All posts by Emma

All I need is roof over my head…

Well the guys on site have been busy this week, and have started putting the roof on which is just great! Sadly our architects drawings aren’t all that special and so there has been rather a lot of head scratching, measuring and adjusting. But “measure twice, cut once…`” I think is the saying, and so far “it’s all good”.


I have noticed that whenever we undertake large building projects, there is the “big, small” syndrome. What I mean by that is one day you visit site and have a look at things going on, and a sinking feeling takes over and it all the spaces look SO SMALL. The thought crosses your mind “How ever are we going to fit it all in..” Then something else is added and all of a sudden the spaces look big again. It’s always really noticeable when you dig foundations, they always look tiny, then the walls start going up and all of a sudden the spaces feel really big. Luckily it always works out pretty much as I imagine in the end.


I took this photo looking in from the gable end of the house, you can just see the tower in the background to the right. The Handy Husband is standing just inside the doorway to the front bedroom (the Girlie’s we think). It’s still really hard to get a good idea of the room sizes as the dormers aren’t in yet, (Big-Small) but we have extended the roof quite a bit and are only putting three bedrooms, one en-suite and a family bathroom up there, so there should be enough space.


And under the scaffolding the house looks positively playhouse sized!

Enough boring photos of roof timbers, let me show you what I have been doing in the garden. I have a little game for you, can you to spot the difference between the two photos below?



Oh wow, you are good at that game! If only gardening was as easy as using photoshop! This photo is the view from our french windows in the dining/kitchen area of the side of the garden. I want to plant a couple of frees that won’t grow too tall, but will screen the neighbours just a little bit. I thought it would be fun to play around with positioning of the trees to see how they could look eventually.

So, I would like a flowering cherry – Prunus ‘Kanzan’ (the pink one) and a Sorbus Aria Lutescens, that’s the greyish green one on the left. I would also like to add in a lilac tree/shrub (the purple one) as they have the just best smelling flowers and you can cut them to put in the house.

Other than that we have been busy digging up old paths, sowing seeds and putting up wigwams ready for sweet peas and french beans. Fingers crossed they come up.

gardenapril aprilgarden

I hope you all had a great weekend, what ever you were doing. (Running marathons, digging gardens, going on holiday…)

Emma x

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Seeds, beams and raspberries, Oh my!

Well It has been a few weeks since I last gave y’all an update, we have been busy over the Easter holidays, visiting family and friends and just generally doing stuff. The handy husband and I have been busy paving the pottager with the reclaimed house bricks and it’s looking really great. I have dug over the raised beds and transplanted my rhubarb, red currants, gooseberries and of course my raspberries.


Also the girlie and I have been sowing seeds in some newspaper pots. There is a great tutorial on how to make the origami pots on this YouTube tutorial. We have sown red peppers, chilli peppers, tomatoes and some pumpkins. It has been fun to talk about how small the seeds are and what they are going to turn into. We shall see if they grow well in the new potting shed.


I have also potted up some dahlias and peonies and lilies, some for the cutting garden I am hoping to create and some for pots on the new patio. I got these from Sarah Raven’s website. The bulbs and tubers were very nicely packaged and so far they are doing nicely. The seeds we sowed also came from her site as she had some alternative unusual seeds that I though would be fun to try.


The house is coming on great guns too. The chippies are on site and they are putting in the beams and joists for the first floor.


It occurred to me that all these photos of the house, probably don’t make much sense. So I thought I would show you a plan.


The blue area shows where we will have the kitchen, dining room and the sitting room. The photo below is taken through the window at the bottom of the blue area, across the room towards the french doors at the back.



The blue are above shows the entrance hall with the new relocated staircase on the left. The photo below is taken standing in the new front door looking across to the snug room.


I am sure it is all SO much clearer!

Well I hope you all had a great Easter and enjoyed the lovely sunshine as much as we did.

Emma x


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Progress report

Well things are progressing at a pace… not quite rocket launcher pace, but well enough. The padstones are going in to take the steel work that will hold the first floor joists and beams.


