Now, as an independent designer, beholden to no-one, I have a lot of creative freedom. Of course, I have favourite suppliers and tradesmen but I only represent myself. This gives me great freedom of choice when it comes to where I source my ‘stuff’ and often I push the limit on this and buy from auctions, small cottage businesses and independent suppliers just to create something unique.
This is especially true when creating something for myself and my family. I love to reuse anything I can, to save on resources, both financially and ecologically. With this in mind I decided to take a step back from ‘paid work’ for a few months to ‘work’ on my own project. This included stripping stained, peeling wall paper that had been stuck on old-plaster walls for around 30 years, painting kitchen cabinets, floorboards, doors and furniture and roping in some very useful family members for the more skilled work of tiling, plastering and preparing our ‘holiday shed’ for occupancy over the summer holidays.. (another story for another post)
These ‘before’ pictures probably portray the worst the cottage has ever looked during our occupancy, as this is the state it was in on moving day. When most people pop champagne corks and toast to their new, hopefully empty, hopefully cleaned home, this time last year we were clearing out rubbish, furniture and dirt that had been left behind. It was so bad that it took a few nights before I plucked up the courage to move in….
Yes, those are towels on an airer in the bathroom and no, none of this belonged to us. Half our belongings were still in the lorry having been driven away to unpack after the weekend and half had been neatly stacked in the living room.
So it was with great effort and a hearty sense of achievement that the cottage was pulled together in just under 12 months to a respectable enough standard to holiday let. There are still some jobs to do and some pictures to put up and some beams to paint and some guttering to fix and some windows to top-coat etc etc etc……………but I am delighted with the results so far.
Needless to say, next time I think I will leave the paintbrush in the packet and ask the professionals to pay a visit. Hats off to them, its a hard hard job!