My new home is a project and a half: An older, 17th century stone cottage in need of a lot of TLC. It stood empty for about a year and had been seriously neglected prior to that. The cobwebs would have made Miss Haversham green with envy. It does have great potential, though, and I am busy renovating with a view to creating a quirky yet stylish living space and at the same time a healthy home.
One big attraction to the property in spite of it’s rundown state, is the fact that it predates the use of modern, building materials. I am a great lover of green low impact living and this enables me to keep my carbon footprint low and the amount of chemicals in the home to an absolute minimum by using eco-friendly organic lime based natural paint and plaster to repair and update. Auro natural paints, decorating and finishing products are fantastic and easy to order online, with fast delivery.
By using natural materials I aim to keep embedded energy values as low as possible. Stripped back style is one that really appeals to me, with elements of ‘industrial’ thrown in, and Country Living’s Special Edition Modern Rustic Magazine, Issue 2, has been one of my sources of inspiration.
Where to start? Using the Permaculture principles enabled me to come out of overwhelm and start to take some action. Principle 9, Small and Slow Solutions, was my starting point: moving in and making gradual changes would enable me to keep costs to a minimum as I had been living in rented accommodation while looking for a project. It didn’t take long to decide that the 80’s style gas fire needed to go, to be replaced by a traditional log burner.