Inside Stacey Solomon’s new dream life

She’s in love with Pickle Cottage, but feeling overwhelmed

Stacey Solomon Pickle Cottage dream life

by Katie Holloway |
Updated on

It was with wild excitement and a fair few emosh tears that Stacey Solomon showed fans around her incredible new Essex mansion last week – after uncharacteristically keeping it on the down low for months. We all know how stressful moving is, let alone with so many pickles (that’s kids, to you and me) – and nothing says “relaxing weekend” like piling your whole life into boxes and then having to unpack them again. However, when you’ve moved into a £1.2m period home in the countryside, it probably makes the whole experience a little more joyful.

Stacey’s 4.2m Insta followers were thrilled for her and loved her tour of the 15th-century, four-bed property and grounds. As did we. Most exciting thing to have happened to us all week.

Stacey and fiancé Joe Swash have moved with their family – Zachary, 13, Leighton, eight (Stacey’s sons from previous relationships), one-year-old Rex, and their two dogs, Peanut and Theo. Joe’s son Harry, 13, wasn’t there for moving day.

Posting a family shot from their 2.5 acre back garden, Stacey told her fans, “We cannot even describe how strange it feels that this is home. Never in a million years did we ever think this would be. We feel so lucky and are so grateful to have found this hidden treasure closer to our family and further out. We can’t wait to fill it with love and give it our everything. To raise our family here. And to just start afresh.” Accompanying the picture taken in front of the house, Stacey said, “I’m very emotional for some reason. It still hasn’t sunk in and doesn’t quite feel real... Here’s to the next chapter in Pickle Cottage.”

And we’re told that Stacey is in complete disbelief that she has been able to buy her dream home and is feeling a bit overwhelmed.

“Stacey really can’t believe what has happened to her over the past 18 months – she has to keep pinching herself that this is her life,” an insider close to the 31 year old told heat. “She had Zach at 17 and had nothing, so now she feels so grateful that she can give him and her other kids this dream life. She is a worrier and has moments of freaking out that it’s all too good to be true.”

Stacey has dubbed the four-bedroom house – which also has a swimming pool and detached outbuilding – “Pickle Cottage” in reference to her nickname for the kids. The property, which dates back to the 1500s, features a large country-style kitchen with an AGA, a library, a “leisure complex with Jacuzzi”, and a master bedroom with en suite and a dressing room. And with the décor looking a little dated, it’s clear that Stacey is keen to get cracking on renovating.

On her Insta tour, craft and DIY-queen Stacey pointed out wardrobes she was planning on painting, fireplaces she wanted to clean up, and all of the property’s many sinks that she has become “obsessed” with. The boys, however, seemed to be most excited about the giant garden – complete with a mini house built in the exact likeness of the main property for them to play in.

CHECK OUT Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash's love story from the start


Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash relationship timeline slider with cover pic

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Swipe through to see Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash's complete relationship timeline...

Stacey I'm A Celeb2 of 22

2010: Stacey wins I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

When Stacey won I'm A Celeb in 2010, she was already in a relationship - but it's where she first met Joe, who was presenting the spin-off show, named I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW! at the time. He'd previously won the show in 2008, and Stacey was a guest on the show the following year. The pair became good friends, and Joe later admitted he'd fancied Stacey back then, but it wasn't the right time!

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

January 2016: Stacey and Joe are spotted together

The pair first sparked dating rumours when Stacey shared a snap of herself on a spa weekend saying that she felt like a 'new woman', and just days later was spotted arm-in-arm with Joe in Essex.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Stacey Solomon

January 2016: Stacey and Joe go Instagram official

Stacey went Instagram official with her new boyfriend later that month, sharing a snap of Joe with some flowers and she told the Mirror, "It's going really well... We're having fun, spending time together and getting to know each other." Joe added to OK! online, "She's lovely, she's an amazing person... I'm really lucky."

