I said I’d come back to you with more about my side-hustle, sneakily mentioned last summer and not referred to since. It has been a bit crazy on the house front and so I didn’t really know where to start: then Christmas happened and then the latest lockdown and so we find ourselves in February with a lot of catching up to do.
The exciting project that I’ve had on the down-low is a new renovation project, a little seaside holiday cottage in Dorset that I bought as an investment last summer. Just as a bit of background, I’ve been working on this holiday cottage idea, obsessively, for around five years but it has never been the right time to take the final leap and buy somewhere. I had found places over the years, but they had always been a little bit too far away for me to keep my eye on them, or they needed too much work, or they looked generally just too high maintenance for my current time-poor, young-kids situation .
Anyway, to cut a long story short, a cottage came up that was pretty much perfect, apart from not having any real kitchen, or heating, or phone line, or internet, and apart from the fact it needed some walls knocking about and a new bathroom and all new glazing and new floors, and I thought: THIS SEEMS LIKE A BRILLIANT IDEA!
So here we are, about to embark on a cottage reno. It actually feels easier than any other work we’ve done – I’m relatively detached from it because it’s not a home, it’s a business – but who knows what will happen as time goes on? We’ve already made quite a good start, but things have obviously been delayed because of lockdown, so once we get going properly there will be loads to write and talk about.
And I’m really excited for it to be done and for people to start staying there, because the location is so good. It’s completely off the beaten track, down a footpath that then leads down to the most beautiful beach that’s quite wild and wonderfully undeveloped. It was the location that got me, really…
…which brings me onto the other huge change: we actually moved house too! Just before Christmas. I think a lot of friends and family now firmly have us down in their address books as “the couple who have lost the plot”, but those who managed to see the new place before lockdown get why we did it. The views are incredible and we’re in a location that we didn’t ever think would come up, not in our lifetime at any rate. But we’ve managed to land ourselves another great big renovation project with the panoramic landscapes. I feel massively excited about that, or desperately stressed, depending which day of the week you ask me. I had completely forgotten that Mr AMR and I seem to have to disagree on absolutely everything for at least a month before finally listening to each other and realising that we actually want the same thing after all. It’s a process.
Our house is a completely different kettle of fish to the last house; it was built in the seventies onto a hill and has huge expanses of glazing and split levels and the whole house is surrounded by lush gardens, all you can hear is the sound of the brook and the singing birds. It’s quite a change going from the elegance and fine detail of a Georgian house to the simplicity of a modernist one, but then we always had mid-century places before so I suppose we must just be drawn to them!
So yeah: two renovations to think about and I think that they will probably overlap a little, which could be fun. Crazy-face emoji. Make sure you’re following on @casacrilly Instagram page for updates, just in case this lot of building work kills me off and it’s the last of my home content forever. I also have a Pinterest board, if you’re into that sort of thing – it was never really meant for public consumption, but it gives you a good idea of where I’m heading with things: Casa Crilly Pinterest.
Kind of bad timing, all of this, seeing as though we’re in a lockdown again, but I’m spending a lot of time planning and writing lists and annoying Charlie the Builder with my ever-changing plans. I think he probably rues the day he met me! He should set up a club with Mr AMR, hahahaha…..