These are stronger blocks with a higher density so they can take the loads on the steel beams. Fingers crossed the beams are going in by the end of next week, which means that the chippies can get in and start with the woodwork and prep for the roof going back on. Things should really pick up then.

Meanwhile I thought I would show you round the progress on the ground floor.


This is the view from the new front door, across the hall towards the new snug room. Really pleased about the size of this. The staircase is going on the left and the door to the kitchen/sittingroom is on the right.

This is the view from the snug doorway. I have put the door in to give you an idea of how it will look. The stairs will be to the right of the door.


Then through to the kitchen diner and sitting room. I have given you an idea of how the kitchen will look, minus the island in the middle. I found a great site online You have to design the kitchen yourself, but the price is good.


To the right of the kitchen is the dining area and the french doors that lead out into the back garden. It should be really lovely and sunny in this room, as it faces west-ish.


This is other end of the room. You can see the foundation where one of the old fireplace was. Along the wall that is half block and brickwork, is where we are putting the new log burner. That should make the room really cosy.



Here is where the dining table is going. The handy husband hopes to build in some seating around the bay window here.

Finally the view down the corridor from the utility room past the downstairs bedroom and our office.


And the view down the corridor from the entrance hall.


Well hope you had a good weekend.

Emma x

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House progress

Well the builders are at last building, rather than knocking down, which is great! I thought that you would like to see what they have been doing.




This is the utility room being rebuilt, you can see where they have written ‘door’ on the wall, that’s where our new back door is going.


and this is start of the new downstairs bedroom and ensuite.

Also I thought that I would show you how amazing my potting shed is now. I have the best Handy Husband a girl could want.


Have a great weekend

Emma x

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My potting shed update

Well my Handy Husband has been working hard for me again. He is such a wonderful man – he is building me my own potting-shed!!! What more can a girl ask for?

So we started with the foundations, just digging a shallow trench and filling it with pea-shingle, then placing some large treated timbers on to this gravel. Hopefully this will stop rain water from rotting the wood – in theory. Although one of our builders – did mention that it would probably rot in about 10 years…. so I guess this is a mid term building then!


Next, the handy husband started with the door. All the measurements for the potting shed have come off the door height, and of course the width of the reclaimed windows.


Then came the front wall and of course the side and back walls. We have had A LOT of discussion about how the roof is going to work. We have been back and fourth between B&Q and Wickes looking at roofing supplies. So, I found this photo (below) on pinterest which shows how I think it will hopefully look. We did talk about using some of the slates from the roof of our house to create an area of shade at the back wall of the shed, but there was too much ‘stress’ about how to do this and the join between the ‘glass’ area and the slate area, so I made an executive decision, and we have gone for an all clear roof. Perfect. Cheapest option, and lets face it, girls, cost is always a consideration, so we have gone for the corrugated plastic. I think it is just the right solution for this potting-shed, it’s not too hi-tech, and it’s not too white-plastic. I hope you know what I mean by that. I don’t really like plastic as a rule, especially the white stuff.


I can’t wait to show you guys the finished product… but you will just have to wait!

It’s going to be ‘SO awesome’ in the words of that very cool dude, Will-i-am!

Have a good weekend.

Emma x



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Budgies everywhere!


I have been wanting to use this wallpaper from Blendworth for a while now and so as it is a bit mad I felt it would do nicely in the new cloakroom. So because it is just a little bit mad – not as mad as a box of frogs – it needs the rest of the room to be fairly simple. Below I have put together a quick mood board for this smallest of rooms.


Have a great weekend y’all!

Emma x

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Deconstruction continues…


So the deconstruction of the house continues. The roof is nearly all gone and the decision to replace the entire structure has been made. Previously it was thought that we would keep the last bit you see above, but it turns out that it would be more hassle to do this than start again, plus the timbers here are not in great condition. Hay ho – in for a penny…


As you see above the guys have taken most of the floor off too to expose the beams. I guess that it has to go through this stage to get better, but I just can’t help feeling just a little panicky when I see how little is left. I keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in the end.


