The Cottage

My family like things to look nice, my sister is the messiest member and she's an artist, so you see even she wants things to look nice. This means we hoover, we clean, we um and ahh about interior decoration, we sleep for weeks with curtain fabric swatches pinned to the old curtains to see how we feel about them, we update paintwork and maintain exterior walls, upgrade boilers and bleed radiators. My husbands family, who I adore, seem to exist more on the idea that they'll be dead long before anything drastic happens so why bother. This is not to say that their houses don't look wonderful, they really do, but I'm not sure that there's much room for property maintenance in their rather academic brains and they are the base-camp for shabby chic.

Rather scary damp patch over the stairs


My father-in-laws bolt-hole in North Norfolk is the worst hit by this lassez faire approach to home owning. When I first met my husband, nearly a decade ago, it looked rather aged and worn and there were a few cracks. Nothing was done and now ceilings are falling in, carpets are removing themselves and one end of the house is threatening to fall off altogether. Being from a family who likes everything clean and working and I suppose, being a girl, I have been making noises about 'doing the place up' for some time. My husband agrees with me in person, then speaks to his father and they both agree that really I'm just looking for another outlet from which to spend money. Up until now I have been all but patted on the head and told to run along.
The bathroom... my nemesis



That is until the ceiling started to fall in an a rather scary looking drip appeared over the stairs... right where the pipes from the bath run. The bathroom is my bete noir. I hate it. It hates me. It's ill flushing loo, the carpet that shows evidence that this is a mans house and runkles up to shut me in whenever it feels like it. I have had designs on this bathroom for sometime. For my 30th I would like a few quiet minutes with it and a sledgehammer. I may get my wish. These rather scary new developments mean then men in my house have had no choice but to call in the builders and I have persuaded them that there is no point doing things by half. This cottage would be fantastic for renting out some day and doing it up to rental standard is the most sensible thing. This means not only structural maintenance including fixing the roof, but new kitchen, new bathroom, new flooring and completely new paintwork.
Where the ceiling's started to go... over my bed obvs

I have put myself forward as project manager and, because of the beauty of the cottage and it's location, the size of the job, and the wonderful outcome of all this work that I am hoping for, I thought I would blog it occasionally. I've been round taking my before photographs and doing measurements of most of the rooms so I can do costings and have references from London (the fact that all floors need redoing and all rooms repainting make it not ideal for staying long with a baby... that and radiators not working). I hope it's interesting - I'll try to only blog the interesting bits - and that the transformation is successful. Right now, waiting for quotes, it all seems quite daunting, especially as it's not my house. But the only thing to do is jump in feet first so here I go...

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