I was chatting with a local shop owner, a very nice guy whose own house renovation is nearly finished. Having small children, he and his family spent a year in a rented house. He said that while he was pleased with the outcome of the project, some elements might have been more successful had they stayed in the house and allowed them to ‘evolve’ over time. This rang very true with me, because one of the things I love about buildings is the way they can adapt and evolve to suit purpose. I am glad that Baz and I have never had the budget to remodel our home in one hit, though I realise that this says as much about me and my acceptance of ongoing chaos as it does about people who are sensible enough to do things that way
At the house in France, it was tempting to walk in and assign rooms immediately. Initially I wanted to move the kitchen and could see no value in keeping the current one. Now I appreciate it much more, having spent time alone there with the luxury of having both a kettle and a fridge (chamomile tea and sandwiches tasted like heaven). It has lots of natural light from the stairwell and is a really charming little room
The 1950s/60s double-drainer sink scrubbed up like new. There’s no running water yet, but I was able to bring water in from the garage tap to wash up. The chimney breast is quaint and it has a shelf where I put wine bottles, against the backdrop of truly vintage grey paint and yellow and black tiles (note that I haven’t mentioned the hideous units and fabric pelmet yet). There is a useful metal work surface too. In fact, I realised not only how comfortable I was there with so little, but how having too much comfort might actually take the fun out of it a bit. There will have to be changes, but I’m no longer in a hurry to make those decisions and I want to see what else the house has to tell me.
Running water might be nice though…..?