Home remodel One year on

One year on

by Clare Mansell
One year on

March has been a bit of a topsy turvy month for us (more of that in a later post) and as a result the one year anniversary of the start of our building work slipped by without a mention, when really there should have been a little ceremonial trumpeting.


Mostly what the last 13 months have taught me is how incredibly quickly things can change. It feels like only a few weeks have passed since we were wistfully staring at architects drawings stuck to our fridge and now we are actually living in the house. Our renovation experience was an incredibly positive one, our builders were good company, the very stressful moments were few and I also have really positive memories of all three of us sleeping in the tiny little cabin in our garden (yes really!) I’m very aware that we got lucky and this is not the same story for everyone.


On Saturday we had some friends to visit, who hadn’t seen our house since before the work started and their first question was “So have you finished everything?”

We haven’t and I’m not entirely sure we ever will. The wonderful thing about finally living in a home of our own, is that it is continually evolving around us in small (but not vital) ways. Our focus over the next few months is on our garden, but inside there are small design projects to do in every room and every month we try and put aside a little money and time to do each one.

Meanwhile what of the small boy? Well he loves living here. He loves the space inside and out and he loves the community. Now the weather is warmer, he hangs out in our front garden chatting to the many dog walkers who pass by our gate with his rambling nonsensical three year-old stories. Later this month we find out if he has a place at our local primary school and we’re are also awaiting job news for Jim which will hopefully anchor him in this part of the country for another 3 years. It’s taken us 5 houses and 7 years to get here, but I think we can finally call this place home.


PS – This month our house story features in both Ideal Home Magazine and Etc Magazine (Sussex edition)


Living ArrowsCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Nikki Thomas April 13, 2015 - 10:17 am

Wow that is quite a journey you have been on. I love planning for my house and we have lived here for years. Good luck with it all, exciting times by the sound of things

Catriona April 13, 2015 - 10:20 am

I always imagine renovations being very stressful, that’s from all the episodes of Grand Designs I’ve watched. It’s lovely to hear yours wasn’t like this. it’s lovely your son likes your outdoor space so much and you have a place that you can call home 🙂 #LivingArrows

Kerri-Ann April 13, 2015 - 1:04 pm

How exciting to be in the magazines. Renovating can be a love/hate relationship. We have loved renovating ours although we are still a work in progress after 7 years. Nothing structural now, all internal. I truly believe you have to live in a house before renovating. To live and breathe it. I’m glad your little one is enjoying the surroundings. Sounds fun x #livingarrows

Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations April 13, 2015 - 1:15 pm

Congratulations on your house anniversary! Doesn’t seem that long ago that you announced it was all starting!

Sian April 13, 2015 - 7:45 pm

Lovely photo of your little guy. Sounds like a great story too – well done on your adventure!

Donna April 13, 2015 - 9:02 pm

You home looks absolutely stunning. What a labour of love. You must feel so proud of what you have achieved x

Emma T April 13, 2015 - 9:14 pm

I love the look of your house. So individual. I wish I’d been with my OH when ‘he’ built our house. It’s really not done well over the years, has never been totally finished, and I think if I’d been there from the start, I’d have done it properly, where now I’ve moved in and we’ve never don’t anything about it.

It really needs decorating from top to bottom, curtains or blinds, new carpets, new kitchen, a porch putting on so the exposed wind and rain doesn’t wreck yet another hard wood door!

Your son’s grown up so much over the last year too. Good luck with the school place, we’re waiting too and I’ve just written a post about it today.

Em @ snowingindoors April 14, 2015 - 8:59 am

Your house is beautiful and I’m so glad you’ve found a place to settle down and call home. I hope Jim gets good news on the job front and fingers crossed for your local primary school too xx

Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk) April 14, 2015 - 10:25 am

Aww congrats on being in a magazine! Thats amazing! #LivingArrows

Polka Dot Family April 15, 2015 - 3:49 pm

So lovely to hear of a positive building story as it goes wrong for so many people.


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