Our Favourite Creative Homebodies : Hugo and Elsa

Each week we’re tracking our favourite creative homebodies.  This week we are visiting the divine Ms M, Michelle Crawford from the gorgeous Tasmanian based blog Hugo and Elsa.  (And next week we’ll tell you how you can win an iPad by sharing a favourite corner of YOUR home using the #homebodies hashtag! Woot!)

Now let’s hear Michelle’s take on Home.  Over to her….

It started as a whisper, “you are home.”

But I wasn’t really listening. Something in my heart quietly said “you’re home” but I sure didn’t hear it.

It was October 2006, with a baby on my hip and a preschooler at my knee, all I wanted was to find a house, buy it and move in by Christmas. We’d been living in Tasmania for two years and I was tired of renting, tired of moving and really tired of looking for “the right” house to buy. I was far too distracted at the time to stop and listen to any quiet inner voice.

Standing proudly on sand stone foundations, the house ticked some of the wish list boxes: it was a weatherboard farmhouse with a big enough garden and was in fairly good original condition. Plus we could afford it, the biggest tick of all. “We’ll take it” we said after our second look, and we signed the documents and there you have it. We had bought a house and, move in by Christmas we did. But it wasn’t love at first sight, not by any means.

How can I explain the feeling that the house didn’t feel like home? We were new here, and nothing felt right. I looked around and I didn’t see anything familiar or lovely. Although the house was functional, it didn’t feel like it was truly ours.

I wanted a space that met our needs physically, emotionally and creatively as a growing up family. I wanted to create a warmhearted home. A home for filling with family, friends, good food and love. We weren’t there yet, but I could see this place had potential.

Newly moved in, fixing up our place was a priority and so the real work of turning this century old house into a comfortable home began.  First came the easy, cosmetic stuff:  painting the walls white, ripping up carpets, removing fussy curtains and light fittings. In the garden, we planted fruit trees, moved the driveway and built a sandpit, cubby house and chook palace. Over the years we’ve tackled bigger projects like installing skylights, knocking out walls and we completely gutted and replaced the kitchen.  It’s now our pride and joy.  Our favourite room in the house. With its beloved wood cooker, a super-huge dining table and plenty of space, that’s where you’ll find us most weekends, creating, cooking, relaxing and spending time together.

If there’s a quote that rings true for our family it’s Jane Austen’s ‘There is nothing like being at home for real comfort.’ We are a family of homebodies and a weekend spent at home, making the house lovely, cooking delicious food and sharing it with friends is our idea of perfection.

The transformation from our house to our home has been ever so gradual. It’s seven years this summer since we moved in and yet we’re far from finished. As we watch our children grow, so this house grows with them. I don’t mean grow in size, I mean it grows on us. Over the years, with every lick of paint, every tree planted and every tile grouted, that barely audible little voice grows stronger. What started as a whisper has grown over the years and I now hear the words “You are home” quite clearly.  In my heart.

Our warm-hearted home. It is us and we are it.

We are home.

Creative Homebodies : Kootoyoo
Creative Homebodies : Meet Me at Mike’s
Creative Homebodies : Gourmet Girlfriend
Creative Homebodies : Wee Birdy
Creative Homebodies : Foxs Lane 

Would you like to share the bits of YOUR home that you love the most? Tweet or Instagram a photo with the #homebodies hashtag to share or join in.  We’ve got lots of wonderful bloggers posting their thoughts on home and #homebodies over the coming weeks.

This post was written for Harpic’s Clean For A Cause Campaign. Harpic will donate $10 to Save The Children for every hour that you clean. Win!  And speaking of winning, you could win a $100 gift voucher here, thanks to Harpic.

  • http://twitter.com/ruthbruten GourmetGirlfriend


  • Reannon Hope

    Oh my goodness this is one of the most beautiful posts I’ve ever read! Thankyou.
    We moved to WA 5.5 years ago & we ended up building a brand new house on a lovely big one acre block. This week it has been 4 years since we moved in & we are still getting the feel of the house ( & our state!) too. I feel like we are still tranistiong from house to home but I love that fact that every single thing that is done here is done by us.

    • hugoandelsa

      Thank you so much for your kind words Reannon! Building your own home so that everything about it is a reflection of you must be a wonderful feeling.x

  • Kate

    Just beautiful Michelle.
    We bought our house because of the farm it sits on.
    The farm is wonderful but house is nothing like the house I thought I would call home. But over time we too have been painting and knocking down and changing and I think she might be whispering to me too. Quietly. xx

    • hugoandelsa

      Thank you Kate. I’m glad your house is whispering to you and that you are listening. xx

  • Noni

    A lovely post. I have followed your blog for a while and every time I read it I want to rush over to Tasmania and buy my own “home”. We moved from Vic to SA 5 years ago and have rented the same place since the move. Because of circumstances beyond our control we cannot afford to buy (sigh) but I have been surprised at how much we are making here feel like home. (we are nesters at heart and have built veggie gardens, chook palaces, planted fruit trees etc. despite the madness of investing so much when renting). I hope one day I can have a “home” that I am unafraid of being forced to leave because it is not “ours”.

    • hugoandelsa

      Your place sounds lovely Noni, your landlord is lucky to have such awesome tenants like you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/keltie.archer Keltie Archer

    I missed you, so I went to your blog to find that lovely footage of you in your kitchen and then ended up here! I so wish there was a high-speed train from my house to yours. What a beautiful piece, you write just like You.

    • hugoandelsa

      Thank you for your sweet words Keltie xx

  • Sadie

    Hedley and I just built a beautiful house on the kitchen table and he made a “gun” and knocked it over. Sigh. Beautiful piece of writing and beautiful pics, Michelle.

    • hugoandelsa

      Aww thanks Sadie