So this was what the old sitting room fireplace looked like…


And now it looks like this! You can see clean through to the back wall of the house, and it gives a good idea of the size of the room. That window you can see here is going to be blocked in and we are putting our new wood burner here.


This is the view from the other side of the fireplace, in what was the master bedroom, straight through to the old front door. It’s all looking good.


And again from the back of the house looking through to the tower bay window. I know it’s hard to get your head around what this is looking like, or even where it is in relation to the rest of the house, but here we are looking from the dining area through to the other end of the room, past the new wood burner and to the sitting room. (clear as mud!)

Hope you like the update.

Emma x


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Ideas for a veg garden & upcycling windows


So while the house continues to get smaller (it has no roof now and the chimneys are all gone) we have been thinking again about the garden. I want to create a vegetable garden in the back corner to grow some vegetables (obvs) and also to have a cutting garden of flowers for the house.


So this is the space we have allocated and it seems to be the sunniest part of the garden which is essential for a vegetable patch. We did have a small veg patch in our last garden, but it was too shaded under some very large oak trees and my veg didn’t really do very well. Live and learn….

I also want to have a greenhouse/potting shed/summer house type of building back there too, and have of course come up with the design. The Handy Husband was up for the challenge, so we took ourselves off to Romsey Reclamation on Friday (that’s the advantages of working for yourself) and found some great windows and a glazed door. Of course they will need some painting and just a bit of glass, but they are exactly what I was looking for.



We are recycling the old timbers from the house roof to make the frame of the new greenhouse/potting shed. (Of course when I say we – that really means the Handy Husband is doing it – hee hee). Hopefully it will feel a bit like one of these dreamy spaces …

greenhouseidea2 greenhouseidea1

So hopefully it will look a little bit cobbled together and a little bit recycled, and just perfect. On the floor of the potting shed we’ll be using bricks that came from the three chimneys that we no longer need in the house. Outside the potting shed we are going to have raised beds, with gravel paths between them, perhaps a bit like this.


I do quite like the trellis surrounding this very pretty vegetable garden, perhaps we could use this between the end of the garden and the space closer to the house. It would create a very light screen, so as not to block out the back, but hint of what is there to invite you back to find out more.

Well lets hope the sun comes back soon, as it is just a bit too soggy back there at the moment for us to make a start on the potting shed.

Hope you guys have a good weekend.

Emma x

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Going, Going …. Gone!


So the scaffolding company has been very busy these past few weeks, and the house has slowly been disappearing beneath a framework of steel poles. We made the decision to go to the expense of completely tenting the house, so our builders can continue to work no matter what the weather.



Our builders requested that the roof on the scaffolding be a tin one as it keeps the heat down when the sun comes out. If it is just a tarp roof it tends to get unbearably hot – somewhat like a greenhouse!


It does look snug!

Have a good weekend y’all.

Emma x


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Mood Board: Living Room


So… while the builders are busy destroying renovating our our house, and the scaffolding is going up, I have been busy putting together some mood boards for each of the new rooms. Above is the first floor being stripped out.

I am going to start with the living room at the front of the house. Actually the kitchen, dining and living room are all one big space, but I am zoning the areas so they have their own feel but will be connected by common colours/textures to make the space have some coherence.

I am going to reuse the curtains from our last living room as I love the muted colours and there is enough fabric there (I hope) to restyle into other curtains. There is a big round bay window in this area and I think will end up using shutter blinds on these as the bay looks out on the neighbours driveway. We also plan to put a window seat in this round bay with a occasional table that my dad made and kindly gave to us.


Hopefully this gives you a rough idea of how the room is going to feel. We already have the table, lamp, pouffes, curtains and the sofas. Although at the moment the sofas are dark brown and purple….! So I am going to get them recovered in a neutral light linen look fabric. I have been looking at some very clever IKEA billy hacks as a way of building in some bookshelves. Have a look at the very clever Beth’s blog about how she did it. I am sure the Handy Husband could cope with making me some of these. We are having a new wood burning stove put in and are going for Chesney’s Salisbury 12.


Very excited about that as we have the biggest pile of wood ready to put in it.

Well hope you have a good weekend.

Emma x

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