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

March 2016: Joe and Stacey make their first public appearance together

The new couple made their first official public appearance together in March 2016 at the Gala Screening of 'Game of Thrones' Season 5, Episode 8. Stacey also shared a photo of the pair together on Instagram with the caption, '#happy ud83dudc99ud83dude01.' [sic]

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

May 2016: Joe and Stacey go on holiday together with her sons

In May 2016, Stacey shared photos of herself with her sons on holiday in the countryside - and also posted a video of herself with Joe on a romantic row boat trip.

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August 2016: Stacey discusses having babies with Joe on Loose Women

Although they'd only officially been together for eight months, Stacey revealed that she was feeling pretty positive about the relationship, even adding that they'd discussed having babies together. Joe even said, "I think definitely babies, that's a good idea."

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October 2016: Joe and Stacey appear on Celebrity Juice and spark engagement rumours

During an appearance on Celebrity Juice together, host Keith Lemon made Joe 'propose' to Stacey - but it wasn't real! Stacey took to Insta with a snap of the pair looking awkward and the caption, 'Looking forward to @celebjuiceofficial tonight! So much fun! P.S thanks @keithlemonforreal for giving me a day of non stop phone calls from family and friends and press congratulating me on my "engagement" ud83dude21 hahahahahaha ud83dude02ud83cudf4bud83dudc9b.' [sic] However, she later added that she'd taken it as a 'pre-proposal'!

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November 2016: Stacey and Joe present the I'm A Celeb spin-off TV show together

In November 2016, it was announced that Stacey would be joining Joe to present the I'm A Celeb spin-off show, along with Vicky Pattison and Chris Ramsey.

Stacey Joe relationship timeline10 of 22
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

July 2017: Stacey is serious about marriage with Joe

In July 2017, Stacey revealed that she was quite serious about getting married to Joe in an interview with Closer. She said, "He is such a brilliant dad which sells it to me the most - he has a great moral compass and a really good heart. We are really serious about each other so we want to do things slowly. I can see myself walking down the aisle with Joe - he really is 'The One!'"

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Stacey Solomon

August 2017: Stacey accidentally goes wedding dress shopping

Whilst shopping for something to wear to an event, Stacey accidentally stumbled across some wedding dresses, and uploaded a video of herself trying one on with the caption, 'When you go to @suzanneneville to try on dresses for an event but you get carried away and start trying on wedding dresses... I AM NOT GETTING MARRIED, I haven't been proposed to, we aren't even thinking about it (well maybe I am a little bit, or a lot, or all day every day) so don't get carried away! I just couldn't resist. 'I say we should be aloud to wear these dresses for any event or casual brunches or just around the house! Oh my goodness I nearly cried when I had to take it off. So if anyone's ever feeling blue get yourself a little try on session it's literally made my day! Hahaha ud83dude02ud83dude02 P.S I have made sure to tell Joe to stay off of social media because of some phone eating virus ud83dude02ud83dude02.' [sic]

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December 2017: Stacey reveals she's quite keen to get engaged

Stacey revealed on Loose Women that she was so keen to get engaged to Joe Swash that she'd even take a text proposal! She said, "I think any kind of proposal is great. I'll take a text. That's a great idea. All the pressure's gone, just send a little message."

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

December 2017: The couple spend Christmas Day together

Stacey and Joe took a big step in December 2017, spending Christmas Day together for the first time. Stace shared a snap on Instagram of herself, her sons Zachary and Leighton as well as Joe on Christmas Day. N'aww.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

October 2018: Joe and Stacey move in together

Stacey revealed that she and Joe had moved in together along with her two sons in October 2018, sharing a photo on Instagram with the caption, 'HOME SWEET HOME. Finally all in and ready to start afresh together. If you're wondering what's going on here... We are eating a Chinese out of random Christmas dishes, using our hands, whilst sat on washing baskets and cardboard boxes eating off a cat basket. Nothing to see here...' [sic]

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

February 2019: Stacey and Joe are expecting a baby together!

