Yes, we are edging closer and closer to having the house fully renovated, with the completion of the renovation of the second guest room. This room, on the top floor,  currently looks out over the village and has a great view down onto the piece of land, with a tiny little abandoned house, which we are in the process of buying. Meaning that one day, this room will have a much nicer view. One day, it will be looking down onto a walled garden, or a pool or a renovated annexe. Depending on our future plans – more of which later – this room will definitely be a Room With A View. However, let’s go back over three years, from when we first viewed the house and look at how it’s changed…

Our first viewing in July 2016. The room we've just completed is top left.

Our first viewing in July 2016. The room we’ve just completed is top left.

First viewing : bare pine boards, unplastered walls, exposed brickwork. Lots to do...

First viewing : bare pine boards, unplastered walls, untreated beams, damp patches, exposed brickwork. Lots to do…

The first incarnation of the room - stoarge space...

The first incarnation of the room – storage space…

This room was actually one of the first to be tackled – probably because it was quite an easy shape and it was fairly obvious what we needed to do to make it look a lot better, very quickly. Walls were all painted white, the woodwork was done in the same pale blue satinwood that was being used on the external shutters and the pine floorbards were painted grey. First mistake, right there. When the floor was finished and had dried, we knew immediately we liked neither the colour nor the sheen of the topcoat. Too late though, as we had friends coming to stay and beds had been ordered.

August 17 : The first phase of decorating begins...

August 17 : The first phase of decorating begins…

The arrival of the beds.

The arrival of the beds.

We wanted flexibility with our guest bedrooms and so opted for two single beds in this room which could be fitted together to make a large double, when necessary. The arrival of the beds meant that the room eventually started to take on more of a homely feel…

Becoming a bedroom...

Becoming a bedroom…

Because we work from home, we have to actually have somewhere we can actually work – and during the house renovations, we really needed to create a quiet space, away from the demolition, drilling and general rebuilding. This second guest room was the perfect place – well away from all of the work going on downstairs and in a room that had the space to serve both functions.

Bedroom / Home Office

Bedroom / Home Office

Dec 18 : The home office is a whole lot more comfortable...

Dec 18 : The home office becoming a whole lot more comfortable…

During spring/summer 2019, we joined a scheme called WorkAway – a scheme which puts together people who are travelling and who have skills to offer, with hosts who need people with specific skills. We wanted our WorkAway guests to have their own space in the house, and as we were using this particular bedroom less as an office, we decided to take it back to a bedroom. Meaning that when WorkAway visitors arrived, we weren’t constantly changing the room and moving out desks and PC equipment etc.

Almost back to being a bedroom...

Almost back to being a bedroom…

We did still feel that this room had never been quite finished – not all of the beams were painted, the beam above the window was still in its original state and we’d decided we definitely didn’t like the floor colour – so the decision was taken to finally get it completed. And that meant moving everything out – again! – so that the floor could be painted in the same colour as we were doing throughout the upper floor and the beams finished. So, back to bedroom chaos for a little while…

Oct 19 : Starting the *next* clear-out, so that we can finish the second guest room. At last...

Oct 19 : Starting the *next* clear-out, so that we can finish the second guest room. At last…

The painting never seems to end...

The painting never seems to end…

A room never seems a finished room until we’ve put thought into it and worked out what the purpose of it will be. I think we’ve finally decided that this room will stay a bedroom. We have The Snug downstairs, with a woodburner, so one of can decamp in there with a laptop and we have a funky desk arrangement in the corner of the living room, so we’re definitely not short of work space. Our internet connection is now strong and so we can work from almost anywhere in the house, so it finally makes sense to have three decent sized bedrooms, all ready to go, for visiting family and friends.

Once the floor and beams were finished, we decided to upcycle an old cabinet we’d brought over with us from Didsbury. Matt, at David Gavin Design on Burton Road had put it outside his shop for anyone to take, and we saw a lot of potential in it. Hope he approves of its elegant new look…

Becasue this room has always been a bit neglected, we decided to inject a little more oomph into it. A thick-pile cream and blue rug adds warmth underfoot and blue velvet curtains now block out the light, ensuring a very relaxed night’s sleep. Our love of faux foliage comes out strongly in this room, with vines and swathes of ivy wrapped around the beams and long fronds of greenery hanging down. New bedding, including a very comfy new duvet, makes this room a real room now. Not an after-thought.

A lovely space for you to rest your head if you come and stay with us…

UPDATE : MARCH 2020

Unable to ever leave a room, close the door and congratulate ourselves on a “finished” project, we’ve been revisiting this bedroom. To be honest, we’ve re-visted then all, but that’s another couple of blogs. Let’s stick with this one for the time being. Although the room was so much better, design-wise, than it had been previously, we felt it still wasn’t *quite* right. It still felt a bit sterile. A bit cobbled-together. And we suddenly realised why. We had the wrong furniture in the wrong rooms. Simple as that! And so another week was spent emptying cupboards, wardrobes, drawers. Filling vacpac bags. Cleaning, touching up paintwork and moving furniture from one room to another. Gone from the room above are the navy blue cabinet, the thin beechwood display shelves, the office chair which we tried to make look prettier (it’s properly gone), and the Moroccan rug. They’re all elsewhere, in new homes and are looking much better for the various moves. So, what’s in this room now?

Because the second and third bedrooms aren’t our main bedroom, and so smaller, we needed storage that didn’t overwhelm and didn’t break the bank. Step forward modular wardrobes from the Stuva children’s range at IKEA. The perfect colour and the perfect size – and looking a whole lot more at home in this room. We can’t work out why exactly, as this room and the room they came from are exactly the same size and orientation – apart from the position of the window, so maybe it’s the light that makes all the difference. The geometric Moroccan style rug which was originally in this room had to be moved as it was too thick for the the wardrobe doors to open – but now our prized Berber rug, brought all the way from a tannery in Marrakech, has found its forever home. We hope! Soft cushions, throws and faux foliage create more of a feeling of a room that is used and is comfortable – and now the long, navy velvet curtains seem to “fit” the room more easily.

Always considered the third bedroom, and therefore with not much thought ever really being put into it, we hope we have finally created a room which is a beautiful one in its own right.

If you like the look of what we’ve done with this room, why not take a look at the rest of the house? We have a website – www.propertyforsaleinistria.com – because we think we have found our next renovation project (very close-by) and so we are selling our beautiful Istrian stone house. We moved out here lock, stock and barrel and we’re aware that not many people might want to do what we did – but, it could be just perfect as a holiday home or a holiday rental.

Interested? Drop us a line, via our website and we’d be delighted to give you as much information as you need.