I know a few people have been following the building project are keen for an update. I am being a little coy. Mainly because it is not really sorted out yet. The best thing by far about this house is looking out of the window. I have several dozen pictures like this – I can’t yet resist taking pictures of the amazing weather over the lake.
There are some defects and problems with the building that has taken quite a few weeks to sort out, and they are not all completed yet. But we trust and have a good relationship with the builder and we expect it will all come good in the end. Unfortunately some of the fittings eg shower screens, taps etc were not as specified so the correct items are on order and will be replaced in due course.
Secondly we ordered the house without wardrobes and cupboards, giving Nick the opportunity to make most of these items himself. He has reasonable carpentry skills but wanted to learn more and create really nice built-in furniture in the Shaker style. He has just started doing this, so at the moment we have very little storage. We live out of suitcases. But this is deliberate and will come good as he tackles each room in turn. My sewing room, for example, has a table and an ironing board. I have been making the odd thing but I can’t really get started yet. I will be making some of the soft furnishings to go with the new furniture – seat covers, curtains inside cupboards, cushions. I may print or buy the fabric. No clear plans yet. We have managed to get our two paintings up but maybe there will be more on the walls, over time.
And thirdly we are slowly bringing things from our existing home and trying them. Do they fit? Do they look nice? Or not? So that is a bit provisional too.
Finally I need to explain that we are living on a building site. The company that run the estate don’t build until they have sold a plot. So while we are in situ next door is a recently sold plot, and in our “road” there will be around seven or eight homes. Two are actively being built at the moment and we have met some of our “neighbours-to-be”. But when we go to sleep at night we are very alone – just watching the foxes and rabbits running around, ignoring us completely.
So when people say “is your new home finished?” I usually say “yes! We have moved in. But there is still a lot to do!”. To date we have only had the family to stay, and they love it. We plan to cook a meal for friends (the builders actually!) very soon. And I think by March we will probably have friends to stay.
In the meantime I will share a few photographs.
The living room is large and we can seat eight at the slate kitchen table. There is underfloor heating and a air-sourced heat pump, and it is well insulated. However the wood burner is amazing and beautiful. We lit it frequently at first as the heating didn’t work. But now the house is very cozy. The sofas are genuinely comfortable as this was very important to me. I love the greys and blues with the wood. It looks calm and harmonious without any kind of obvious “interior design” feel – our homes will never look like a magazine feature.
I think the house is so beautiful and we are already loving being there. The surrounding countryside is exceptional – we have joined the Cirencester Ramblers so are finding out a lot about the local area through investigating on foot. There is a gym and pool, tennis courts and open space in the vicinity so plenty to do. The air is fresh and even though it is winter so long as one dresses appropriately it is delicious to get out into the fresh air for a change. Our London home is well located but the air quality is poor. Being able to breathe is a real advantage!
(I will give a SWAP update next Saturday. I haven’t done much this week! My dear son is proving a little elusive and I need to do a bit of fitting.)