After two days of drowning in boxes and bubblewrap, we finally carved out a tiny corner of normality in the living room – unpacking and putting together our sofa was a joy, as was having some cosy candlelight. This may look very lovely (above), but careful photographing did hide the scenes of utter chaos out of shot. Still, being able to put our feet up has never felt so good 🙂

It didn’t seem like it at the time (and it is only five weeks ago), but we did actually manage to make things pretty ship-shape fairly quickly. It’ll take a lot longer to get everything just right, especially as we have building work planned, but at least we can sort of live quite normally at the moment. Here’s a little retrospective of how things have come on…

3rd March 2017

3rd March 2017 : Pre power-wash...

3rd March 2017 : Pre power-wash…

3rd March 2017. They made it! The bay trees & bamboos.

3rd March 2017. They made it! The bay trees & bamboos.

3 March 2017. Improvised dinner on one electric ring...

3 March 2017. Improvised dinner on one electric ring…

4th March 2017 : Pre & post some of the unpacking...

4th March 2017 : Pre & post some of the unpacking…

The 6th March was a very big – the day we finally got a delivery of logs. Sourcing logs back in England was easy-peasy but we had to work it all out here. Thankfully, we did something right and we were so happy to see the tractor roll up with our logs, suffcient to hopefully see us through to autumn. Our beautiful Dovre stove, however, is still sitting forlornly, uninstalled, in the corner – the flue is proving tricky to source as Croatian stoves are apparently very different to stoves we can buy in the UK. They are generally very traditional here – our builder was genuinley quite baffled and bemused by the design of Dovre. And then he saw the box of Flamers… 😉

6th March 2107. Logs = Heat

6th March 2107. Logs = Heat

After a week of really, really cold temperatures, the house was beginning to thaw as we kept the fire burning and the candles lit – and suddenly we realised that we when we talked we were no longer seeing our breath. A good day 🙂

6th March 2017

6th March 2017

Because the house hadn’t been in lived for a long time, it really did need lots of initial TLC – and even though we will be having building work done, we just had to get some rooms to feel like “home”. The small downstairs bathroom had always been earmarked as one to be ripped out, but once we’d scrubbed it down, replaced the showerhead and toilet seat, white washed it all and started to get our belongings in, we quickly realised that this bathroom will be a god-send when we have guests. So, it’s staying!

7 March 2017 : Mini Bathroom Makeover

7 March 2017 : Mini Bathroom Makeover

Making what was a grubby bathroom into something we actually wanted to use, has really spurred us on, and we’ve made progress with one of the bedrooms and the bathroom upstairs. The bedroom will become a guest bedroom in time and the bathroom – which is really small and very oddly laid out – will be knocked through to make an en-suite in our room. We’ll then have the main bathroom moved into the third bedroom, meaning guests will hopefully have a much more pleasant bathing experience. More of these changes, though in the next blog.

Outside the house, as spring has definitely arrived, we’ve been digging and planting. We’re complete and utter amateurs compared to the villagers who have been tackling the surrounding fields with gusto, but we do think our potted flowers and lanterns look very pretty…

Campanula : A reminder of our Arley Avenue garden :)

Campanula : A reminder of our Arley Avenue garden 🙂

The acquisition of a power washer too, has started to make a huge difference to the front of the house. Previously, the steps were black with dirt and mud – now they blend in with the gorgeous stone walls…

 

Six weeks in and we feel we’ve made some progress. However, as the days begin to warm up and the sun shines, we have a feeling that this progress, if we’re not careful, may slow up. So, it’s just as well our first visitors arrive a month today. Nothing like a visit to get DIY-ing 😉

If you want to find out a bit more, we’re also on Twitter & Instagram. We’d love you to pop by and say hello…