Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Continuing Cottage Renovations

There is excitement in this household, well, It's probably only me who's excited - we're about to start the next phase of our house renovations/alterations/re building. This would be phase 989!

Saying we're starting the next phase makes it sound like we've got a plan - WRONG! I have a plan in my head but that's most likely where it will remain. That plan involves my perfectly tidy, fabulously decorated house, (full of plumped up cushions) gracing the pages of House Beautiful or some similar publication. Possibly a tiny bit optimistic and maybe unrealistic?

I ought to start at the begining of this particular journey, just to bring you up to speed.....

We purchased 2 very rundown, partially derelict cottages in 1993 and naively thought we'd do them up as one home and live happily ever after drinking wine in a perfectly kept cottage garden.

All this was to be done on a shoestring using slave (husband) labour.

I wanted it to look like this....  

However, it looked like this...!!

We really had no idea how hard it would be to do this on a very tight budget. We spent nearly 2 years living in the garden in this...

And yes, it was every bit as horrific as it looks... and the roof leaked! If anyone dared to suggest a caravan holiday to me now I'm likely to assume a foetal position on the floor and sob - I will NEVER get over that bit!

We found many treasures in the house - this was taken apart carefully to reveal
a lovely old inglenook fireplace. (sorry no photo, obviously never took 1)


became this

Eventually we moved in on Christmas Eve 1994 and both collapsed in a heap on the floor (we didn't even have a bed!).

That ought to be the end of the story as we had a lovely house made for two, but by 1996 we were three and we had to make changes.

Not all changes went according to plan....

(yes he is available to hire!)

And that is where we are now... still making changes, still on a tight budget and now with a lot less time. We've added rooms (not all of them finished) to accommodate our growing family we've installed cricket practice nets in the garden (thats the Royal we) - because obviously practice nets are a much higher priority that a plumbed in toilet!! But over the years money has been in even shorter supply than time.

We've now decided to push on once more as we must be on the home run, maybe I'm just trying to convince myself.

Anyway, things are looking up as the builder (husband/jack of all trades) has a gap in his schedule and will be working for me very shortly! He has no idea of the length of his "to do" list, but I'll break it to him gently! First on the list is the kitchen with its beautiful orangey pine units (circa 1992) - I have a gorgeous design in mind from one of the bespoke kitchen makers, however I have
a Gumtree budget!

Not to worry, at least we're getting on with it, we'll soon be done and it will only have taken 20 years .......
I will keep you posted!


  1. It must have been hard living in the caravan for so long.I love seeing before and after pictures. The renovations you have done look lovely, I will look forward to seeing your new changes.

  2. How exciting to be pressing on again, I love the fireplace renovation you did!

  3. The articles in this particular a part of the blog are really excellent. High Quality, long lasting Garden cricket net using club standard 2mm thick, 50mm mesh cricket netting, optional roof netting for extra safety in a one piece cricket net with guys, ropes and pegs.