The next big milestone in this relationship came in 2019 when they announced their pregnancy! Joe first announced it by sharing a series of photos of Stacey napping with the caption, 'Have been driving myself mad thinking that she's bored senseless of me and can't stand to be awake for longer than 10 minutes of my company... So you can imagine my delight to find out that she still loves me and my company very much she's just been growing a baby. 'I can't begin to describe how happy we are to be able to share this wonderful news. We've been so blessed with 3 incredible children that we've had the privilege of raising and we are forever grateful to have the chance to become parents to another wonderful child. It's all very overwhelming and emotional and we couldn't be happier right now.' [sic]Whilst Stacey shared a photo of the baby scan, writing, 'Every time I go to write anything I sob so... what he said @realjoeswashy ud83dudc9c.' [sic]

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February 2019: Stacey and Joe open up about their pregnancy on Loose Women

Stacey said, "I'm so elated and excited. We really can't believe we've been privileged to be able to have another child. I forgot who I told and then I was like, 'Who knows this?' We felt it was important to keep it to ourselves until we felt really safe, that was first and foremost. Even when you're ready and you know it's the right time to tell people, you still think, 'Aww, I do just want it to be ours a little longer'." Joe added, "It's brilliant, I'm really chuffed – it's just nice to have the secret out. It's been quiet for so long, we're so excited," as Stacey laughed, "It's been the normal length of time," with Joe agreeing, "But we've had to kind of keep it undercover. But now we can sort of breathe a little bit and let people know." Stacey said, "Joe doesn't often get emotional so there's something really nice about everything he says," with dad-to-be Joe adding, "We feel really blessed. Really excited. I can't wait to see what our little kid's going to look like, can you?" Getting tearful, Stacey said, "I honestly don't know what to say. It's such a massive thing and I still can't believe it's happening to us. I don't really know what to say. I'm really excited," as Joe agreed, "This child is going to tie up the family. My kid and your kids are going to feel like they're part of this big family. We're going to have such a lovely family. It's amazing news and we're really happy!"

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

March 2019: Joe congratulates Stacey over her new job on Celebrity Juice

After Stace landed a job on Loose Women, Joe took to Instagram to share just how proud he was of her. Sharing an adorable snap of the pair, Joe wrote, 'So proud of this one who starts her first day on Celeb Juice tonight. You're gonna smash it @staceysolomon love you bub. ud83dudc9c' [sic]. Aww!

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Stacey Solomon

March 2019: Stacey reveals how Joe REALLY reacted to her pregnancy news

In an interview, Stacey revealed what Joe's initial reaction to the news she was pregnant had been. She explained, "I showed him the positive pregnancy test and he laughed, like, 'Are you joking? But I haven't seen you in ages!' So, yeah, we were both quite shocked."We were conscious that it's what we wanted, but we weren't specifically looking at a time for it to happen, so it was a really lovely surprise - he was over the moon and it was just lovely actually."Speaking out about whether she'd like to have another boy - Stacey and Joe already have three sons between them - or whether she'd like a girl, the former I'm A Celebrity! winner said that she initially thought it would be nice to have a girl before changing her mind."But then I started to worry – what if it is?" she joked. "I don't know girls! I know how to do boys. I've known boys for 11 years!" adding that the boys all want a little brother, joking that they're at at an age "where they're like, 'Eugh, girls!'"

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Joe Swash

March 2019: Joe shares a sweet snap of Stacey's sons protecting her bump

In March, Joe shared a beautiful photo of himself on the sofa with Stacey and her two sons, who were both cuddled up close to her and her bump. He jokingly captioned the photo, 'Iv got no chance with these 2!' [sic]

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Stacey Solomon

May 2019: The baby is born!

On Thursday 23rd May, Stacey and Joe welcomed a little boy into the world. Joe announced the news on Stacey's Instagram, sharing a photo of her and the baby with the most heartwarming caption.Revealing that the baby had come a little early, he wrote, 'This morning. A lot earlier than planned I watched the love of my life, bring a new life into the world. We are overwhelmed, overjoyed and apprehensive of what's to come. Mummy and baby are well and resting. 'We are so grateful for all of the love, support and positivity we've received over the last 8 months. I'm lost for words to describe how I'm feeling. So for now, I'm going to spend the next few days and the rest of my life falling more in love with these two humans. I didn't think it possible but, today I witnessed the impossible. My partner, My love, my life, you are a super human. I am forever in awe. Joe X.' [sic]

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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram/ Joe Swash

