screen printer and this is my first ever blog entry!

So what’s it all about?  Well, in slightly over-sized nutshell, this blog is a celebration of interesting design, the ugly truth about re-modeling our house, the love of a quick lick of paint, being homesick for England while falling in love with California and a long and uphill battle to keep life simple.

Not so long ago I was living in a tiny village in the Derbyshire Dales in the heart of the English countryside… just me, my lovely husband, two children, a dog and lots of green fields and bleating sheep ….fast forward a handful of years and a very long story later and we are living in a little wooden beach cottage over-looking the San Francisco Bay…no complaints there…

So it was pretty small when we first moved in, just a little two bedroom bungalow when it boiled down to it – but it had the worlds most lovely light shining through every window and a spacious view of the sea and the city to compensate for it’s size.

Plus every room had wide tongue and groove wooden panels that made me want to weep.

When baby number three came along, we were really feeling the squeeze and so we made our home a little bigger and we now have an upstairs to our name.  Wow, that was so easy to write, I am going to have to say it again…we now have an upstairs to our name.  So quick and effortless to tap that in but anyone who has ever added a floor to their house and packed up and moved out,  bitten their nails to the bone about the cost and dealt with the planning-permit-people knows a different story.  Even now, after a good five years,  when I think of that little patch of life, living in another house with a tiny baby, dreading the rain during the flimsy-tarp-on-the-roof-weeks and the constant-stream-of-hefty-bills-months, I catch my breath.  And the worry, the nail biting worry over money and what we had committed ourselves to when there was clearly no going back…

Ahh,  let’s not go there now… back to the bit about an upstairs …in this little part of California, bungalow living is par for the course ( what with earthquakes and all ) but boy, did I miss going upstairs to bed.  It was all part of going to sleep for me, making that final upward traipse, picking up the odd pile of clothes from the bottom stair and then making a final glance down the stairs again before turning off the lights….

For our first few years here, I just took about three steps from our sitting room to our bedroom which was handily located right next door. Actually, it was down one step.   It just didn’t feel right.  After years of conditioning, I found myself trying to get into upstairs mode while I was still downstairs…Who’d have thought I’d miss it so much?

Moving back in held no end of pleasures for me but one of the biggest was the stairs.   So here they are, all sixteen of them…

So here I am now, settled back in, tiny baby now in kindergarten and I am able to work more doing what I love the most – interior decorating, simplifying, organizing and helping people make their home the place they want it to be.

I thought I would put together this blog to share, among other things, how this house evolved and how I have slowly made it the place I want to be – not just a house but as a newcomer to this country, my home.

So here is the first of many ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.   This is the back of our little house,  all knocked about with what turns out to be quite a small pile of rubbish and debris beside…it got, oh so much bigger…

and quite some months later….wait for it…

Now how is that for a satisfactory ‘before’ and ‘after’?   Plenty more where that came from, so keep tuning in.  And don’t you just love those “fried egg” poppies we have growing in our back garden?   Matilija Poppies to those in the know.

And here is one more…there’s the tarp, ripped and torn from that years record breaking rain and wind…

And the following summer…

And one final look at the dust and rubble for now…

And the back garden now with a few quiet places to sit…

So that’s it, my first ever blog entry.  I’ll be back very soon to give you more on the inside…but meanwhile I am off to paint some very tatty wooden panels that run along the side of the house…If you want to hear and see more, please do subscribe and I would love to hear any comments just so I know that you are out there!  See you soon,


About Ros

My name is Ros Wyatt and I live across the bay from San Francisco. I moved here from England fifteen years ago with my husband, two children and a dog. Since then I have had added one more child to the line up and work as a painting contractor, color consultant, blogger, and screen printer.
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31 Responses to Welcome to Green Plum Design’s First Official Blog Entry!

  1. Harriet garbers says:

    Love your blog Ros! And what a beautiful home you have created. Harriet x

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Harriet, love Rosx

  3. Rose says:

    This is the first blog that I have ever read and I love it. It is certainly well worth celebrating your achievements Ros. I look forward to the next instalment.
    Lots of love

  4. Lauren Edwards says:

    This looks so beautiful Ros, and I am very excited to see some more! x

  5. stella chadwick says:

    loved it, Ros – as I love the whole feel of your home – MUST visit next year?

  6. Lynda Mathey says:

    I can’t get enough of this type of thing. Love your house!

  7. Maura Allen says:

    Hi Ros,
    love those stairs, the light in the house and poppies. Have made over quite a few houses here myself which I’ll send you info on. And we survived a flood, living in hotels and a tiny apartment, cooking Christmas dinner on a portable two-ring burner, (no small feat if you’re a foodie and want the Sherry Trifle too), dishes in the bathroom during gutted kitchen days, and dust-laden dark and dank days of ensuing renovation. You’ve done a great job on yours. Hope you’ll post more photos of the interior.

