Our new project – Cotswold House 0.1

I mentioned that my husband had been making a butchers’ shop. Now he has a new project.

I am beyond excited to announce that we are going to build our own home. We are currently working on the interior arrangement of the house (which has been designed by Andy Ramus).

For years Nick has been dreaming of getting a place in the country – perhaps in rural France, or southern Spain. Then again we considered Paris or Barcelona. We like the countryside and we love cities. We love travelling and the outdoor lifestyle – eating, drinking coffee, going to see museums, enjoying a different culture and cuisine. We have never done anything about it because I have been resistant to the idea getting somewhere abroad, of feeling obliged to go there every time you get a week off work, of learning another language – while I heartily approve of languages I just can’t get enthusiastic about the effort involved. I don’t really want to know the word for septic tank in Italian.

I, on the other hand, have always wanted to build our own home, designed for our lifestyle. I work in housing and construct 1,500 new homes a year so the design of homes is a topic I do get excited about. My vision has been – Modern architecture, a brand new, eco-friendly and efficient home in a beautiful and peaceful setting. Nick has always wanted to live outside London at some point, ideally at the sea-side, by a river or lake. He loves the water. A place where we can breathe more easily. I have asthma and the air in London is terribly polluted. So after lots of consideration we have decided to invest our pension “pots” in a place in the English countryside. We hope to use it for weekends and holidays, and to share it with our family and friends.

Just over an hour from London we have just bought this small piece of land in the Cotswolds, near Cirencester. It’s hard to make out but it is on the edge of a lake, with a little stream that runs into the River Thames, running in front of the site. The bright green plastic sheet marks the boundary.

Couple standing on land in cotswolds
Our site

There is so much wildlife in the area – birds, fish, beavers, otters and lots of plants including orchids. We are longing to get acquainted with the local area and countryside.

The lake
The lake

That’s it so far – a little bit of a large field, and a great view.

The house is on two floors with a flat roof. It was designed as a 4/5 bed house with four bathrooms. We have enlarged the bedrooms, shrunk the bathrooms and got rid of one of each. At the moment we talk of nothing else, and Nick is busy with his pencil, ruler, furniture cutouts and camera.

The builder starts in six weeks so there are dozens of decisions to be made. We are doing all we can to get maximum light and sunshine into the house, and I have yet to decide how I will accommodate my sewing machine and ironing board. Β I will give you an occasional update as we go along.

I can’t tell you how excited we are.

25 Responses

  1. How exciting for you and you will be starting to build so quickly. I will live varcariously thru your blog. Congratulations.

  2. That’s so exciting! And. You will be just down the road from us! The Cotswolds are so beautiful. We often pop down for dinner, afternoon tea or a mooch and an ice-cream in the sunshine! Xxx

  3. Massively exciting, looking forward to hearing all about it.

  4. A great spot with wonderful view. Congratulations! What an exciting project. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  5. What a beautiful spot!

  6. Wow how very exciting. What a beautiful part of the country. How fabulous.

  7. I feel as excited about it as you do (well almost) and I have to admit a bit green! I didn’t realise you could buy such a beautiful plot for building on, in this country. We had friends in Ottawa many years ago who bought a plot at a lake and we used to camp their during the summer helping them clear the area and sail on the lake. It was heavenly, but there is much more land available in Canada. Building is starting so soon that you must have been planning this for ages and kept it to yourself.

  8. You never sit still! What a wonderful opportunity and how exciting.But before you go any further with the plans – get a sewing room – with a view! Priorities Kate, priorities.

  9. Long time lurker, just wanting to say how wonderful that you’re living your dreams and how much hard work that must have been to find that spot and find the courage to stump up the money too. But Ruth is right. You must have a space of your own! Even if you find other hobbies, having a light filled, beautiful haven for yourself must be top of your list. With those views. Did you get Kevin McCloud on board yet too!?

    • How exciting. It is something I would also love to do and always watch every build your home type programme. Yes – please get in touch with Kevin McCloud

  10. It looks like a beautiful place! Good luck with the build.

  11. It’s great to realise a dream & have a house built exactly how you want ~ how fantastic! My parents live down the road in Malmesbury so I know it well there. Look forward to seeing the finished home x

  12. How exciting! The site looks lovely and I look forward to seeing photos of your new house. Hopefully you can carve out space for a wonderful sewing space.

  13. Lucky you! My wife has longed for years to build her own house, but I don’t think finances can ever allow it. What a lovely plot!

  14. Congratulations! It looks a peaceful site.

  15. Wow! What a big, exciting step! Shrinking the bathrooms is a great idea. I think a Russian family could live in one of mine, which has a tub so high and deep you almost need a ladder to get into it. At night when I can’t sleep I think of how I would remake the space. To start from scratch–a luxury!

  16. Stephanie

    K, You and Nick are living my dream! There is nothing better than a piece of land in the countryside with wildlife, quiet, and fresh air to breathe. What a wonderful project to work on together. I wish you both the very best in this endeavour. PS If you do ever want to know the expression for “septic tank” in Italian (just for curiosity!), you can call me! πŸ™‚

  17. Gosh, you must be fizzing, I think Nick may be like me I can’t visualise clearly, I love the image of furniture cut outs, I so get that. Clearly your strength is being able to conceptualise the end vision, your excitement is palpable, I am so looking forward to future posts re the choices you make.

    Realistically you will want to sew there so do try and steal a few metres to fit in a sewing area, it doesn’t need to be big.

    You do realise that you’re going to need two of everything now?

    Happy happy days.

    • Thanks for your kind words Annie. It is a big project and he is really busy at the moment trying to decide where to put plug sockets etc. Very important with a sewing machine, overlocker and iron.

  18. How exciting! My husband has wanted to build a house for us for a long time now. He has it designed. We haven’t found the ideal plot yet. It’s most certainly still on the cards. I showed him your post. We’ll follow along. If you want to retire there eventually, and leave London altogether, you will want a sewing room for you and a craft room for Nick.

  19. Joyce Latham

    Hey hey hey… So exciting. I can see from the posts above I am not the only one who has a similar dream….. I’m so jealous! We want to see and hear every move, thought and desire.
    Fabulous! What an exciting adventure. Congrats … It’s gonna be awesome! ☺️
    Joyce πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

  20. Congrats Kate. The comment above isn’t wrong about 2 of everything!!
    Can’t wait to hear more about it πŸ˜‰

    • I probably already have two of everything, embarassinly. I have been meaning to upgrade my sewing machine so I can have one in each place.

  21. Oh YAAAAAY! Soooo excited for you!! This will be fabulous…I look forward to seeing the journey! xxx

  22. That’s amazing! Congratulations — I’m excited for you! πŸ™‚

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