Life in the Countryside · renovation

The little quirks

Today I just thought I would share some of the little quirks which have been uncovered through the stripping back of the cottage. So as I’ve said before our cottage was built first and next door (which is semi-detached) was built on at a later date. As there were no original deeds for the houses we don’t know exactly when the properties were built and we don’t entirely know our cottage’s original layout, we do know though that the kitchen was a post war extension. Obviously when our cottage was built it was detached and as such had windows on all four outside walls. So when the cottage next door was built some of these windows had to be blocked up. So we have one downstairs and one upstairs blocked up window. When all the plaster has been hacked off they have been fully exposed. Unfortunately the downstairs one will have to be blocked up as the stairs will go right through it, but the upstairs one will be right at the top of the stairs and we are planning on making into a nice feature.

The downstairs window to nowhere
The upstairs window to nowhere

The other feature which I just love is our extra fireplace. In our lounge we have one fireplace which last winter we opened up and installed a log burner into. That still needs finishing when the work is completed but already is a lovely feature in the room. At the opposite end of the room there was a chimney breast which had been sealed up a long time ago. With the work beginning we have taken off the plaster and opened it up. In fact with the stripping out of the ceiling upstairs we can see how this chimney extends right up to the roof.

As lovely as this is we have decided to remove it and flatten the wall both down and upstairs. Downstairs it should give us better space to put a sofa in the room and upstairs the chimney breast is so curved that it is really hard to fit furniture around it. So as much as we are trying to keep some authentic features in it, we are trying to make practical decisions for our future home.

Life in the Countryside · renovation

Our new living room cabin

So we are now completely moved out of the house and are living between the caravan, my craft cabin and our new living room cabin. This will eventually become J’s home office once the work on the house is complete but for now we are using it as a kitchen/living room/dressing room/playroom. For now we refer to it as our living room. It’s a 10 by 12 foot simple wooden cabin with double doors and a pent roof. J will paint it and we will put down a floor similar to that in our cabin when we’ve moved out but for now it is bare wood and chipboard floor (though we do have a random square of cast off carpet from my father in law in the middle to help keep our toes warm).

On the bank holiday weekend we spent time moving some furniture into it. In it we currently have:

  • C’s chest of drawers which is filled with mainly J and my clothes as C’s clothes are mainly in the caravan.
  • Our television and DVD player on top of this.
  • A small white table from our kitchen which has our coffee machine and table top cooker on it.
  • Our fridge
  • C’s princess castle and dolls
  • C’s plastic table and chair set
  • Our pop-up wardrobe
  • Two armchairs
  • There’s also an electric radiator and some lamps, as the cabin does not have it’s own power supply and relies upon extension leads from the garage and sheds.
  • Now I’ve taken some photos of it but please don’t judge us by the mess as we’re still trying to find a home for everything. It’s quite cosy and provides us with a nice bit of extra space.
  • Life in the Countryside · renovation · The cottage

    Stripping out the house

    Well we can’t go back now. The builders first job has been to strip out our house completely. Bear in mind that we had already moved all our furniture etc out so it was looking pretty empty to begin with. Well even in a day it looks totally different. Carpets are gone, doors are gone, bits of walls are gone. We needed to start by stripping back to see if we were able to keep certain things namely the supporting timbers and floor boards. As we suspected they were all pretty rotten and need replacing. Some supporting beams seem to actually only just providing enough support its a miracle the cottage hasn’t collapsed before now. Walls that will no longer be needed have been removed upstairs and it’s looking a lot more open. In fact you can now see up to the roof from the ground floor in parts. The upstairs bathroom is gone. The airing cupboard is gone, the third bedroom is gone. There’s still more stripping out to do and I’ll do a proper round up of each room once that’s done but here is where we are at so far.



    Exciting isn’t it? I know with the stripping out you see big changes fast and that the rebuilding will be a lot slower, but I can’t help but love how we see so much change everyday. I promise not to bombard with constant cottage updates though!