As many of you might know that follow me on Instagram, we recently moved into our little country cottage that we’d bought almost a year ago; the timing, of which, was quite serendipitous. Little did we know a global pandemic was on our doorstep and we’d be essentially going into lockdown for months. Being in our own home again, couldn’t have come a minute sooner.
We initially bought this cottage unsure of exactly what we would do with it. Should we renovate and sell? Extend & move in? Extend and sell? But after 9 months of slow progress, thanks to a busy schedule, unreliable contractors, and devastating summer bushfires, we decided we wanted to move in to it for a period of time and do it up while living here.
Living in a place before or while you renovate really lets you get a proper feel for a house. It helps you make the right decisions in terms of improvements, because you can see first hand what works, and what doesn’t.
So far we’ve painted the exterior, changed the entry and installed a new front door, added new gates (with picket fencing to come), half renovated the bathroom, painted the entire inside, installed new European oak timber floors and sisal carpets, added wall lights and replaced the old roller garage door with new carriage barn doors (which I designed and had our builder make). There’s still a LOT to do but for now, we’re just happy being here and feeling safe.
We’re currently living without a kitchen, which isn’t ideal, but we know that’s temporary. Given that we’ve gone into self isolation since the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), our days have suddenly become slow and quiet. With nowhere to be and not much to do but spend time as a family, unpacking and sorting boxes, and cooking wholesome family meals… on the BBQ. In fact, sitting at our little kitchen table (which also doubles as a worktop), and preparing our nightly meal has become one of my all time favourite things.
Whilst there is a lot of pain, sadness, fear and anxiety surrounding the current global pandemic, there also are some blessings coming out of it. I, for one, am loving the slow pace and not having to watch a clock every day. We have nowhere to be, no one to entertain or see. Spending time as a family appreciating the things we DO have, and what we’re really grateful for, is making me see things in a new light.
I’ve never before sat at a table and prepared dinner or really even had much time to think about it. With 2 young kids, it was always about getting food on the table and trying to minimise complaints! Right now I am just loving sitting at our petite kitchen table and flicking through my once neglected cookbooks; slowly preparing dinner every night. Since we have no kitchen, most meals are cooked on the BBQ outside and that’s turning out surprisingly well! Even the apple crumble turned out beautifully.
While others are stockpiling toilet paper, I’ve been far more concerned with making a few cocktails and ensuring I have a decent supply of good alcohol! I mean, priorities right?! haha. I’ve never really been one to make cocktails at home, but right now I’m loving making some simple cocktails as a treat instead of a nightly glass of vino.
I hope this little insight into our tiny country cottage renovation progress gives you some inspiration. I’ve just ordered our beautiful new oven/stove, which I can’t wait to share with you. It’s going to be the main focus and feature of our little old-meets-new french inspired country kitchen, along with my ever growing collection of vintage copperware.
Our plantation shutters are also being installed soon, as is our our new garden barn studio and veggie garden (there’s never been a better time to grow your own food, am I right?!). And since our gorgeous new stove has been ordered, the kitchen design is finalised so hopefully that won’t be too far away either.
I’ll keep you all updated on the progress but in the meantime, please stay safe, wash your hands and stay home as much as you can. These sure are challenging times.