How (not) to build a house – Part 8


At long last dear readers…. I can say I am writing this mailer from my kitchen table IN OUR NEW HOUSE! You can read all previous installments of How (not) to build a house (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6 and 7) and how we finally got to this point on my blog

It is 15 months and 8 days later than planned, but we are IN. Even though we were only moving a few hundred metres away, it has of course still turned our lives upside down, but for the most part I am happy to report that we are over the moon with it. I think we got so bogged down with all the problems, we had lost sight of the fact that we were building a real actual house! I am currently having that surge of joy you experience when you have a shiny new ‘thing’, but times 100, and on steroids.

There is so much to say this week, but here is a quick summary;

The things I REALLY LOVE!

1. First up is our new bathroom. Words can’t describe the joy of having an en suite that I am no longer sharing with teenagers. Gone are the queues and shouts for everyone to ‘hurry up in there!’. And our bathroom really is a thing of beauty. I LOVE my slightly full on tiles, and am so pleased with the very sophisticated bathroom cabinet that my husband cleverly found online and then covered the glass with frosted film.

2. The copper worktop. When first installed it looked like it wouldn’t go amiss in Trump Towers it was so bling (the idea being that it would age over time). I am finding it strangely thrilling that every single spoon or cup I put down on, it is leaving a mark, which is contributing to a beautiful patination. The warm coppery colour is definitely making me feel contented and glowy.

3. All the surface space in the kitchen AND my beautiful quartzite! I was so used to having the size of pocket handkerchief to prepare food on that I had actually started to really hate cooking. I might even start to have dinner parties again! I have zero regrets of splashing out so crazily on this quartzite, it is quite literally rock hard and in contrast to the copper, nothing seems to mark it.


4. The hallway is a thing of beauty! I love everything about it, but especially floor which is another extravagance. Who cares we have run out of money to finish the house?!

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5. New (old) lamps. We commissioned these beautiful hand blown lights for our old house and they have been in storage for over 15 years. They just go perfectly with the warm tones we have picked for the décor.

Less pleased with…

1. The dishwasher – we bought all our white goods from the German company Kaiser, rather rashly without seeing them. The dishwasher is such a stupid design with pathetic racks that don’t keep anything upright, so everything slides around, and normal dining plates don’t fit at all. Maybe they all eat off tiny plates in Germany.

2. The fridge – ditto our expensive built in fridge that seems to freeze all vegetables and salad in the crisper drawer.

3. The skylight. I just SO wish we could afford the insanely expensive electric blind to cover the sky light above our bed. The very first morning I opened my eyes in this bedroom (at dawn), I ordered about 3 different eye masks from Amazon. I now have quite a neurotic regime that involves dropping off to sleep with one mask on, and switching to another at around 6am. It is lovely to look up at the sky first thing in the morning though.


4. The shower tray. Our totally RUBBISH and very expensive shower tray that turns into a lethal ice rink when wet!

And the VERY bad…

1. I have been on about this before, but the gravel in the driveway is now one big cat litter tray 😩

2. Our current lack of gate entry system means having to come in via the studio, which honestly takes about 10 minutes to answer the door bell when it rings!

I do want to take this moment to say thank you so much to everyone that has followed along with me on the journey of building this house. There is still lots more to do, as the journey is by no means over, but I hope I can share some really beautiful pictures of it all looking lovely when the time comes.

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