They say that all good things come to an end – sometimes you just have to close one door in order to step through a new and exciting one.
So in the very literal sense I am just about to close the door for the final time, to a place that has been home to me and the girls for the past seven and a half years. When I bought the house, it started out as one of my projects and I initially intended to stay as a stop gap. Fast forward many years and for many reasons, I am still here….just!
It has been a wonderful home encompassing all the things that are important – coziness, safety, a place for gathering all the people that we love and most of all a place of memories. I will be sad to leave but I have always believed that our love and lives travel with us wherever we reside.
The house before
The house is from the Arts and Crafts era
At one time it served as the local doctors surgery. There was a large space at the centre of the house which was the waiting room, hip hip hooray! My ready-made super large hall. I decided to reconfigure the house from this point so that all the main reception rooms lead off from the hall which means that the house has a really nice flow. Many people comment on how tranquil and calming the space is when they enter the hall. That said, we have enjoyed many large gatherings here. My daughter Faith’s 18th birthday and both the girls 21st celebrations centred in the hall, along with my beautiful late Mum’s 80th dinner party, if walls could talk eh?
The kitchen was a warren of smaller rooms
The space was opened up to form one large family living area, which is where we all spend the majority of time. The bi-fold doors replaced the small insignificant window to the beautiful garden (more on the garden later), French windows were also installed in the two other principle rooms so that the garden is always in full view.
All the windows had to be replaced
We used authentic hard wood sash windows. I seized the opportunity to design two enormous floor to ceiling windows in the Master bedroom and the second Master which look directly on to the garden. The proportions had to be exact so we made an enormous template and stuck it to the space so that we could properly visualise the finished product. I decided against any window dressing but instead opted for a Silent Gliss remote controlled blind. The windows are a triumph and provide me with complete joy every morning no matter what the season when I wake up and press the button to reveal the day.
The garden was overgrown and out of control
This was mainly due to two enormous trees in the middle of the garden that were overshadowing and bullying everything. They were cut back significantly, the beds were re-shaped and designed and a new lawn laid. The result – the trees are still centre stage but the rest of the garden sits harmoniously alongside them. Further down at the end of the garden, we built a self-contained summer lodge that now serves as my yoga haven.
If the truth be known, the garden is probably the one thing that I will shed a tear over when I finally leave this beautiful home that has seen so much over the last seven and a half years.