It was back in November 2019 that after two long years of trying to get the purchase over the line I announced that I officially owned my dream barn... but it was a barn with a twist. It needed a COMPLETE renovation.
I've officially owned the barn for 5 months now, however we got 4 weeks into the renovation when lockdown hit.
Everyone always tells you that building work takes time and I'm certainly already realising that! We decided to wait until the start of 2020 to start the building work because we didn't see any point starting for what would have been 3 weeks for then the builders to go off on the Christmas break. However January soon came by, but 'starting' wasn't quite that straight forward especially since the barn is a listed building. Queue many meetings with my architect, builders, (my dad, because he understands everything about building work... unlike me), and the listed building officer to make sure we were about to do everything correct and in alliance with their regulations.
To get everything signed, sealed and delivered and to get the official OK on the work, it took nearly 2 months. Turns out the theory 'building work never stays on schedule' was right straight from the off! BUT the difference already is just amazing to watch! So far the builders have sandblasted some of the walls to clean the bricks up, and have been focusing on the front outside wall fixing where the brickwork was crumbling and rebuilding certain parts so the stone perfectly matches yet still is in-keeping with the original look and feel of the building, as well as just making the building both safe and stable.
Below are some photographs from earlier in March.
However this time before building work started, and the 4 weeks of work before COVID-19 threw in another obstacle, actually gave us time to think about everything properly. I've been working with two kitchen companies drawing up my DREAM kitchen. Think matt handleless cupboards, a completely bespoke island idea, and a Bora hob I've strangely got CRAZY excited for!
You know you're getting old when you get excited about a hob and it's extraction!
This extra time has helped solidify ideas such as cladding one wall of the entire hallway in wooden panels, adjusting some of the plans to add in more wardrobe space (because COME ON... my clothing collection is already out of control) and, probably the most exciting part of the edited plans, is having a mezzanine level in my future bedroom.
The barn itself is 1.5x in height, so having a second floor throughout wouldn't really work and I'd lose the beauty of the oak beams, but because it is so high, our builder was worried my bedroom might look a little like a VERY tall box! Once the scaffolding went up the builder told me and my dad to climb up on it in the section where my bedroom would be so that we'd get the feel of having a small mezzanine level and it was beautiful up there!
My initial idea now is to have my bed up there and have the downstairs area as a chilled office/dressing area... however the plans seem to be changing most weeks so watch this space!
I wasn't planning to write an updated blog post on the barn just yet, because everything is SO UNKNOWN right now, I'm only 4 weeks into the build, COVID-19 has me reevaluating what I can now afford since 3 months of weddings have been either postponed or cancelled, however since a few of you have asked for updates I thought WHY NOT!
Isn't it best to stay excited about the future?! So instead of showing you lots of photographs of the actual barn, because there's not loads to show (however I can't believe the difference only 4 weeks of work can make!!) I thought I'd show you all the inspiration that's gone behind it all and how it could work in the space.
Here's to life after lockdown!