May 2019: Joe shares a beautiful photo of himself with his newborn son

After posting on behalf of Stacey on her Instagram account, Joe then shared his own photo, posting an adorable snap of himself looking a bit teary-eyed and his kissing his boy. He wrote, 'Good morning sonxxxxx'. [sic]

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May 2019: Stacey gives her Loose Women fans an update

Ironically, Stacey's baby shower was due to take place on today's episode of Loose Women, so during the show, the ladies read out a statement from the new mum, reading, "I was so looking forward to my baby shower today. "I'm gutted I can't be there but me and baby are watching from home, which feels even more special now. Thanks so much. I love you all. The first place I'm going when I can put some normal pants on and walk properly is to the Loose Women studio."Stacey's sister Jemma also gave fans a further update, telling the Loose Women panel, "It was such a lovely birth. I was so, so, so privileged to be a part of it. It was amazing."

Stacey Solomon Pickle Cottage dream life

Stacey – who rose to fame after her appearance on The X Factor in 2009 – is now one of the UK’s top mumfluencers and is famous for her “Tap to Tidy” posts and videos, as well as her fondness for upcycling and crafting. Her book Tap To Tidy: Organising, Crafting & Creating Happiness In A Messy World has become an instant bestseller and has clearly helped her afford her luxurious home. The mum of three – who’s already a popular presenter on ITV’s Loose Women – is also soon set to front her very own BBC1 show, Sort Your Life Out, which will see the star help families with her tidying hacks. And to add to her successful year, rumours are swirling that she is a shoo-in for the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing line-up. The financial rewards have been huge.

Our source shares, “Stacey didn’t believe she’d ever be able to buy a house like that, and she knows it’s down to her fans. They have supported her and bought her book, helping her become a huge success over the past year. She is also in disbelief that the BBC want her for shows like Strictly, and that she’s so in demand and will be fronting her own TV programme.”

But fans will have noticed that the Essex star has struggled to take it all in and keeps reiterating how overwhelmed she is, saying things like, “I’ve never felt so lucky, it almost scares me”, and that she’d woken up feeling disorientated, “a bit like waking up on holiday”. It seems that behind it all, Stacey, who sees her legion of fans as friends, is concerned that she’s “showing off” with snaps of her idyllic new life. “Don’t want to look like I’m a massive show off or make anyone feel rubbish or anything. I’m just sooo excited,” she wrote online, later adding, “I’ve never had anything like this in my life. I can’t believe it’s mine and Joe’s as much as you guys can’t.”

And our insider reveals Stacey’s feeling anxious about her fans’ reactions. She wants them to see her as an ordinary girl next door who’s had her ups and downs, shares their fears and joys, and will always be down to earth.

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“She knows that one of the reasons she’s been a success is because her fans can relate to her, and she’s worried that her new lifestyle will alienate them, especially as the pandemic has been rough on so many families,” we’re told. “She doesn’t want to make people feel bad, but at the same time, she’s worked really hard and wants to enjoy her success. Working on this new house, and doing as much of it herself as she can, will only make her more successful and in demand, but she’s sensitive to the fact that she has more than most of her fans could ever dream of.”

Just days after moving into the property, Stacey told her followers she’d received “unkind” messages from online trolls, but that the positive comments from her followers were all that mattered. She wrote, “Your messages are just so lovely. They really mean a lot. There’s always going to be unkind people out there. And I’ve seen a fair few over the last few days especially. People will always try to bring you down, but they don’t matter at all. These kinds of messages are everything. They cancel out any nastiness and just mean so much more.”

She’s also irrationally worried that, as everything is wonderful, will it all be snatched away from her somehow? “She just can’t escape the creeping fear her new life will come crashing down in some way,” our source adds. “Is it possible for anyone to be this lucky and happy? She knows it’s silly, but it just pops into her head.”

And while she is going to have her hands full with plenty of tapping and tidying, our insider says that at the end of the day, being a parent is what matters most to Stacey. “Being a mum and being with her kids is the most important thing to her – everything she gets offered will have to fit in around that.”

Read more in the latest issue of heat magazine - OUT NOW.

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