    I miss those dales and bleating sheep too!

  8. anna and neil says:

    absolutely love your blog am sending it to friends as so proud of what you have created over there

  9. Catherine says:

    Hi Ros, it’s all beautiful but those exterior shots are especially stunning – what a lovely place to bask in the sun. You vividly bring to life what a nerve-wracking experience it was but it looks well worth the effort! Wish you could pop by our new place in Chengdu and give me some advice – we have a huge balcony but it’s looking a bit forlorn for now. Need plants, not to mention sunshine. Anyway, love the blog and will keep checking in. Have a great time with Lu and Eilidh! Big hugs, Cat xxxxx

  10. Ruth G. says:

    I can attest that the home Ros created doesn’t just LOOK warm and comforting, it truly IS warm and comforting! Great blog, Ros. I want more…

  11. Binni says:

    Really interesting to see the pictures of how it has all turned out having only seen it all midway. Bravisimo partner!

  12. Christine Adams says:

    Right, that’s it, I’m moving in with you, love. Never having read a blog before, yours is lovely, everything a proper blog ought to be. And your photos! I want to be having a cuppa curled up in one of those chairs overlooking the poppies right this minute. It’s gorgeous. And puts our paltry re-roofing, re-kitchening renovation experiences this year to shame. You’ve got a whole new upstairs! (and very nice stairs they are, too.) Lerryn tells me it’s even cuter than in pictures. But you know what they say, Ros, a home’s not properly lived in till you’ve had a few friends in for tea…ahem…anytime’s good for me, really…

  13. Denise says:

    Thanks for including me. Love the blog and look forward to the garden party! I also love to decorate and organize and miss having our own house to work on. So, it will be really fun to follow your blog.

  14. Sooze says:

    This is amazing Ros. You have a beautiful house and you sound like a lovely person!

  15. admin says:

    I feel honored that mine was the first blog you have read! big love rosxx

  16. admin says:

    Thanks Stella and as for next year, sounds like a plan if we don’t somehow get to visit you first! xxx

  17. admin says:

    I am trying to imagine cooking Christmas dinner on a two ring burner – that is dedication! xxxx

  18. admin says:

    the cuppa and the curling can be arranged!xxx

  19. Natalie Wi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Ros! I thought I was the only one that longed for stairs in California, but I moved across the country to get my stairs;) Your home is beautiful and I’m so happy that all is well for you and your family. I look forward to reading more. Much Love, Natalie

  20. admin says:

    SO good to hear from you and I am glad you the stairs too! Hope you and all your family are well, love Rosxxxx

  21. Kieren says:

    Lovely, Ros! Good for you!

  22. Diana Upcott says:

    William and I are so impressed with all we’ve read and seen about Green Plum and wish we could let you loose on our house! Congratulations Ros! It all looks wonderful, especially on a dank, foggy December day in England.

  23. kim says:

    what an amazing home and project! you home is beautiful. your renovations are seamless. all so cozy and simple after much hard work.
    congratulations on your new blog. cant wait to see more!

  24. admin says:

    Thanks Kim, I am still dreaming of your amazing studio! xx

  25. What a charming, fairy-tale story, Ros! And your house has such a warm and cozy fairy-tale feel. I know just what you mean about having stairs, btw, they were one of the things I always missed when I lived in various New York City apartments.
    Looking forward to more posts!

  26. admin says:

    I never thought I would miss stairs so much…I think it is about going up to a more private place and space where you can feel safe to sleep…who knows?xx

  27. Denise says:


    We love yard and estate sale shopping and have a pick up truck that can literally haul a ton of stuff. So, let’s go cruising together sometime.


  28. Rob and Lydia says:

    Ah, that reads, feels and looks so warm and lovely. It’s a complete package and it gives us all such a generous slice of your life. I think you have captured a new philosophy in the “after” picture: so positive and so near but so free of the sawdust, painty fingernails and flapping taupes of life. Reading your blog I find myself wondering why it is that I can tolerate the dark green and gold bathroom fitted by a former owner of my house? I long for the “after” picture. Keep it coming. Rob x

  29. admin says:

    I think you secretly like the dark green and gold – go on – just admit it!xxxxxxx

  30. anna and neil says:

    woah what a gorgeous house – I would like to sell up over here and move straight in
    you are so right about the light – it is beautiful – love the way you write
    keep em coming I am your no 1 fan
    span x

  31. Renata says:

    Ros! You delight and inspire. Your design is so subtle and nuanced, yet it packs a whollop of emotion — calm, love and comfort, humor, tenderness, the most meaningfull style of all. Thank you for this gift. OXOX Renata

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