Getting ready for guests…

It’s been a solid 6 months since we moved. In some respects it feels like we just walked through the door and others I can’t imagine living  anywhere else.

We’ve been busy ticking tasks off ‘The List’ while adding many, many more. It’s a bit humbling to realise how much we didn’t know we didn’t know before moving. I was surprised by this because I grew up in the country on a farm and thought I would remember. I did, but those memories had the edges rounded by the passing of time and were coloured as seen through the eyes of a child.

We were lucky enough to have a  visit from Mamma and Papa Bear at the end of March, which gave us a great excuse to start getting The Studio set up. The Studio is a small, two room cottage that we hope to fit out as a B&B and guest house. It’s a really lovely little building and served as the previous owner’s studio where she was a textile artist.  It has electricity but no water, is very well insulated, has  lots of beautiful windows, cupboards and interesting features like exposed beams and pressed tin.

We worked out a layout for the interior and then I set about sourcing furniture. I wanted to be as economical as possible while still keeping true to the theme of reuse with a county style. So, the mouse hit the Op Shop trail!

I’m an avid Op Shopper from way back. My passion started out of necessity and then became a source of joy finding unique and quirky bargains at every turn. I also scoured eBay and the local  Buy, Swap and Sell sites for furniture, dishes, sofas, books, and rugs. Buy Swap Sell sites are great and (apparently) many country areas have them. Basically, they are like eBay but for a small geographic region. It’s really handy to have locals trading with local and with stuff that suits country life like chainsaws and tractors. I have been able to get everything to furnish the studio second hand/recycled except for a mattress and linens. Pretty amazing!

The furniture is the easy part – and is all we wanted to have in place for a visit from Mama and Papa Bear. The next step will be the kitchen, shower and loo. The plan is a composting toilet because we don’t really want to play around with our septic system – which is old, quirky and a little bit of a mystery. The shower will be a small gas powered unit that can heat water for a shower and a tap inside. Water will come from a nearby rainwater tank and associated pump. All of this is, of course,  added to The List.

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